Towson University is modernizing, standardizing, and simplifying business processes
by replacing PeopleSoft Financials with a new and modern business platform, and implementing
a new budget planning system. These new business applications will be called STRATUS.
Why TU ismodernizing business and financial systems
STRATUS will provide TU with a modern business and financial experience through improved
agility, streamlined processing, engaging analytics dashboards, and collaboration
options. This is the first step and one piece of a long-term modernization effort.
The STRATUS foundation will result in long-term financial and operational benefits for TU.
STRATUS, our cloud-based business application system, will:
standardize, streamline, modernize,and integrate business processes
enhance self-service functionality,and eliminate duplicate systems currently used to support manual processes
provide much-needed and easy-to-create reporting capabilities, including dashboards,
reports, and visual analytics
improve budgeting, planning, and decision-making by offering simplified data interpretation
STRATUS functional testing returned a 94% pass rate, testing scope has broadened with the
launch of the second conference room pilot (CRP2), and two new roles have been established
in the system. Designing and building continues through the beginning of the year,
followed by formal system testing, and relaunch of the Change Agent Network. Read more about our progress and meet a core project team member in the current STRATUS project newsletter.
STRATUS is expected to go-live in July 2022. This timing aligns with a new fiscal year,
and allows for additional feature configuration, more comprehensive testing and ample
time for training.
July - September 2021: Conference Room Pilot (CRP) 1
October - December 2021: CRP 2
February - April 2022: System Testing
May 2022: User Testing and Validation
May - July 2022: Training
July 2022: Go-live
How the decision was made
TU’s existing, on-premise PeopleSoft Financial systems need to be upgraded. They are
more than a decade old and out of support. The complexity, cost, and lack of return
on investment for the necessary upgradesprompted TUto reassess those current systems.We identified the need to replacethem with a modern set of applications.
TU used an external third-partyconsultantto investigate products and held internal discussions with key stakeholders from across
the university.After conducting more than two years of extensive research and soliciting cross-campus
input,a collective decision was madeto move tothe modern cloud system,Oracle FinancialsCloudand Budget PlanningCloud.
You may have heard the project referred to as "Oracle Financials Cloud." While Oracle
is the vendor, the branded service is called STRATUS.
What to expect
Information that you use will be more efficient, more interactive and easier to understand,
enabling the university to make more strategic, data-based decisions.
This project includes a redesign of the university’s Chart of Accounts, implementation
of new financial and budget planning systems, and foundational work on a Human Capital
Management (HCM) system. Work on HCM is initially limited to functions that support
the workflow and automation of the financial and budget planning systems. Once those
items are completed, future efforts will turn toward completing HCM and integrating
it into the STRATUS business application system.
contemporary look and feel with improved digital accessibility
Training opportunities and service-specificdetailswill be available as theproject progresses.Future informationwill be communicated on this webpage, in direct emails, and in TU Todayposts.
The project team consists of more than 60 individuals comprised of functional and
technical subject matter experts (SMEs), several stakeholder groups, and campus-wide
representation from TU leadership. Our experienced systems integrator is Navigator
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of STRATUS for employees?
Besides offering streamlined and modernized business systems, TU employees can expect:
Improved efficiencyand fewer manual processes
Convenience through notifications and mobile access
Simplicity with reduced add-ons and workarounds
Real-time information on budget availability
Fewer external spreadsheets
Quarterly updates providing new functionality
Who will be impacted?
The STRATUS project will have a campus-wide impact. It will be greatest for those
employees using PeopleSoft to perform financial functions, such as budgeting, reporting,
and procurement because those processes will be changing. Additionally, anyone travelingforuniversitybusiness will have a new system to submit expenses.
How will this affect me?
The new system will not change your job responsibilities.Howyou accomplish them will be improved,thanks to the new STRATUS tools for processing items like travel, budgeting, procurement,
Will PeopleSoft Financials go away?
Yes, onceSTRATUS is fully functional, project work will turn towardsphasing out PeopleSoft Financials. The exact timing andinformationwill be provided as the projectprogresses. Eventually, PeopleSoft Financials will no longer be used.
What does “foundational work on HCM” mean, and why is it being done?
A benefit of STRATUS is automated workflows. To supporttheseworkflow capabilities in the new system, we need to configure basic components of Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, such
as organizationaland approval structures. Work being done now will serve as a foundation for our future
implementation of HCM Cloud.Mostcomponents such as benefits, compensation, talent management and payrollwill remain in PeopleSoft HCM.
How will this affect the Chart of the Accounts?
As part of the STRATUS project, the Chart of Accounts is being redesigned to be a
modern, flexible system for tracking financial transactions. This integrated system
will support the institution’s ever-growing reportingneeds andempower the university to make better financial decisions.