UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State's new System for Integrated Management, Budgeting and Accounting, or SIMBA — which will replace the university's financial and other integrated systems, including the its legacy Integrated Business Information System — marked its official launch June 4 with a kickoff event that brought together university leadership, SIMBA project sponsors and teams and SIMBA's implementation partner, LSI.
The event, which was held at SIMBA headquarters in the Technology Support Building on 300 N. Science Park Road in State College, featured remarks from David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business; Joe Doncsecz, associate vice president for finance and corporate controller; Mary Lou Ortiz, university budget officer; Michael Busges, director, Enterprise Project Management Office; and Shyamal Jajodia, executive vice president at LSI.
SIMBA will increase the university’s business agility through improved processes, reporting, budget forecasting and integrated functions, while at the same time introducing a contemporary user interface. The SIMBA implementation project is the last of three university-wide efforts to replace antiquated legacy systems with more efficient and modern ones that fully leverage current technologies. LionPATH, the university’s student information system, rolled out in August 2016. WorkLion, a new human resources and payroll system, deployed in December 2017.
The university announced its intent to replace IBIS in 2017, and the widely used business suite SAP S/4HANA was selected as the best solution to meet the university's financial needs. The Penn State Board of Trustees approved the SIMBA budget and LSI as an implementation consultant at its May 4 meeting.
"We are finally and officially on the journey to our July 2020 implementation date. It will be a challenging and exciting journey that will impact Penn State in many ways," said Busges during the kickoff event. "Today, we take a moment to celebrate before the real work begins tomorrow."
"As an institution, we understand fully the significance of what we're taking on here," said Gray. "We're taking the lion by the tail, and the end result is functionality that will be a difference maker for faculty and staff across the university. This is going to help us to be a more agile and responsive institution. SIMBA will deliver on the academic and research side as much as the business and operational side."
Jajodia spoke of LSI's commitment to Penn State and SIMBA. "We think we're the right implementation partner for you because we bring the expertise in both SAP and higher education. We have a long history of implementing SAP at universities and we bring all that experience here to help you achieve success," he said.