Reporter 426, 2 November 1998


Answering your MAIS questions

Presentations on the new finance and human resources information systems were made recently to heads of department, who were provided with the answers to common questions raised about the new system across the campus. Here is a selection; full information on the Management and Administrative Information Systems (MAIS) can be found on the MAIS project website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/mais.

Phase 1 (replacement)

What’s in phase 1 for central administration users? Accounts payable; accounts receivable; treasury; fixed assets; financial accounting; management accounting; research grant accounting; human resources details; payroll; Higher Education Statistics Agency reporting.
What’s in (and not in) phase 1 for departmental users? View accounts (no restrictions); view other areas (eg status of invoice, outstanding debts per customer); continued access to sub-systems (eg OSCAR); continued use of departmental systems (eg Hyperdata). View access to human resources details by resource centre according to security profiles.
How many departmental users of the system will there be? There will be two to three admin users per department. How will the system affect my job? In the main you will be doing the same thing but differently; the training courses will aim to guide you through these changes.

Phase 2 (development)

What is in phase 2? On-line input and read facility for purchasing and stock control (integrated requisitioning, ordering, delivery and payment process).On-line input and read facility for integrated sales invoicing and credit control. On-line input and read facility for asset management. Input of human resources details at resource centre (eg personal details, overtime and sickness). Potential introduction of other human resources functionality.

Training

How much training will we get? Latest thinking is that the average will be 4 half-day sessions for main users of the system, with fewer sessions for view-only users.
Where will training take place? A SAP (Systems Applications and Products UK Ltd) training room has been set up in the Worsley Building.
Will there be documentation and manuals to help me? Yes, user documentation is being prepared.
When will the training happen? For phase 1, we aim to start around a month before the go-live date for the central users; we aim to train all the phase 1 departmental users within a month of go-live. We will discuss the training for phase 2 with individual resource centres.
Will I get chance to practice? Yes, although training is being left until as late as possible to give more time for problems found in testing to be corrected.

Technical preparations

Will my PC cope? We believe that the minimum spec quoted by SAP will be usable (ie 486, 8Mb, Windows 3.11) – performance tests will qualify this during December.
Will the network cope? The UCS and central administration networks have been checked by UCS – departmental networks should satisfy minimum requirements which will be clarified during performance tests in December.
Will the Software run on Windows NT, 95 and 3.11? Yes.
How will printing work? Most information should be viewed on-screen, but hard-copy can be printed to networked departmental printers. A volume printing facility will be available centrally.
How will the software be installed on my PC? A PC support person is being recruited into UCS to manage this – the installation will be done in conjunction with your departmental systems people.
How does the security work? Only registered, authorised users can access the SAP system and then individuals are restricted by the role they undertake. Security on updating data on the system also applies.
Can I access the system off-campus? There are no plans to extend the University network to other buildings. Access via the Internet for registered, authorised users is possible.

Support

How do we get help if there’s a problem? We are setting up a help desk (part of the UCS help desk) to take technical problems – complex problems will be referred on to various support functions.
Is there extra help in the first few days after we go live? Yes. For phase 1, there will be people on hand for the central users for the first few days. For the phase 2 roll-out, the same will apply for each resource centre in turn.
How will we influence changes to the system? It is anticipated that a programme of enhancements to the system will be planned; a process will be established to log, prioritise and action change requests.

Peter Bollands
MAIS programme director

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