Attachments Associated with AIS Project

Agenda Item No. _______________

Washburn University Board of Regents







SUBJECT: Administrative Information System (AIS) Project





SUMMARY:



Three of six vendor responses to the February Request for Proposal (RFP) were evaluated in depth to determine the best option for the campus. Proposals were evaluated from many perspectives, but five criteria were paramount. After a functional evaluation of the vendors' proposals, only one, SCT and its Banner software, met all these criteria.



- Technology. A fully integrated software package executing on one relational database in a thin client environment.

SCT Banner: meets this requirement

Sungard Bi-Tech: separate databases for financial and student data

Datatel: Unidata, their database, does not meet all criteria of a relational database



- Functionality. The software must support the student services and financial needs of the entire campus community.

SCT Banner: meets this requirement

Sungard Bi-Tech: student system, financial aid in particular, does not meet minimum

functionality requirements

Datatel: unsatisfactory reporting capability



- Implementation and Maintenance. The company must have the resources available to provide adequate technical and end-user support.

SCT Banner: meets this requirement

Sungard Bi-Tech: adequate support for financial component, very weak support for

student component

Datatel: meets this requirement, but many services require travel to Datatel's offices



- Client Relationships. The company selected must have a client base with institutions similar to Washburn University.

SCT Banner: meets this requirement

Sungard Bi-Tech: no client similar to Washburn using both financial and student

components in a Unix environment

Datatel: client base made up of schools with less than 1,000 students and community

colleges



- Mission and Vision. The software selected must be a fully integrated information system that provides complete web access for students, faculty and staff.

SCT Banner: meets this requirement

Sungard Bi-Tech: more development is necessary before system is fully integrated

Datatel: web access very limited



It is the collective judgment of the Selection Team, Project Management Team and Steering Committee that the solution which best meets campus needs now and in the foreseeable future is SCT Banner. Although total costs for SCT Banner are greater than the other vendors, it is the only one to fully meet campus needs. Costs have been carefully analyzed and are reasonable given our requirements.. Those involved with the project feel the additional investment at the outset of the project will pay dividends by not having to incur additional internal or vendor costs to achieve the required level of functionality.





BACKGROUND:



As reported at the June and July, 2001 Board meetings, the AIS project has been moving toward implementation with total campus involvement. Following February's Request for Proposal (RFP), six vendors responded and, following an initial review, three vendors were given serious consideration and subjected to an intensive review. These vendors are Datatel, SCT Banner, and Sungard Bi-Tech.



The Steering Committee approved a Selection Team to serve as a subcommittee of the Project Management Team. The Selection Team evaluated these three vendors as part of the University's due diligence in selecting a software vendor. The evaluation process included vendor demonstrations at Washburn, visiting other campuses with the software application, visiting the vendor's headquarters, numerous telephone reference checks, and solicitation of comments from peers on other campuses. The functionality of each software solution was evaluated independently of cost considerations, vendor cost responses to the RFP were not shared with members of the Selection Team.



The evaluation of each software solution was completed in light of the mission statement developed during a November retreat which involved over 60 University personnel. That mission statement is "To serve the needs of the University community, the Administrative Information Systems (AIS) project will facilitate the identification, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of an integrated information system. The system will be intuitive, efficient, reliable and extendable."



The selection also was guided by five criteria deemed essential for successful implementation. The Selection Team's recommendation and a portion of its report are included as Attachment A. After weeks of evaluation, the Project Management Team recommended SCT Banner to the steering committee on July 10, 2001 as the only software solution consistent with our mission statement which met the selection criteria.



SCT Banner is recommended because it is based on a flexible, secure, reliable, single, integrated relational database with significant access through web browser capability which operates well within Washburn's thin client environment. SCT also has demonstrated its commitment to higher education with a well-documented record of successful implementations and ongoing support of its software in a client base made up of institutions similar to Washburn.



Sungard Bi-Tech was found unacceptable because it does not meet the requirement of being a fully integrated information system. Sungard Bi-Tech (the financial software vendor) completed the acquisition of SRN (the student software vendor) in July, 2001. Currently, each system is operated on a separate database. For example, this means a student employee record exists in both the financial and the student databases. While there is no doubt that Sungard Bi-Tech has a very strong financial package, serious weaknesses were identified for the SRN student software including lack of functionality, lack of adequate technical support, and concerns regarding the availability of the imaging and reporting functions that were integrated into the financial software.



Datatel was eliminated from consideration due to technology weakness. The Datatel software was developed for use on the Unidata database. This database does not have referential integrity, a requirement for a truly relational database. The administrative software can only be as strong as the database upon which it is built. Datatel was eliminated because Unidata was not sufficiently robust for use by a university of Washburn's complexity. Beyond the technical issues, there also were significant concerns about both training and on-going support. Because Datatel does not provide unlimited technical support, there would be ongoing costs associated with accessing the Datatel help desk.



After consideration of functionality and fit, vendor costs were compared. Attachment B shows a comparison of costs based upon the RFP. After extensive review and discussion, the Steering Committee concluded that functionality considerations outweighed estimated cost differences and SCT Banner represents the best campus solution.





