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Monday, Oct. 23: Community members learn about Oracle Cloud training at SkyVU Flight School event

As you may have read in MyVU, SkyVU held its Flight School Learning Fair in the Student Life Center ballrooms to kick off its Oracle Cloud training program on Tuesday, Oct. 3. The airport-themed event featured 12 “gates” where the 800 participants could speak with 75 subject-matter experts about how specific changes will impact them. Participants then had the opportunity to register for training.

Calvin Stevenson

Upon checking into the event, guests were handed a “passport” booklet that guided them through the fair and included a schedule of breakout sessions and instructions for signing up for training. Participants had the opportunity to enter into a drawing for a carry-on suitcase by tearing off a sheet from the passport. Calvin Stevenson, a VUIT project manager, was the winner of this drawing. Congratulations, Calvin!

As mentioned, six breakout sessions ran throughout the day with system demonstrations on expense reports, non-exempt timesheet preparation and approval, exempt PTO requests and procurement initiation.

To sign up for Oracle Cloud training with SkyVU, visit the Learning Exchange, search for “SkyVU Learning Program” in the blue “Find a Course” box, and select “SkyVU Learning Program: Training for Vanderbilt Employees.”

To download handouts from Flight School, visit SkyVU’s training webpage. For more information about the SkyVU program, email

Monday, Aug. 28: SkyVU Online Training Modules Now Available in the Learning Exchange

Learn more about the Oracle Cloud system and its new processes! Beginning in mid-August, the SkyVU team will roll out online training modules over the course of the next few months as financial unit managers, HCM specialists, and approvers complete in-person training classes on each topic. These modules are available to the entire university community through the Learning Exchange and will include such topics as procurement, expenses, employee information and time reporting.

To access the modules, log into the Learning Exchange, enter “SkyVU Learning Program” in the blue “Find a Course” box, and then select “SkyVU Learning Program: Information for Vanderbilt Employees” from the search results.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.

Monday, Aug. 7: SkyVU Change Network Forum Recap

On Wednesday, July 26, nearly 300 members of the SkyVU Change Network gathered in the Student Life Center ballroom to hear from Chancellor Zeppos, learn updates from the SkyVU project team, and participate in a dynamic tabletop exercise.

“What you’re doing is absolutely critical to the future of Vanderbilt,” Zeppos said.chancellor image “We know we are going to change, and that’s what a university is all about… You have taken on one of the greatest challenges in moving through the SkyVU project.”

Tammy Key, an HR organizational effectiveness consultant, continued the session with pointers on how to lead change locally. During her presentation, she focused on the dynamics of change, the stages of change, and the rewards of accepting change.


Natalie Richardson, SkyVU’s Change Network lead, guided participants through a tabletop exercise. During this portion of the program, Change Network members at each table discussed a series of question and reported on ideas for future webinars, best practices for leading change in their areas, and any concerns.

Audience members also heard from Nicole Oeser, SkyVU’s program director, Kara Sundar, SkyVU’s change management lead, and Josh Vincent, SkyVU’s business process lead.

For more information, email To view the full-length recording of the SkyVU Change Network Forum, watch the video linked to the image below.


Monday, July 17: Grants Management

The Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (OCGA) manages university grants with the general ledger and multiple Access databases.

In the future, OCGA will use the Projects Portfolio Management (PPM) module within Oracle Cloud for financial management and reporting to manage university sponsored projects. POET (described in the chart below) is the acronym used for transactions on grants. The “P” in POET is used to track each grant in Oracle Cloud PPM module, and the entire “POET” string is used to charge expense reports, requisitions, and labor costs to a sponsored project.

Project Number

  • Unique number assigned to identify each project


  • HR Work Unit dictates the Project’s Organization
  • Corresponds with Financial Unit in the COA

Expenditure Type

  • Identifies the specific type of transaction
  • Corresponds with Account segment in the COA


  • Identifies the project activity

In Oracle Cloud, users can search for a project number via a dropdown menu, and view multiple projects associated with a single award. Users will continue to transmit budgets to OCGA and consult with them regarding cost transfers. OCGA will handle PPM entry for budget information, but cost transfers will be initiated from source systems (e.g., payroll, accounts payable) when possible.


Cost Sharing

Users currently have companion accounts that track cost sharing. With Oracle Cloud, users will instead have companion projects. With companion projects, users will enter the POET related to the cost share project number (instead of the account number) when charging an expense to cost sharing.


