University of Wisconsin–Madison

An Administrative Transformation Program (ATP) Update

Members of the University of Wisconsin’s human resources, finance, IT, and research administration communities came from near and far to participate in two weeks of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software demonstrations, hosted by the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP). The Cloud ERP Vendor Demonstrations included two vendor candidates, Oracle Cloud and Workday.

Held at the Pyle Center in Madison on January 14-17 and 21-24, the events served as an opportunity to engage the broader university community with ATP’s efforts. The demos will also assist ATP’s Software Selection Committee in determining which cloud-based tool will best support ATP’s vision for improved operations within UW’s HR and financial systems. The committee, composed of subject-matter experts from across the system, will be making a recommendation in spring 2020. 

More than 150 participants traveled from UW institutions statewide to sit in on the live demonstrations, where they were able to view and ask questions about each system’s capabilities.

Demonstrated functions included onboarding and recruiting, payroll, benefits administration, and finance and grants management. Because of the ongoing selection process, product detail is not available at this time.

“It was great to see so much enthusiastic participation across the state,” says Nick Tincher, ATP’s Program Director. “Everyone seemed to come away from the event feeling energized about the future opportunities through ATP and what’s in store in the coming months.”

The Cloud ERP Vendor Demonstrations are just one step in ATP’s process to reimagine UW’s administrative landscape. In the months leading up to the demonstrations, ATP engaged with campuses statewide to identify pain points in UW’s current administrative systems.

The program’s strategy leads will continue working with subject-matter experts throughout the system to examine opportunities for improvement in the areas of process and policy.

“We are rigorously reviewing policies and procedures,” says Patrick Sheehan, ATP’s HR Strategy Lead. “We want to ensure that, regardless of which technology is selected, we are using this opportunity to be thoughtful about our administrative policies and to ensure that our procedures meet our business needs and are not unnecessarily burdensome.”

All of ATP’s efforts are in the service of four main goals: to return time to UW’s mission by reducing complexity; to build an administration that is resilient and supports an increasing pace of change; to equip staff with the skills for continuous growth; and to strengthen UW’s data availability, financial controls, and information security.

“ATP isn’t just about better administrative operations,” Tincher says. “It’s about building a stronger foundation for UW’s faculty, staff, and students.”