(August 14)—Information was the name of the game last August 6 when it became UPD’s turn to launch eUP, the massive 3-year digital standardization project of the UP System (UPS) aimed at vastly increasing the University’s services and efficiency.
eUP is part of the UPS’ move to streamline and increase operational excellence by improving administrative efficiency across all constituent universities through the implementation of a technology-based solution.
eUP is made up of five components: 1) policy formulation, organization and mobilization, 2) benchmarking and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) audit, 3) acquisition/development and installation of appropriate information systems (IS), 4) ICT infrastructure development and 5) ICT competency building.
At the heart of eUP are the acquisition/development and installation of the right IS, upon which the other four components will be connected to.
Wikipedia defines information systems as “any combination of information technology and people's activities that support operations, management and decision making.…the term is used to refer not only to the information and communication technology (ICT) that an organization uses, but also to the way in which people interact with this technology….”
The 12 IS of the eUP are expected to change the manner and pace in which information is created, processed and shared among the eight constituent universities. Standardized and codified, information such as student records and financial reports from any constituent university can be available in real-time.
With the exception of the Library IS, which is already in place and only needs to be integrated, all of the IS will either be developed and/or taken from free open-source software, or bought off-the-shelf from ePLDT, the winning contractor for the project.
The IS the company will be supplying are: the Executive IS, the Financial Management IS (FMIS), the Student Academic IS (SAIS), the Human Resources IS (HRIS) and the Supplies, Property and Campus Information Management System (SPCMIS), all appropriately named.
According to UPD Chancellor Caesar Saloma access to transparent, accurate and real-time information and data will “…allow UP employees to engage in more productive and meaningful tasks and enable students to…concentrate on research and creative work.”
He adds that having consistent, accurate data throughout UPD will separate the “noise and clatter” from the truly relevant information that help current and future University administrators make better decisions and “formulate clear and sensible policies.”
By the time it is fully implemented, eUP is expected to simplify operations, improve efficiency, promote extensive sharing of information, improve decision-making capability, increase productivity and optimize the use of the University’s ICT resources.
eUP has already been launched in most of the other CUs, with the exception of UP Baguio and UP Visayas, who will be launching on August 24 and 28, respectively.
Change management orientations were given to personnel in UPD, UP Manila, UP Open University and UP Los Baños. The aim of the orientation is to transition affected individuals into a new system with as less anxiety as possible.
Over the next three years, UPD can expect the gradual but steady implementation of the different IS starting with the HRIS which will go live on June 2013, followed by FMIS and the SPCMIS which will both go live on November 2013 before the SAIS, which will wait until April 2014 to be implemented.
An agreement was signed between UP and the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute to establish a Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET) that covers both the existing ones in UPD, Manila, Cebu, Los Baños, Ilo-ilo and Open University while establishing new connections with its units in Tacloban, Mindanao, Pampanga, Baguio and Palo, Leyte.
Other Internet Service Providers are also expected to provide for the units in Baler, Aurora; Koronadal, South Cotabato; Bolinao, Pangasinan while integration plans for the Bonifacio Global City and Cebu facilities have yet to be announced.
As part of competency-building component, the UP Information Technology Development Center (ITDC) began offering its short courses starting the middle of 2012 free of charge for UPD employees and at 50% discount for UPD students.
The launch was well-attended, with nearly every administrative office in UPD represented while University officials were led by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Saloma. Presenting the eUP initiative was Vice President for Development Elvira Zamora and UPD Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ronald Banzon delivered the opening message. Also on hand were ePLDT President and CEO Betty G. Lui as well as Beacon Solutions, Inc. President Fe Ferriols.
Information and updates on the eUP project can be found at the ITDC website.—AKR