Overhead Costs

Burden is a new term that will be introduced in Oracle Cloud. Burden accounting is a method of applying overhead costs (or indirect costs) to raw costs (direct costs) to arrive at the total cost of a project. Burden is also known as indirect cost, overhead, or facilities and administrative (F&A) costs.


Existing Grants

For existing grants, project-to-date balances and project attributes will be converted into Oracle Cloud; however, prior transactional detail will not.


Pre-Award Process

The pre-award process, supported by COEUS and PEER, remains unchanged at this time. The Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (OCGA) is working with Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) on the details of how the processes will be coordinated.

More information about reporting in general will be available soon.

Watch the webinar below led by the Office of Contract and Grant Accounting’s Michelle Vazin and Tanya Paul to learn more and to view a short demo.


For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.

Monday, June 19: Flight Check-In Recap

On Wednesday, June 7, nearly 400 Vanderbilt community members participated in the second SkyVU Flight Check-In either in person or via the livestream. During the hour-long information session, subject-matter experts discussed hot topics that included timekeeping and expense reports. Watch the full-length recording.

Human Resources’ Dave O’Ferrell, director of university payroll, and Terri Armstrong, director of university benefits, Flight Check-Inaddressed upcoming changes to timekeeping and absence (PTO request and approvals), and Tiffany Gregory, disbursements supervisor with payment services, explained changes to reporting work-related expenses.

With Oracle Cloud’s timekeeping system, exempt employees will be able to view:

  • Current time-off accrual balances
  • Calculations of reductions for scheduled time off
  • Status of separate time-off requests

With Oracle Cloud’s timekeeping system, non-exempt employees who are paid biweekly will:

  • Report time directly within the web application
  • Retroactively record hours as needed– no more paper payroll correction forms
  • View calculated time worked (including overtime, PTO, etc.)

With Oracle Cloud’s expense system:

Flight Check-In
  • Financial information will be automatically populated into the expense report based on the expense type selected and the employee’s department.
  • Expense report initiators will enjoy a more simplified report format.
  • OneCard expenses will be available for expensing directly in the system.

After the Flight Check-In concluded, an ice cream truck set up shop on the Commons lawn to serve complimentary ice cream treats to attendees.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.

Monday, June 5: Exempt Employee Time-Off Requests and Balances

Today, exempt employees retroactively enter time off at the end of each month in the Exempt Time Off reporting tool.

In the future, exempt employees will use Oracle Cloud’s absence management module to enter any time-off requests, such as PTO, FMLA, grandfathered sick time, jury duty, etc., and time off will be reported on an ongoing basis. Users will be able to view their time-off calendars by day, by week, or by month. Like today’s ETO reporting tool, holidays will be pre-populated.

With Oracle Cloud, exempt employees will be able to view:

  • Current time-off accrual balances
  • Calculations of deductions for scheduled time off
  • Statuses of separate time-off requests

Watch the webinar below led by Terri Armstrong, director of university benefits with Human Resources, to learn more about time-off requests and balances for exempt employees and to view a short demo.

Information pertaining to time-off requests and balances for non-exempt employees will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.


Monday, May 22: Employee Self-Service in Oracle Cloud

Today, Vanderbilt employees use C2HR to view personal, job, salary and tax information. After the SkyVU program goes live in January, the functionality that currently exists in C2HR will be replaced with Oracle Cloud, and all C2HR historical information (pre-December 2017) will be available in an archived C2HR portal.

The major differences between C2HR and the new employee self-service within Oracle Cloud is how you will edit and view information. In the future, you will have access to edit more information, such as your tax withholding and W4 forms, from your computer. Today, if you need to update withholding information, you must either mail the revised form through campus mail or take it to Human Resources in the Baker Building.

In terms of viewing information in Oracle Cloud, you will be able to access your department’s organizational chart in addition to many of the employment details (e.g., your hire date, last date of promotion and salary changes, and length of employment) you can already see in C2HR.

Watch the webinar below led by Kristie Hall, director of HR information systems, and Nicole Oeser, SkyVU program director, to learn more about employee self-service and to view a short demo.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.

  5-17 webinar

Monday, May 8: Vice Chancellors Kopstain, Sweet explain increased accountability expected of users within Oracle Cloud

This story also appeared in MyVU on May 8.

On May 3, Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration, and Brett Sweet, vice chancellor for finance and CFO, spoke to SkyVU Change Agents about what the future will look like with Oracle Cloud and how this system will impact the responsibilities of approvers.

