The University Record, January 29, 2001

M-Pathways financial, physical system upgrade scheduled

By Linda Hancock Green
Michigan Administrative Information Services

More than 4,000 staff who use the M-Pathways Financials System will experience some minor changes in how they do their work when Michigan Administrative Information Services (MAIS) updates the system to PeopleSoft version 7.5. The upgrade will take place Feb. 21 and will affect staff who work in the General Ledger and Budget, Procurement, Space, Asset, and Inventory modules.

“We must do the upgrade now, because PeopleSoft no longer supports the version we are currently using,” says Deborah Mero, director of the Financial and Physical Resources Core Process Unit (CPU) that manages the financials system. “The new software will align the financials system with the version of PeopleSoft software that is used in the student administration system and the upcoming human resource management system.”

The upgrade from version 6 to version 7.5 is the first since the financials system was implemented in 1998.

Staff in Financial Operations, Accounts Payable, Vendor Maintenance and Purchasing Services have been working with the MAIS upgrade team for months and have been involved in planning and testing the system. “We’re comfortable that the central offices are prepared to use the new software,” says Laura Patterson, associate vice president for MAIS. “There should be little change in their ability to process purchase orders or financial reports.”

To train staff on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses to use the new software, interchanges have been prepared to describe and explain the changes brought about by the upgrade. A few global changes affect navigation and transactions, but there are no changes to basic functions.

“Staff will notice that things look different,” according to Steve Schlecht, manager of the Financial and Physical Resources CPU. “Some of the Chartfields have been renamed, and there are many new icons that replace the named buttons staff see now.”

Everyone who currently uses the General Ledger/Budget and the Procurement modules is encouraged to attend an interchange. A list of dates, times and locations is available on the M-Pathways Web site at www.mpathways.umich.edu/fin/7.5upgrade. A “Change Guide” to the new software will be distributed at the interchanges. Staff also can request that a copy be sent to them or may print one from the Web site. Consultants will be available to help staff who bring work to practice labs after the upgrade.

Changes to the Space and Asset Management modules will be explained in job aids that are distributed to staff who use those functions. The information also will be available on the Web site.

The M-Pathways Financials System will be unavailable during the software upgrade, 5 p.m. Feb. 16–7 a.m. Feb. 21. Staff will not be able to do any online transactions during this time, including submitting online purchase orders.

“We encourage staff to . . . make purchases before Feb. 16,” Mero says. “While the system is unavailable, you can still use your P-Card for appropriate purchases.” Staff who need purchase orders during this time can contact the M-Pathways Help Desk, (734) 936-7000.

The Operational Data Store (ODS) for financial/physical resource applications and the data sets for financial, asset management and space/utilities/plant in the data warehouse will be refreshed as of 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in preparation for the outage. The data warehouses and ODS will both continue to be available for use during normal operating times.