Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Management Reporting Project 
265 Massachusetts Ave. 
Office N52-473 
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 

SAP Rollout98

Milestone 1: Status and Departmental Education (March 25–April 14)

The first milestone consists of a series of status report sessions, designed to familiarize the community with the plan for the rollout, and the preparation work that will be required. These sessions were followed by a series of  “concept workshops,” held to provide more detailed information on MIT’s SAP financial architecture; the MIT reporting strategy; purchasing with SAP; and the setup of a department’s requisition approval process.

Milestone 2: Extended Reporting (May 18–July 15)

On May 18, training will start for the Milestone 2 reporting-related SAP functions. These reporting functions will supplement the reporting capabilities that were part of the “Phase 1” rollout last fall. Tasks included in this group are running new SAP reports; reserving funds for future anticipated expenditures; and creating a departmental budget plan. Some of these tasks require special authorizations.

Reports using SAP’s Executive Information System (EIS) will also be made available to users authorized by their departments. EIS can be thought of as a collection of multi-dimensional dedicated databases called “information cubes.” EIS databases can be designed to cover virtually any kind of management reporting at MIT. Individual EIS databases, known as “aspects,” collect information from various MIT sources, with the aim of presenting managers with a reporting view of a group; a department, lab or center; a School; or the entire Institute.

Milestone 2 reporting training will continue through July 15, and then will be offered on a periodic basis.

Beginning in Milestone 2, the Computing Help Desk will begin to provide first line triage of business questions, in addition to their current support for technical problems. A special email address ( has been set up to handle SAP questions.


Milestone 3: Phased Offerings (March 15–August 31)

(Note: Will be rolled out when ready, and as requested)

Milestone 3 includes six efforts that are to be rolled between now and August 31. Because each has relatively few interdependencies with other SAP projects, it is possible for each to have a separate rollout plan for user training and for introduction to the MIT community. These tools are the MIT VIP Credit Card; the MIT Data Warehouse; an enhanced version of ECAT (Electronic Catalog) for the partner vendor NECX; and SAP electronic journal vouchers. They will be available on a rolling schedule between now and August 31. After August 31, they will be incorporated into the Milestone 4 training and delivery schedule.

In order to accomplish the Institute’s 1998 fiscal year-end goals, SAP electronic journal vouchers will be used for the closing. The cutoff for paper journal vouchers will be June 24. SAP will be used for all journal vouchers after this date and in subsequent fiscal years. The use of SAP for closing journal vouchers will dramatically speed up the closing time.

During Milestone 3, authorization to create journal vouchers and manual reservations will be given to SAP users who have authorization to display account summary and detailed transaction reports. This authorization scheme will be reconsidered prior to the beginning of Milestone 4.

Training for SAP journal vouchers will be available in a demo format during April. No registration is required for the demo classes. The training schedule can be seen on the SAP Training Web page at: <>.

The MIT VIP Card is a new tool developed for the MIT community to help streamline the procurement and payment process for small dollar purchases. There are two separate functions associated with the VIP Card. The first function is the Cardholder who will use the card to make small dollar purchases. The second is the Verifier who will be the department person(s) who will verify, reallocate and post the charges as warranted.

The Cardholder will not need any training or knowledge of SAP to use the Card, but will be required to attend a one-hour Cardholder training session before receiving their card. Once training has been completed, the VIP Card may be used to purchase authorized goods and services up to $500 per transaction. (This limit is currently under review and may be increased at some point in the future.) The use of the VIP Card should eliminate the need for many requisitions, purchase orders, blanket orders, DAPO’s, Request for Payments (reimbursements) and petty case transactions.

The Verifier will reallocate and post credit card charges in SAP. They will need SAP access to perform a function similar to the current SAP journal voucher process. The verifier will also be required to attend a one-hour training session.

The ECAT project has been operational since March 1997 for three large volume partner vendors. Goods may be purchased from Office Depot, VWR Scientific and BOC Gases by simply pointing and clicking on Web-based catalogs. The enhanced version of ECAT that will initially be used for NECX is due for full user rollout in May. It will allow purchasing of computers and computer-related supplies from NECX via the Web.

The MIT data warehouse has been developed to act as a single read-only data repository for SAP and other MIT systems, such as the Student Information, Proposal, and Personnel systems. It will allow users to do “cross-system” reporting and download data to departmental databases.


Milestone 4: Procurement (September 1–December 31)

Starting in September, authorized users will be able to use the SAP and Web-based purchasing capability in Milestone 4. Once in SAP, they will have a rich set of requisitioning functions for both internal and external suppliers, complete with routing and approval capabilities. Streamlined approval processes will be used to facilitate requisition approval by MIT central departments such as the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Safety Office.

Occasional requisitioners, like graduate students, may opt to utilize the simplified SAPWeb purchasing functions to create, route for approval, and display requisitions, as well as to look up the status of purchase orders and vendor payments.

Also included in this milestone are salary planning and commitment capabilities, which will be available through the use of the MIT-developed Labor Distribution System (LDS). LDS, which appears as a menu choice within SAP, will provide a consistent tool for MIT departments, labs, and centers to analyze and manage labor and related effort costs. Authorized LDS users will be able to record current and future salary commitments by cost object; track and report labor costs and effort distribution, including vacation and change in hours, for current and upcoming appointments; view actual and committed salary detail by person; and view distributions by person within a cost object.

Training for Milestone 4 will be given from September through December 1998.


A team of "School Coordinators, " who report jointly to Management Reporting and the Provost's Office, will work extensively with departments, labs and centers to prepare for Milestone 4. It is their goal to help you finish the preparation work by September 1. They will provide assistance as you:

Last updated April 6, 1998 by Robert Murray (