After Jan. 1, 2018, once a requisition or expense report is entered into the system, approvals will be routed to the area’s financial unit manager (FUM) to review and approve. If the expense is more than $10,000, it will require the business officer’s approval before it moves forward to Purchasing and Payment Services to initiate an order or payment. In the case of expenses amounting to more than $1 million, the appropriate vice chancellor’s approval will be required. Financial unit managers will be responsible for approving all financial transactions in their financial unit.

“It’s very exciting because we are going to grossly simplify what we do today,” Sweet said. “Universities by and large Brett Sweetunderestimate the cost and complexity of the burden it places on our staff and indirectly the burden it places on our faculty and students in terms of business process complexity.”

Kopstain discussed that while human resources and financial transactions are necessary, it is the administration’s responsibility to make sure that business transactions are conducted as effectively and efficiently as possible in order to free up employees’ time to focus on Vanderbilt’s mission of conducting groundbreaking, innovative research and offering world-class education to students. For this reason, the university has chosen the Oracle Cloud product to simplify everyday transactions. 

“This simplification will be transformative for our institution,” Kopstain said.

Decreasing the number of approvers to 200 people will increase the accountability and responsibility expected.

 “When you have 10 levels of approval across 10,000 cost centers, accountability is diluted. We are going into a new world where we can focus our staff energy and resources more directly on supporting the students and faculty,” Sweet said. “What that’s going to mean is that there’s a much smaller group of people managing the financial and human capital plumbing of the institution.”

The smaller group of people will include the financial unit managers and HCM specialists.

“These 200 key people—the financial unit managers and HCM specialists— are people we will invest in through training and through all of our change management activities,” Kopstain said. “We are here to help you be successful to
Eric Kopstainaccomplish this critical accountability that is so important to us.”

In leveraging Oracle Cloud, the university will:

  • streamline Vanderbilt’s business areas from 10,000 cost centers to 300 financial units
  • reduce account codes from 4,000 to 400
  • increase accountability of approvers
  • introduce real-time approval capabilities
  • eliminate the transaction review verification (TRV) role

“This will make what we do more consistent, more easily understood, and will frankly allow people to focus on the core business of supporting the faculty and students,” Sweet said. 

Click on the image below to watch the full webinar to learn more about how simplifying processes will benefit you once SkyVU Oracle Cloud is implemented Jan. 1, 2018.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.



Monday, April 24: Purchasing and Aquiire’s eMarketplace

Today, Vanderbilt uses the eProcurement system for purchasing all goods and services. Once SkyVU Oracle Cloud is implemented Jan. 1, 2018, procurement will take place in Oracle Cloud and Aquiire, a state-of-the-art eMarketplace application.

With Aquiire, users will be able to:

  • Search for a product across all supplier punch-out websites and hosted catalogs
  • Aggregate pricing and product descriptions,
  • Compare products side-by-side, and
  • View real-time pricing and inventory.

Watch the webinar below led by Chuck Nicholas, director of purchasing and strategic sourcing, and Jim McCarthy, associate director of eCommerce solutions, to learn more about Aquiire and to view a short demo.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.


Monday, April 10: Mark your calendars to attend the SkyVU Flight School kick-off

As mentioned during last week’s SkyVU Town Hall, the Change Management team is kicking off Flight School in October to give the community an opportunity to hear from functional experts about how the changes involved with SkyVU will impact them individually. This multi-day event will take place Oct. 2-4 in the Student Life Center and is open to all university faculty and staff members.

This is the first of many training opportunities to come. In addition to the Flight School kick-off event, the team will offer in-person training sessions, an assortment of online resources and other forms of live help. More details about this and other SkyVU training events will be available in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting a head-start on learning more about SkyVU, watch the Change Agent webinars.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.

Monday, March 27: Planning and Budgeting

This fall, Vanderbilt will begin using an Oracle tool called Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (ePBCS) to facilitate budgeting, forecasting, long-range planning, capital planning and strategic modeling.

ePBCS will include integrated driver-based planning for the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow; will bridge the gap between project planning systems and the financial planning process; and will plan for the long-term impact of capital assets on financial plans.

Watch the webinar below about ePBCS led by Evelyn Galletti and Kirk Stonecipher, assistant directors for financial planning and analysis, to learn about how this tool will benefit Vanderbilt.

For more information, email To learn more about cloud computing and cloud security, watch Cloud 101.


Monday, March 13: Improvements slated for timekeeping, hiring for staff and Vanderbilt Temporary Services employees with SkyVU

With SkyVU’s launch on Jan. 1, 2018, the reimplementation of Taleo through the Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud will feature improvements to the process of hiring staff and Vanderbilt Temporary Services (VTS). Additionally, SkyVU will improve the timekeeping process by eliminating paper forms for staff and VTS employees.