DESCRIPTION:



The AIS project, replacing the University's non-integrated legacy information systems software with a product which permits us to operate a fully integrated information system, requires a significant investment of time, effort and capital, not only to implement the software and the new processes, but to sustain it for maximum performance and a return on that investment. Over the course of the next three years, this project will involve the purchase of software and services from SCT, equipment purchases, hiring and reallocating personnel, and ongoing annual maintenance costs. Each of these elements is briefly discussed below.



SCT Banner Software and Services Contract:

Negotiations are underway with SCT for Banner software. The University has contracted with its own consultant to provide advice during these negotiations. Additionally, various other third party software packages offered through SCT are also being recommended at this time to ensure a full service solution to the entire campus community including imaging and on-line payments from students, alumni, and other constituents.



SCT will provide significant consultative and tutorial services to ensure the successful conversion of the appropriate data from the legacy system and to obtain the training necessary so University personnel are able to provide the ongoing maintenance and support of this software solution. Negotiated SCT software costs are $500,000, third party software costs are $314,000, and implementation services are $1,221,000. The $2,035,000 for the SCT-Banner software and services contract are one-time acquisition costs. A comparison of the RFP and negotiated costs are contained in Attachment C.



Purchase of Equipment:

Additional hardware is required to support this, or any other, software solution. The existing AS400 must continue to operate the legacy system during implementation and may be required for archives, but it is not equipped to operate a relational database in the preferred UNIX environment. The hardware configuration for the production database was let out for bid to five different vendors. The lowest bid in response to that request was $188,415 (See Attachment D). In addition to this purchase, additional NT servers may need to be acquired to fully support the web-based and imaging aspects of the software. Additional NT servers for supplemental services are estimated to cost an additional $210,000, and will be acquired as needed during the implementation period. The $400,000 for equipment is a one-time capital cost.



Hiring of New Personnel:

The SCT Banner solution will allow Washburn University to provide flexible, and expanded integrated services to the entire campus community. Because of the magnitude and complexity of this project, an overall evaluation of personnel needs is necessary. Many positions currently supporting our operation may be expanded or reallocated to provide the services needed to optimize the utility of this new software. There is no question it will be necessary to hire additional personnel to provide the necessary level of service. Additional staff may include a system administrator, user support personnel, web programmers and computer operators. Additional annual costs for these new positions will vary depending on opportunities for reallocation, but resources necessary for implementation will be a priority budget item. Positions will be brought to the Board for approval as required, and we anticipate some new positions will be required immediately in order to have these individuals in place for the initial set-up and training that will be provided by SCT personnel. These annual personnel costs will be ongoing net of reallocations.



Annual Maintenance Costs

The hardware and software will add to the annual operating budget for the University. Annual: maintenance agreements are an integral element necessary for the ongoing success of this project to ensure software integrity and upgrades. Software maintenance has been negotiated at $170,000 and hardware maintenance (assuming $400,000 in hardware) at $40,000. The $210,000 is an ongoing annual cost.





FINANCIAL IMPLICATION:



The cost of this project, based upon negotiated results with SCT to date, is presented here.



CAPITAL COSTS

Banner Software $ 500,000

Third Party Software 314,000

Implementation Services 1,221,000

Subtotal SCT $2,035,000



Equipment (estimate) 400,000

Total Capital Costs $2,435,000



OPERATING COSTS

Additional personnel $Unknown

Software Maintenance 170,000

Hardware Maintenance (estimate) 40,000

Total Operating Costs: $



Total payments to SCT for the Banner and third party software and implementation services will be $2,035,000 which is less than the $2,170,520 proposed in the RFP. The costs presented above include the SCT travel reimbursement for consulting services, while these costs were not included in the cost comparison presented in Exhibit B. All vendors require travel reimbursement. Through the negotiation process, the software costs were reduced and some of the dollar savings have been reallocated to enhanced project management and business process analysis services. Some software and services were added to enhance the final solution, at the same time that workflow software and services were eliminated. Workflow software and services will be retained in the negotiated contract as options, eliminating the need to immediately fund a component of the suggested solution that is unlikely to be implemented during the first three years. See Attachment C for a comparison of the RFP price quote with the negotiated contract pricing.



Funding for this project has been set aside in Fund 12 from sales tax receipts. For the past two years, $850,000 has been set aside annually to fund this project. An additional $850,000 will be set aside during the current fiscal year, bringing the total available for one-time project funding to $2,550,000. Expenditures for Infinet, telephone registration software, and the debit card system have already been taken from Fund 12. With interest earnings and additional transfers, Fund 12 had an ending balance of $1,686,570 at June 30, 2000 (prior to the FY'02 $850,000 allocation).



Personnel costs and annual maintenance will be funded as a budgeting priority and through any savings available from reallocations. Exact personnel costs have not yet been determined and on-going maintenance costs are estimated at $210,000.





RECOMMENDATION:



President Farley recommends that:



a) the Board of Regents authorize the University to contract with SCT for the recommended software and the level of service described, and

b) the Board of Regents authorize the purchase of the recommended hardware in the amount of $188,415.







_______________ _____________________

Date Jerry B. Farley, President



Administrative Information System Vendor Selection



Section I: Executive Summary of Recommendation

The Project-Management Team ranks the vendor SCT as preferred and recommends its solution as the new administrative information system for Washburn University.