Deakin University is readying to replace its 16-year old Oracle financial management system with a newer solution after finding itself unable to undertake any further upgrades.
The university currently runs a customised deployment of Oracle E-Business Suite financials known internally as the Deakin financial management system (DFMS), which was originally implemented throughout 1999 and 2000.
Since its initial implementation, DFMS has had two sub-version upgrades, the most recent being an upgrade to Oracle EBS version 184.108.40.206 in 2008.
According to tender documents, a technical review of DFMS late last year identified four major issues that impeded further upgrades and posed major business risks to the university.
The review found that while the DFMS was stable, the version of EBS, the Oracle database, and Red Hat it is built on have all reached end of life, and will soon be no longer supported.
Additionally, extensive customisations made to the system prevent the university from updating to new releases from Oracle, and lock staff into business processes from the 1990s.
The review also noted that any new upgrades would require each interface for the 20 separate applications and databases that tap into DFMS to be rewritten.
To overcome the issues, Deakin has created a finance business transformation program (FBTP) that will replace DFMS with a new finance system that will have minimal or no customisations.
The FBTP program will be undertaken in four phases: gathering information about existing business processes and system architectures; desiging new processes, assessing new Oracle options, and developing a business plan; choosing and implementing the new solution; and decommissioning the legacy system.
The university wants to have completed the first two phases within six months. It is currently recruiting for consultants to help out with the project.