Top 5 Upcoming Changes:

1. New onboarding module linking Taleo to HCM will streamline hiring process: Since SkyVU will integrate new employees into the HCM system, ePAFs and entering cost center numbers in Taleo for positions will no longer be required.

The onboarding module will launch orientation scheduling and will run simultaneously with the background check. Thus, hiring managers will no longer have to wait or hunt for a link. Instead, the new system will automatically notify managers to schedule orientation for their new employee, and candidates will complete the new employee information form and emergency contact form using the newly implemented onboarding module while the background check is in process.

2. Clean pass-off of accurate information that originated in the hiring process to the HCM employment process: This includes better verification of start dates, salaries and any other changes that may have occurred from the moment an offer was given to the employee’s acceptance.

3. The days of walking paper timesheets across campus are over: Instead, VTS employees will be fully managed in the HCM system, and departments will have better management of funding and timekeeping. VTS employees will enter time into the Oracle timekeeping system, which will be approved by the departmental manager. To top this off, their assignments will be entered into HCM by the HR VTS team and will include start/end dates, labor distribution, and the HR line manager—giving departments more insight into and the ability to manage their VTS employees.

Today, VTS employees are managed in PeopleSoft and use paper timesheets.

4. Fully supported transfer process: Internal transfer information will be handled within Taleo and HCM—eliminating paper Personnel Action Forms (PAFs) and creating a much smoother transfer process.

5. Improved launch page that will include all activity for hiring managers: No more fumbling for numerous emails to locate employee information because hiring managers will be able to find everything they need in one place.

Hiring of faculty and student employees will be managed directly in the Oracle Cloud HCM system. This process will be discussed in more detail at a later date.

For more information, email

 Monday, Feb. 20: Cloud 101

The cloud has become a hot topic over the past few years as a way to store and access information. Nearly everyone uses the cloud in some capacity for professional and/or personal purposes. However, not everyone knows how it works.

Watch the Cloud 101 video below featuring Vice Chancellor for Information Technology John Lutz to learn about the cloud and how this technology will work in Vanderbilt’s environment.

For additional information, visit the Intro to the Cloud webpage on the SkyVU website or email

cloud 101 video

Monday, Feb. 6: Non-PO Payment Requests Demo

Today, university employees use check requests to create a payment to a non-employee on an as-needed basis. The check request process requires manual approval and submission of a paper form—making this task very time-intensive.

In the future, this process will be completed through a non-PO payment request, and employees will make this request via a trackable electronic form in Oracle Cloud with an automated workflow and submission process.

Click the image below to watch the demo featuring Tiffany Gregory, manager of payment services, to see just how simple this request will become!

For additional information, email

check request webinar


Monday, Jan. 23: Cloud Security

Once SkyVU is live Jan. 1, 2018, many applications that you normally use will become cloud-based-- including Concur Expense, eProcurement and C2HR. These applications touch or maintain sensitive personal information that must be kept secure.

Vanderbilt’s chosen vendor, Oracle, has taken crucial steps to ensuring that cloud security is top-notch and has established a secure cloud environment through:

Securing Data Centers

  • Oracle’s data centers contain isolated networks used to deliver cloud services to Oracle Cloud customers.
  • Networking technologies are deployed in a layered approach designed to protect customer data at the physical, data link, network, transport, and program level.
  • Access controls are multi-tiered, consisting of the network, system, database, and program layers.

Controlling Network Access

  • Oracle Cloud operations teams access customer environments through a segregated network connection.
  • The dedicated network functions as a secured access gateway between support systems and target program and database servers.
  • Regional gateways are synchronized forming a meshed global array designed to provide continuity of support operations in the event any one of the gateways were to fail.
  • Authentication, authorization, and accounting are implemented through standard security mechanisms designed to ensure that only approved operations and support engineers have access to the systems.
  • Cryptographic controls are implemented to provide cloud operations and support with secured, easily configured access to target programs.
  • Border routers are deployed in a redundant, fault-tolerant configuration.

Utilizing Firewalls

  • Oracle Cloud Services utilize firewalls to control access between the Internet and Oracle Cloud by allowing only authorized traffic.
  • Firewalls are deployed in a layered approach to perform packet inspection with security policies configured to filter packets based on protocol, port, source, and destination IP address, as appropriate, to identify authorized sources, destinations, and traffic types.

