Penn State to begin financial system transformation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Early next year, Penn State will launch an enterprise-wide project to replace IBIS, its homegrown financial system, with an innovative and comprehensive third-party solution. The new system, expected to roll out in 2020, will enable the University to plan, budget, manage and steward its assets and resources effectively and meet internal and external stakeholders’ expectations.

Developed in the early 1980s, IBIS comprises a variety of business applications and systems that provide financial and related information for budget development and management, fiscal controls, and data analysis and reporting. Contemporary needs and technological advances that will support them make now an optimal time to find and implement a new financial system.

“While replacing IBIS will be a major undertaking, the resulting benefits will more than justify the effort,” said Joe Doncsecz, Penn State’s associate vice president for finance and corporate controller. “Our new solution will increase efficiency; enhance services; improve utility for students, faculty and staff; and save Penn State considerable money and other resources over time.”  

Penn State recently hired Michael Andre to manage the IBIS replacement project. Andre previously worked on enterprise projects for the College of Engineering and the ONEForest Windows Active Directory project. Before coming to the University, Andre was the manager of information technology at a construction and mining company.

An executive steering committee and a cross-functional decision-making group overseeing the IBIS replacement project will ensure that key decisions are made transparently and with ample stakeholder input throughout the process.

The University will send requests for proposals to potential software vendor partners this month. Presentations by proposal respondents are scheduled to begin this summer, and Penn State hopes to select a vendor partner for the project in the fall.  

The IBIS replacement 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, and WorkLion, a new human resources and payroll system, will deploy later this year.

Joe Doncsecz, Penn State's associate vice president for finance and corporate controller, is one of the sponsors of the IBIS replacement project. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated April 19, 2017