Today (August 28) at 5pm, the current EREQ and VAPS systems (Accounts Payable and Purchasing) will be shut down for conversion to SAP, MIT's new financial system.
According to a memo sent to all campus employees by Senior Vice President William R. Dickson, it is anticipated that on September 3, both SAP and EREQ will be turned on and the VAPS system eliminated. From this point onward, EREQ functionality will be changed, with the current query capabilities eliminated. However, the limit on Department Awarded Purchase Orders (DAPOs) will be raised from the current threshold of $1,000 to $2,500, allowing requisitioners to apply the DAPO process to more orders.
During the conversion period, the processing of requisitions, purchase orders and checks for both travel and invoices normally done on these machines will be curtailed. Requisitions submitted to the Purchasing Office after the conversion process has begun will be held and not processed until the SAP system is on-line-a total of two business days. Although limited manual processes for emergency orders and checks will be available during the conversion period, Mr. Dickson said he hopes that the community will minimize the use of these manual processes.
Once the conversion is complete, users will be able to use EREQ to create requisitions and DAPOs as usual. While DAPOs will still receive a purchase order number immediately, the purchase order number assigned to an EREQ will not be visible in the EREQ system. EREQ users can call Purchasing at x3-7241 for the p.o. number. The orders will routinely be available within four hours, and in many cases, much sooner than that.
SUMMIT and the CAO application will be fully functional until the entire Institute is converted to SAP. That conversion, known as Release 2, will happen in stages, a few departments at time. The goal is to have the entire Institute converted to SAP by June 30, 1997.
"Many changes have taken place this summer, and the staff of the Comptroller's Accounting Office, Purchasing, the Management Reporting team, and other central offices have worked diligently to ensure a successful transition." Mr. Dickson's memo said. "However, as with any major change-and this is major-there will be some difficulties that need to be resolved once SAP R/3 is in production."
More information about changes to the accounting statements will be provided in September. Mr. Dickson's memo ended by asking that members of the community be patient during the transition period and that they give the central financial offices an opportunity to address the conversion issues which come up during the first month under the new system.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 28, 1996.