Managing Network Security

  • Network controls implemented for Oracle Cloud Services address the protection and control of data during its transmission from the customer’s system to the Oracle-hosted system.
  • The network security infrastructure is designed to secure the servers from a network-based attack. Redundant, managed firewalls provide barriers between tiers of the architecture. Traffic is filtered, and only valid connections are allowed through into the network demilitarized zone.
  • Traffic within each tier is restricted and controlled for security purposes.

Monday, Dec. 12: 2016 Year in Review

2016 brought a flurry of new activity for the Vanderbilt community with the launch of SkyVU. To recap the year, we’ve broken out the highlights by month with links to additional information and resources.


  • Executive Steering Committee convened for the first time.
  • Mission statement established.
  • Enterprise resource planning project announced.
  • Contest held to name enterprise resource project (now called SkyVU).
  • Executive Steering Committee kicked off the SkyVU project during event in Sarratt Cinema.
  • SkyVU team moved into Loews Office Tower, Suite 1010.
  • Core team familiarized itself with the Oracle Cloud product.
  • Chart of accounts planning began.
  • Installation and configuration of on-premise Oracle Business Intelligence (Oracle BI) tools began.
  • Oracle BI training for IT BI staff completed.


  • SkyVU website launched.
  • Kicked off Business Partner involvement with Business Process Analysis sessions.
  • Change Champions began meeting for roundtable discussions.
  • First SkyVU blog post published.
  • Assessment of pre-award research systems began.
  • Overview roadshows launched across campus.
  • Completed first testing cycle (CT-1) of system and business processes.
  • Workgroups launched to evaluate cross-module functionality to support Vanderbilt’s needs.
  • Familiarization with out-of-the-box Oracle BI content to support Oracle Cloud transactional, operational and integration data needs began.
  • Familiarization and purchasing of Oracle BI applications to support Oracle Cloud data analytics began.
  • Analysis of all integrations (50 systems totaling 100+ integrations)


  • Preview of Vanderbilt’s new chart of accounts and organizational structure became available.
  • SkyVU community engagement survey results released.
  • Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) system implementation kicked off.
  • Assessment of Facilities systems began.
  • Executive Steering Committee explained the need for SkyVU implementation at town hall meeting. Get up to speed by watching the highlights reel!
  • Conducted more than 60 overview roadshows across campus.
  • Completed second testing cycle (CT-2) of system and business processes and converted all VU data into test environment
  • Roadshow series focused on business process changes (called Flight Check-Ins) began.
  • The SkyVU Change Management Team hosted two open house events to officially welcome the Change Agents.
  • Launched bi-weekly Change Agent webinar series.
  • Content creation within on-premise Oracle BI tools to support Academic Affair’s transition off existing BI tools (SAP Business Objects and Tableau) began.
  • Content creation within cloud Oracle BI tools to support data validation and integrations completed.
  • Design and build of new data structures to support Development and Alumni Relations’ transition off existing BI tools (SAP Business Objects) began.
  • Configuration of Oracle BI applications began.
  • Major new systems procured and integration underway: Vinimaya for procurement marketplace and FunDriver for endowment accounting

To stay up to date on the latest, visit, email or talk with your Change Champion!

Monday, Nov. 28: Open House Events Kick Off Change Agent Initiative

On Nov. 3 and Nov. 8, the SkyVU Change Management Team hosted three-hour open house events to officially kick off the Change Agent role. During these two days, the team met more than 250 Change Agents and distributed resource guide binders.

SkyVU Change Agents are university faculty and staff members who participate in bi-weekly webinars to understand more granular information about how to operate within the new cloud-based platform. The new software will replace more than 30 systems, including the commonly used eBusiness web applications, and will provide a modern and synchronized environment to allow university faculty and staff to spend less time on paperwork and more time on efforts that contribute to the university’s mission. There are currently more than 320 Change Agents registered. The first Change Agent webinar took place on Nov. 16, and the full-length recording is available on the SkyVU website.

If you are a Change Agent and have not picked up your Change Agent resource guide binder yet, please pick it up in the SkyVU office (Loews Office Tower, Ste. 1010) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on any weekday.

To learn more about SkyVU and the Change Agent role, please visit or email

Monday, Nov. 14: SkyVU Town Hall Recap and Change Agent Registration Information

As you may have read in MyVU, more than 350 faculty and staff participated in a town hall meeting Oct. 25 to learn more about SkyVU, the new cloud-based Oracle solution that will provide support for many of the university’s financial, administrative and research support systems effective Jan. 1, 2018. Two hundred faculty and staff participated in person at the event at the Student Life Center, while another 150 participated via a livestream of the event. SkyVU Executive Steering Committee members shared information about SkyVU’s mission and how this implementation will support the university’s academic mission and implementation of the Academic Strategic Plan.

