UCLA has experienced remarkable growth since the development of the current financial systems four decades ago. Adopting modern, scalable, cloud-based systems will empower UCLA’s continued growth and the financial operations needed to support it. This initiative will allow staff to focus on the core mission, empowered by up-to-the-minute data and robust reporting capabilities.
What Will Ascend 2.0 Accomplish for UCLA?
- Modernize and streamline financial management by replacing the mainframe financial system with Bruin Finance supported by Oracle Financials Cloud
- Increase efficiency by retiring dated and redundant financial applications
- Enable a more robust planning and budgeting process by migrating from Hyperion to Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud
The Ascend 2.0 Program is implementing Oracle Fusion Cloud for most business processes. While business processes are being prepared for Oracle Fusion implementation, the Procurement process will first implement Jaggaer software before integrating it into the Oracle Fusion implementation. The Technical Team advances these implementations using six different work pillars: Integrations, Data Conversion, Reporting, Retrofit, Applications Development, and Security.
The Ascend 2.0 Technical Team will work in collaboration with the Functional Team, contributing to the future state design of modules, understanding of gaps in functionality, and reviewing mapping for the FAU and CoA.
Please find more information below regarding our six work pillars:
The Ascend 2.0 Program will deliver a set of cohesive integration services combining multiple cloud environments to work together seamlessly. This will enable reliable data synchronization between UCLA boundary systems and Oracle Financials Cloud to support their business processes. Some of the impacted systems that will be included in the Ascend Ecosystem Integration Architecture include UCPath, Jaggaer, and Concur.
Integrations will be offered as services and made available to campus departments with the following enterprise tools and provide a smooth transition from the current Financial System to Oracle ERP Cloud.
Campus API Management Platform (Google Apigee)
Provides real-time, secure, governed access to Oracle ERP Cloud data
Managed File Transfer (GoAnywhere MFT)
Provides secure file-based data exchange with Oracle ERP Cloud
Access more Systems Integration information with the Oracle Financials Cloud
Data Conversion is the process of moving data from one system to another. The goals of data conversion are to:
1. Identify necessary data elements for conversion to meet business needs
2. Decide how much historical data to convert into the new system
3. Understand data dependencies to preserve data integrity
4. Cleanse source system data (i.e., detect and correct/remove corrupt, inaccurate, incomplete, duplicate, or irrelevant data) prior to conversion. Source system teams are primarily responsible for working with the Ascend 2.0 Technical Team to perform data cleansing activities. Source system team members may utilize thisConversion Preparation – Data Cleansing Activities resource to aid in data cleansing efforts. (Note: The activities outlined in this document should only be completed by UCLA source system team members with the appropriate level of experience and expertise. If you are not sure whether you are authorized to perform these activities, please contact your source system team lead or Omer Meah of the Ascend 2.0 Technical Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Convert necessary data to satisfy reporting requirements
The data conversion process follows a series of well-defined activities concerning data extraction, data load, and reconciliation.
The Ascend project will deliver a set of reporting capabilities to the user community as part of the implementation of the new financial system. These capabilities are expected to include canned/standard reports, the ability to build new reports, the ability to build new ad-hoc queries, and the ability to consume financial system data from system to system.
Reporting from the Oracle Cloud financial system and its associated projects will be facilitated by several tools and they are:
1. Oracle BI Publisher (Delivered/Published Reports) - enables highly formatted operational reports with advanced features such as bursting and scheduling.
2. Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) – enables business users to do self-service reporting on real-time transactional data.
3. Cognos - In-house Business Intelligence tool which will be used for Cross Module Financial Reporting and Self-Service Analytics.
4. Tableau - Platform for Financial Analytical Dashboards/Scorecards.
5. Financial Reporting Web Studio - enables browser-based financial reports for management reporting with real-time drill-down capabilities.
6. SmartView - enables excel-based slice-and-dice of data for easy and quick ad-hoc financial reporting.
The specific reports required of the new financial system (and their relative priority) are expected to emerge during the project, particularly as the project progresses through the CRP cycles. The top priority reports will be built during the project; however, it should be expected that additional reporting will be built after go-live.
The Technical team will conduct an analysis of the systems that currently interact with UCLA financial systems. The systems will be categorized into two tiers:
Tier 1: Systems that will directly integrate (via manual or automated integrations) with Oracle Cloud and other core financial systems implemented by the Ascend 2.0 Program (e.g., UCPath, BAR, Facilities, etc.).
Tier 2: Systems integrate with Tier-1 Systems and will not integrate directly with Oracle Cloud and other core financial systems (e.g., JPath, Opus, and other specialized departmental systems).
There will be three steps in the retrofit prioritization process:
1. Complete Design Specification Document - Provide clear requirements for what changes will be needed for retrofitting the system(s).
2. Determine Estimate for Retrofitting - Based on design, determine the level of effort needed to retrofit.
3. Perform Retrofit - System owners will perform retrofit changes as required. This includes transitioning from Financial Accounting Units to Chart of Accounts.
Application Development Methodology:
Iterative process - Design and Development:
1. Identify and scope application needs via collaborative efforts and business gap analysis.
2. Gather and review requirements in an evolving process through discussions with stakeholders and campus users.
3. Design, develop, and implement changes identified through planning and review. Engage with stakeholders and users early and often to identify and alleviate trouble spots.
4. Go Live! Deliver on-time, efficient, and intuitive applications that fit business and user needs.
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Application Development User-Centric:
An Iterative and collaborative process where:
1. Stakeholders and users are part of the process every step of the way.
2. The process is designed to rapidly evolve or pivot depending on needs.
3. Creates a strong foundation both collaboratively and technically to build upon.
Access more information aboutApplication Development User-Centric
Access to systems, data, and reports will be driven by business needs. There will be clear segregation of duties to maintain compliance.
The following are some important security considerations:
1. Application Access - has privileges and the corresponding Application Role(s) assigned to it.
2. The User will belong to groups that will be defined to allow access to different functions within the application, data, or reports.
3. Report Access may also be controlled at the folder level.