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 March 26, 1999 Volume 6, Number 13

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Year 2000

Cost of implementing About-US management system climbs to $4.3 million

The $4.3 million price tag now attached to the About-US project [see separate story] stems from an initial underestimation of attendant hardware costs and a growing realization that on campus expertise for the project is wanting.

Vice-president Tony Whitworth says the initial $1.5-million estimate for implementing About-US, first reported in On Campus News in the fall of 1997, was "a very early estimate."

He says it soon became apparent that additional hardware and software was needed to properly implement the system, "and we also realized that we didn't have the in-house expertise to do it."

Moreover, he adds, when it also became apparent that progress with the PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System (HRMS) was slow, auditing expertise was brought in last summer - Sierra Systems Consulting (Vancouver) - "to give us an independent assessment of what it would take to get this project finished on time."

Sierra Consulting then recommended that the U of S retain an "implementation partner," whereafter Mississauga-based Business Information Technologies (BIT) was contracted to assist the About-US project team with the implementation of the system, at a cost of $712,000 [see Feb. 5/99 OCN].

Whitworth suggests that one way to look at the $4.3 million is as a $215,000-a-year investment that will reduce the enormous amount of paper work currently necessary to make the system function and will last 20 years.



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