Project AURORA Update - Jan 2021

Chalkboard with the word "Update" and a drawing of a clock
Author: Andrew Speed

New year changes for Finance

Hello VIU Community,

I hope this note finds everyone well, with a healthy start to 2021. 

It has been a while since our last Project AURORA update, and with the new-year upon us, it seems like a good time to share some information about our progress and what you can expect in the coming months.

Our AURORA team and supporting Enterprise Systems members have remained busy and engaged across the various modules of our implementation. We continue to see additional HR functionality coming online with the addition of enhanced reporting and direct integration with Manulife, our insurance provider. The Timesheets and Absences module implementation is progressing well, and you can expect a phased approach to begin rolling this out across the institution in the coming months.

As shared in the fall, our Unit4 Student Management implementation remains on hold.  We have made good progress on critical remediation work with our current Student Records System (SRS) and are well positioned to optimize the functionality of SRS as we determine our future Student System roadmap. Regular touch points with Unit4’s Student development team help to keep us apprised of the current state of product development.

We are heads-down and focused on our next go-live, the Finance module.  This is the most complex module implementation of the AURORA project to date, and we have been careful to ensure that we will be able to support a seamless cutover with our legacy systems, in addition to supporting operational requirements such as year-end activities. The project team is working closely with many functional areas to ensure process transformation efforts are aligned with the requirements of the new Financial Information System. It is critical that these transformation efforts are completed prior to the 3-month training period in advance of go-live.

To accommodate these activities and support success, we have selected a summer 2021 target for base Finance go-live. This gives us enough flexibility to select the exact go-live date as we get closer to the time when we will have a clear understanding about the body of work remaining. This approach provides adequate time for training and process re-engineering to accommodate the new system.

I look forward to engaging with our community and will provide regular updates about project progress, specifically as we approach our summer Finance go-live window.  In addition, our various channels of communication such as Project AURORA training and the Tech Champions forum will continue to be a source of information about the project and our progress.

I always welcome your direct comments and feedback.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments about this communication, Project AURORA or Enterprise Systems.  It is always my pleasure to chat further.




Andrew Speed
Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems
Director, Project AURORA
Vancouver Island University


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