The cloud-based system will replace approximately 15 current web applications and provide a modern and synchronized environment to allow university faculty and staff to spend less time on paperwork and more time on efforts that contribute to the university’s mission.

The SkyVU team has created the roles of Change Champions and Change Agents to include the Vanderbilt community in the project. Change Champions are university staff members who meet monthly with the SkyVU team to engage in major messaging originating from the project team and are responsible for disseminating that information to their specific areas. Change Agents are university employees who will participate in bi-weekly webinars to understand more granular information about how to operate within the new systems. To sign up to become a Change Agent, fill out a registration form.

Watch the town hall's highlights reel:


Monday, Oct. 31: SkyVU and Vanderbilt's Human Resources systems

The SkyVU project and the implementation of Oracle Cloud will bring many positive changes to Vanderbilt University’s human resources systems while maintaining certain features to which we have become accustomed, such as:


Paperless Processing: Faster and Greener

Hiring, rehiring and employee transfer processes should become less paper-intensive. Oracle Cloud’s functionality is intended to eliminate paper personnel action forms (PAF, ePAF and PAF‑Turnaround) and process transfers through online workflow.

Better Reporting

Vanderbilt University will incorporate the job categories (JCAT) system to enhance existing job codes. Vanderbilt will be able to utilize cross-campus information to support institutional decision making and to improve the way we analyze data.

Taleo Recruiting and Onboarding

We are re-implementing Taleo with a focus on the university’s hiring needs. This new implementation of Taleo will focus on supporting Vanderbilt’s core academic mission. Additionally, Taleo will include feature enhancements that are intended to streamline current new-hire onboarding processes. Data will be fed to Oracle Cloud’s Core HR reducing duplicate data entry requirements. The data displayed to hiring managers in the system will be simplified and filtered to relevant positions (e.g., those tied to the work unit of a requisition). The intended result is a cleaner, easier-to-navigate user experience that will send information into Oracle Cloud.

A Consistent Benefits Experience

Oracle Cloud is not changing everything. The employee experience for benefit elections and open enrollment will remain as it is today, with Benefit Express continuing to host Vanderbilt’s health and wellness enrollment portal for employees.

Monday, Oct. 3, 2016: SkyVU community engagement survey results to inform future communications, trainings

In August, the SkyVU team launched its first community engagement survey in order to gain insight into the Vanderbilt community’s perception and understanding of the project. The team will use the survey’s results to instruct future communications and trainings.

The survey contained seven questions and was emailed to 2,600 individuals who met the following two qualifications: 1) active users in many of the systems that SkyVU will replace and 2) active users within the past 60 days. The response rate of active users was 22 percent—producing informative feedback and results. The team offered a $50 Amazon gift card as an incentive for submitting a survey. (The winner of the gift card drawing is pictured below the results portion.)

The survey yielded results (outlined below) that the team will use to craft training plans and other communications:

1. When asked “What is your greatest concern related to the SkyVU implementation?”, the most common responses included:

  • Training
  • Knowing which systems will be replaced
  • How to work in the new systems

Other responses are included in the following word map:

survey concerns

2. The chart below details results to five of the survey questions. The average scores of the surveyed population are based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating that the population strongly agreed with the statement and 5 indicating that the populations strongly disagreed with the statement.

survey feedback

3. The word map below outlines the systems accessed most often by the population surveyed. The most highly frequented application is C2HR.

systems used survey

The SkyVU team is dedicated to ensuring that everyone is successful in the new system next summer. Thank you to those who submitted a survey! We look forward to using this data to help our campus community navigate this exciting change.

The SkyVU team plans to send out another community engagement survey in the coming months. If you would like to receive a survey, please email

The winner of the $50 Amazon gift card was Julie Canada! Julie is a grants/office manager for the Multiscale Modeling and Simulation (MuMS) Office within the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt. Congratulations, Julie!

survey winner

Monday, Sept. 19, 2016: Upcoming changes to financial items

As the SkyVU project continues to ramp up in preparation for implementation on Jan. 1, 2018, changes to our general ledger, asset management, procurement processes and other financial items will impact the way many Vanderbilt employees perform daily duties. The list below provides a quick overview of various changes impacting major financial items in order to familiarize you with the conceptual modifications to take effect next summer.

Our team is here to support you through this upcoming transition and is committed to helping each Vanderbilt team member be successful. The SkyVU Change Management team will broadcast change impacts through various communications in the next ten months. Robust training options will also be available.

