Stellenbosch University (SU) will soon have a new financial system. The SUNFin project has reached its final phase before going live in July this year. A comprehensive testing period is nearing its end, vital to ensuring a successful cloud implementation of Oracle Cloud Financials (OCF).
“The SUNFin team – consisting of people from many SU divisions and external partners - has done a tremendous job of keeping this critical project on track. In addition to the seamless execution of the normal tasks of the Finance Division, they gave a lot of extra hours to ensure that we reach our milestones," said Prof Stan du Plessis, SU's Chief Operating Officer.
“This is the single biggest system SU has ever implemented. It is a wonderful example of a project that is future-focused and solution-orientated. It required us to review our processes and consider their effectiveness and relevance. It also allowed us to address internal complexity with a modern cloud-based solution. This is how we unlock the productivity gains of digitalisation in our business processes," said Du Plessis.
Since cloud implementation projects are evolutionary and integrated, SUNFin must undergo a comprehensive testing phase. “The SUNFin project reached a significant milestone when they commenced their User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase. Over the next few weeks, we will complete the UAT phase and begin user training from May onwards," said Manie Lombard, Chief Director: Finance.
Lombard said the training phase will now commence, coordinated by Lizzy de Beer, Deputy Director: Financial Systems Support and Training, in collaboration with the SUNFin training team; the latter comprises the respective Subject Matter Expert (SME) of each business module and their super users and core finance support. Training will follow a carefully developed training schedule. It will take place in various formats and areas: one-on-one sessions, focus groups, and interactive question-and-answer sessions are a few methods the training team will use to ensure all users are equipped and able to use the financial system optimally and independently.
“From a technology point of view, this is our first Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) cloud solution whereby we are leading with cutting-edge technology being implemented in a university of our complexity and size. This is a giant leap we have made on the technology front," said Denisha Jairam-Owthar, SU's Chief Director: Information Technology.
As part of the SUNFin roll-out, a permanent user support desk will be established and managed by Brendon Grindlay-Whieldon, SUNFin Business Owner. Together with website support, his team will offer help when needed. As part of the support desk, there will also be technical support from the IT team, who will be responsible for the operational and technical support of OCF.
Over the next few months, regular communication via SUNFin newsletters, SU's website, and social media channels will inform future users of the new financial system at SU about training schedules, implementation processes, and go-live roll-out deadlines. A special email address for SUNFin – email@example.com – is available for staff with questions on the project. Please give 48 hours for the SUNFin team to respond.