What does the transition actually entail? All processes, such as the processing of invoices or entering a new employee’s details, from the various department will come under one system: SAP Cloud. That is more modern and more user-friendly than the current applications, which no longer meet the requirements of – among others – the tax office and for which technical support is going to be discontinued. The transition has been worked on for almost two years under the name ‘Programma Integrale Bedrijfsvoering’.
The fact that the transfer has been postponed by five months, is due to various reasons. Firstly, the technical hitches. In December, it appeared that not everything was running smoothly enough. “We are going to solve those problems, after which there will be an extra round of tests,” says project leader Fred Offerein. “That will take us an extra month.”
The advantage of changing over at the start of a new calendar year, is no longer relevant. Instead of starting fresh in a new financial year, all information entered between 1 January and 8 June, such as holidays or changes to job descriptions, will have to be carefully transferred to the new system. “That is going to take another two months,” said Offerein.
In addition, the starting screen for part of the software will look completely different by mid-May. Now that the transfer has been postponed anyway, we want to include this in the training of employees who are going to have to work with the system. Moreover, there is now more time for that training. “Room to breathe for everyone involved in the project,” says Offerein. “After all, COVID-19 puts its stamp on the available capacity and the work pressure in our organisation is already high.”
At the end of April, the steering committee will decide whether ‘going live’ on 8 June can actually take place. The UM would prefer to be certain in this matter. At the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the replacement of various IT systems turned into a big mess last year. Suppliers couldn’t be paid, new employees didn’t receive their salaries, and students couldn’t sign up for exams. “Our people went to Amsterdam to see what went wrong to learn from that,” said vice president Bos previously in Observant.
After the decision at the end of April, more information will follow regarding the so-called freeze: the period when you can no longer enter data in the old Sales, Finance and HR systems. This is planned after the salaries have been paid out in May and around the time of holidays and days off, so that people have as little discomfort as possible.