For more information, please email


General Ledger: Once SkyVU is implemented, employees will no longer use a center number and account to record financial data. The general ledger will hold primarily summary transaction information, with details available in dedicated sub-ledgers. A new chart of accounts has been designed to record the financial impact of transactions. This new chart of accounts will be comprised of nine distinct segments, each with a dedicated set of values. Although not all segment values will be mandatory, each segment will capture a different characteristic of the transaction. This "matrix" style will minimize maintenance and provide increased flexibility and reporting accuracy. As an added bonus, users will no longer need to memorize segment values as system functionality allows users to search and select values for each of the segment fields. For additional information, see our web resource here.

Assets: SkyVU’s new Asset Management sub-ledger will track fixed asset information and generate related journals. Asset depreciation will be charged to designated financial units (generally reflective of operational departments) based on ownership of the asset, a change from today where depreciation is charged as a school/divisional level. Areas will have visibility into asset costs and related depreciation through reporting available in Asset Management.

Procurement: The SkyVU project will change Vanderbilt’s procurement process and replace the existing eProcurement system with additional functionality (while retaining existing suppliers). The new system brings enhancements that reflect the day-to-day purchasing needs of our users. One such improvement is that department users will now have the ability to initiate a change order from the requisition—replacing the current non-system, email-based business process. Likewise, the current system and process lack the ability to “receive” items; but with SkyVU, users will be able to acknowledge receipt of certain goods and services prior to initiating supplier payment. NOTE: Receiving will only be used in certain high value transactions of services and will not interfere with ordinary transactions in Vanderbilt’s eMarketplace.

Expenses: Submission of expenses for reimbursement—whether travel or non-travel—will be performed in SkyVU. (Travelers will continue to book travel using the existing Concur system.) Upon implementation, mobile devices can be used to create and approve expense reports. Additionally, department approvers can approve or reject an expense report directly from the generated email, which will include all relevant expense detail. Approvals for expense reports will focus on financial unit owners as opposed to HR approvals used today in the Concur reimbursement workflow.

Suppliers: In an effort to expedite the procure-to-pay process, suppliers (through a dedicated supplier portal) will receive purchase orders and post invoices. This functionality reduces order-to-delivery times and enables the supplier to track the progress of requested payments, minimizing calls to the department and central offices.

Grants: In SkyVU, post-award grant financial management will be handled in a dedicated sub-ledger using system-generated project numbers, instead of in the general ledger. Sub-ledger expenditure types for each project will map to GL accounts and provide focused and promising grant reporting capabilities.

Monday, Sept. 5, 2016: Previewing Vanderbilt’s new chart of accounts and organizational structure



An essential element of Vanderbilt's financial applications is the chart of accounts, which is the structure we use to capture the financial information about our transactions. When we implement SkyVU in January 2018, we will begin using a new chart of accounts that will replace the center and account numbers we use in our applications today. In addition, we will be introducing a new organizational structure that will replace the current home department structure.

Leaders throughout Vanderbilt have been working together over the last several months to develop the new chart of accounts and organizational structure, and we are excited to share this preview with you.

Visit the chart of accounts page on the SkyVU website to access the following resources:

  • An interactive video introducing the new chart of accounts and organizational structure featuring Dalana Robertson, assistant vice chancellor and controller;
  • Descriptions and examples of the new chart of accounts segments; and
  • Questions and answers about the upcoming changes.

We will provide more detailed training and resources for how to use the new chart of accounts and organizational structure as we approach the implementation date of January 1, 2018.

Please visit the SkyVU website or contact the SkyVU Project Team at to learn more about this important initiative.

Monday, Aug. 22, 2016: SkyVU's Change Network

Come January 1, 2018, the way Vanderbilt completes most business tasks will change. This change will affect all members of our campus community. We have a team dedicated to change management to guarantee that you receive the right training at the right time for the applications you use.

The SkyVU Change Management Team is working diligently to ensure that our campus community learns about the changes in ways that best capture our campus culture and communication styles while following change management best practices.

What is the SkyVU Change Management Team?
Change management is a series of activities that kick start individual transitions to deliver organizational results. This series of activities touch communications, training, business strategy, organizational development, risk management, leadership development and human resources management. By using change management strategies, we can reap the benefits of the business changes faster and with less risk to the organization.

The SkyVU Change Management Team is passionate about helping the university navigate this upcoming change seamlessly by engaging in a continuous feedback loop with the community. A key part of this feedback loop includes education about upcoming changes. By engaging the broader campus community through several avenues, we are working together to educate the campus community about the upcoming changes. One of these avenues includes the Change Network.

