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Enterprise Resource Planning

UC Merced Cutting Cord to Legacy Financial Systems with Use of Oracle Cloud Apps

In 2019, the University of California Merced kicked off an initiative intended to replace its existing legacy finance applications with a new Oracle Cloud application. And as of earlier this year, Merced has gone live with what it calls "Alpha Financials." The project was initially intended to be production-ready by July 2020; that was pushed off to mid-December. According to the institution, the upgrade aligns UC Merced with the University of California system's chart of accounts and establishes systems that can grow with university needs.

The new programs "will transform how we track spending and perform financial reporting, along with improving auditability to align with the UC system's restructured common chart of accounts (CCoA). The new CCoA will greatly improve financial management at UC Merced and across the UC system," a project background stated. "The goal of Alpha Financials is to ensure UC Merced has the infrastructure in place to deliver high-value, reliable and easy-to-access financial services that allow the campus community to focus on its mission of teaching, research and public service."

The implementation included Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM).

Running on one cloud, Oracle's suite provides UC Merced with integrated processes, a common data model and a consistent user experience, according to the company.

"In just 15 years, UC Merced has become one of the top 100 public universities in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and our student population and research enterprise has grown significantly. Under our campus' new strategic plan we anticipate continued high growth as we look toward 2030. Our previous financial systems were outdated and not equipped to keep pace with our campus' goals," said Kurt Schnier, UC Merced's interim vice chancellor and CFO, in a statement. "We're confident that Oracle will be the foundation needed to modernize our operations and continue serving our students and faculty in their educational and research journeys."

"With some uncertainty still ahead for the upcoming academic year, universities require real-time visibility into their operations," added Hari Sankar, group vice president, Oracle. "With Oracle, UC Merced's staff will be able to play a more strategic role in the university's growth and student development, rather than spending time on manual administrative tasks."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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