The Change Network
In order to reach all areas of our dynamic campus community, we have engaged a Change Network—a network of individuals from across the university who play key roles in the education component by talking with their employees about SkyVU and its upcoming changes.

The Change Network comprises:

  • Change Champions: Individuals representing areas all across campus who have wide influence, enable change and are actively engaged in communicating with their areas about the SkyVU changes
  • Change Agents (coming Fall 2016): Individuals representing areas all across campus who specialize in local influence, are advocates of change and provide direct feedback

SkyVU Change Champions and Change Agents engage in a feedback loop with the SkyVU team to assure that information is being disseminated appropriately and that, as a team, we are blanketing campus with the news of the SkyVU changes. The role of the Change Champions includes awareness building, organizing support of the change and providing input to the SkyVU Change Management team with ways to better reach the campus community. As the project unfolds, the Change Network will continue working with the SkyVU team to recommend training strategies, provide training feedback and test training plans.

We encourage you to acquaint yourself with the Change Network member in your area and to utilize this network when communicating upcoming changes to your teams. As you get to know your Change Network representative, share your team’s preferred communication and learning styles—this will make your education as successful as possible.

To learn more, contact the SkyVU Project Team at

Monday, Aug. 8, 2016: 10 Questions with SkyVU’s Program Director Nicole Oeser

Welcome back to the second installment of the SkyVU blog! Last week, we sat down with Program Director Nicole Oeser to learn more about SkyVU, including where the name “SkyVU” came from, the most impactful changes to come next summer and what it is like to lead a change initiative.

If you have other questions, please email

If you were to describe SkyVU in one sentence, what would you say?

Oeser:SkyVU is a fabulous opportunity for Vanderbilt University to be supported by modern business processes and systems!

How has the SkyVU project evolved since Day 1?

Oeser:We have built and continue to evolve an amazing team of people who are so passionate about the work we are doing together.

What excites you the most about leading the project team?

Oeser:I am genuinely excited about the change we are charged with effecting and how it will help Vanderbilt be more efficient in its administrative processes.

How did the name “SkyVU” originate?

Oeser: We held a contest and received so many great entries. It was a tough choice so we (including the Executive Steering Committee) decided to combine a few of the ideas and came up with SkyVU— the sky’s the limit! It seems pretty fitting for this enormous initiative!

What is most challenging part about the project?

Oeser:We have so many work streams occurring simultaneously, and we all want to ensure that everyone is heard and quality work is produced. So only having 24 hours in a day can be a challenge!

How do you coordinate so many people working on so many different work streams?

Oeser:Lots of teamwork and humor! Our weekly meeting among the ten major work streams and various sub-streams has become a speed round of updates in under an hour that has been dubbed “The Weather Report at SkyVU.” It’s good to laugh!

What do you think will be the most visible change once SkyVU goes live?

Oeser:Logging into one place for all of your departmental and personal HR, Finance, Grants Accounting, and Data and Reporting needs!

What experience prepared you most for serving as program director for the SkyVU project?

Oeser:I’ve had years of experience doing business process and systems-related work at Vanderbilt, and I’ve formed strong relationships with so many great colleagues. Before coming to Vanderbilt, I was a “Big-Six” auditor/tax accountant always on a tight deadline. This, along with being the daughter of an amazing entrepreneur, makes this the perfect fit for me!

What advice would you offer as the university embraces this change?

Oeser:Be open to new ways of doing things and enjoy the ride. It will be a challenge but so much more exciting than business as usual!

What is the most rewarding part of your role on the SkyVU project?

Oeser:I love seeing us conquer so much work so quickly. The support from our leadership at all levels makes this possible, and I’m so excited to be a part of this history in the making!


Monday, July 25, 2016: Welcome to the SkyVU Blog!

Welcome to the SkyVU Blog— a place you can come to learn more about the latest happenings on the project! Updates will be posted every two weeks, and MyVU will feature a link to this blog in the “Take Note” section whenever a new post publishes.

To get you up to speed, SkyVU team members started working on the project in February 2016. Since then, the teams have made significant progress preparing for implementation in summer 2017. The SkyVU project team has been meeting with key business areas and business officers from schools and divisions to understand the new processes and Oracle Cloud functionality. We are working closely with Huron Consulting and Oracle Consulting Services to ensure a successful implementation next summer.

Stay tuned for future blog posts regarding special updates, introductions to SkyVU programs like the Change Network, and Q&A sessions with key SkyVU team members.