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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul
MN
55102

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Sysoft eRFP FAQ

Sysoft eRFP System Frequently Asked Questions

  • These are the most critical or most frequently asked questions regarding SPPS implementation and use of the Sysoft eRFP.

    If your question is not here, please contact purchasing

Q & A - PURPOSE AND IMPLEMENTATION

  • What is the Sysoft eRFP Project?

    To support the Purchasing & Contract Services Department's goal of effectively and accurately capturing all agreements that SPPS enters into, we are implementing a system to provide for contract lifecycle management (CLM).  This system is a module in the Sysoft eRFP system that is currently in the process of being implemented for SPPS.  This system will allow for more effective creation, implementation, and management of various varieties of agreements that SPPS enters into with external parties.  This system will provide for a central repository of all agreements as well as powerful tools to manage the agreements for all staff.

  • What is scope of the project?

    SPPS will be implementing the full eRFP system in a two phase approach.  The first phase will consist of the contract lifecycle management portion of the system.  This will be utilized, in varying levels, by a wide variety of staff in SPPS.  The second phase of the project will be involve the electronic solicitation portion of the system.  This will be mostly utilized by the Purchasing Department in the publishing and managing solicitation by SPPS.

    SPPS has not implemented a dedicated system for managing contracts, nor the process of electronic solicitations.  To date PeopleSoft Financials and other manual methods have been utilized as the system for these functions.  While this process has performed some level of effectiveness, the implementation of eRFP should prove to allow the District to make great strides in our ability to efficiently enter into contracts with outside entities and effectively hold solicitation events. 

  • What are the project timelines?

    The project officially began in late 2018. The new Sysoft eRFP system is scheduled to be rolled out in mid 2019.  Once rolled out, the use of PeopleSoft Financials for contract lifecycle management will be discontinued.

  • Who is the project manager?

    Jamie Atkins, manager of the Purchasing & Contract Services Department, is the project manager. Several other individuals from various departments including Legal, Facilities, and others have provided support and direction in the initial implementation discussions.

  • What is my role on the project?

    If you have any connection to agreements entered into by SPPS with outside entities you will be involved in some way with the eRFP system.  Those who negotiate and create agreements will use the system to start the process.  Those that review and approve agreements will use the system to work out terms and revisions to agreements as well as approve agreements to go forward.  Those that are looking for agreements will be allowed to search for and view agreements SPPS has entered into. 

  • How will I be impacted by the Sysoft eRFP implementation?

    The creation of contracts and agreements will migrate to the eRFP system swiftly following implementation.  Consulting contracts will be the initial template used in the system and additional agreement types will be added over time.  Those that create contracts will cease using the Word template currently in place and new agreements will be created in the system.  Vendor created agreements will also be utilized and captured in eRFP.  Submission of agreements will no longer take place in PeopleSoft Financials, rather completely in eRFP.  Staff that are involved in the review, revision, and approval of agreements will also perform those functions in eRFP.  Vendor review and acceptance will also be contained in the system.  Signatures will be done by electronic methods to do away with printing, signing, and scanning agreements as done in the past.  This shift should allow for increased velocity and efficiency in the contracting process both internally and externally.

  • How will I be trained to use the new Sysoft eRFP system?

    Initial training will be done in a sandbox (testing) environment prior to going live with the system.  Heavy users of the system will be trained by various methods by the Sysoft implementation team and project manager.  This will mainly be for members of the Purchasing, Legal, and Finance departments.  This will allow for testing to be done to system parameters to ensure smooth utilization of the system when fully implemented and live for SPPS.

    Those outside the heavy user group will follow.  The majority of this training will be done in person by the project manager at various locations around the District in small group and individual settings.  Those departments that enter into a majority of agreements will be the first to receive training.  Those that are more intermittent will be next.  As staff will have a varying need of training in the system, individual training is the best method to introduce a user to the system.  These hands on training sessions will likely be at department and school sites to allow for minimal disruption of daily functions for staff.  Following initial training there will be quick reference guides available on the www.spps.org/purchasing site as well as embedded videos in the system for later reference by users.

  • When will I be trained on how to use the Sysoft eRFP system?

    Training began in early March for heavy user SPPS staff. The majority of this training will likely be provided by the Sysoft implementation team.  The subsequent training will be performed by the project manager for those that are light users of the system.  This training for light users is expected to occur in mid to late March. 

  • What is the project go-live date?

    June 1, 2019.  This scheduled date could be adjusted pending results of testing and training of the system.

  • What will determine the access I have to Sysoft eRFP?

    Those that typically do not have the authority to revise contract language, or that will have limited exposure to the system, will be designated as light users of the system.  This access will give limited abilities in the system but will allow for creation and viewing of agreements.  Those that are responsible for actions such as revision of agreement language, approval workflow, and execution functions will be classified as heavy users.  Those users will have more functionality added to their access to eRFP.  As in any project of this nature, a top to bottom security review will take place to ensure separation of duties is recognized and that staff have the appropriate level of access commensurate with the job activities.

Q & A - USE OF THE SYSOFT ERFP SYSTEM

  • What will change in using the Sysoft eRFP system?

    All agreements enter into by SPPS will be contained in eRFP.  This will include creation and execution of all agreements.  No longer will staff be using contract templates to develop agreements.  Agreements will no longer be entered into PeopleSoft Financials to capture agreements.  Purchase orders will continue to be utilized in PeopleSoft for the payment vehicle for agreement expenditures.  These purchase orders will be created by Purchasing & Contract Services upon fully executing agreements in eRFP.

  • Will there be additional quick reference guides on the Sysoft eRFP system available after training?

    Yes, these will be located on the www.spps.org/purchasing site.  Staff will be required to log in and they will be located on the Contract Resources & Tools page.  This is the same page were the currently utilized Consultant Contract Template resides which will be removed when the eRFP system is live.  There will also be embedded videos in the system as references for staff to utilize.

  • Will the accounting codes I use now change with the implementation of Sysoft eRFP?

    No, the codes you currently input into PeopleSoft Financials on a requisition will be captured by eRFP and used to create the purchase order later by Purchasing & Contract Services. 

  • Will I have to submit contracts already executed in PeopleSoft into Sysoft eRFP?

    No, once we go live all agreements entered into after that point will be captured and processed in eRFP.  Previously entered agreements in PeopleSoft Financials will continue to be processed in that system.  All records in PeopleSoft Financials will continue to remain available as in past practice.  As older agreements end or need to be renewed, the subsequent agreements will be captured in eRFP.  For those that find the eRFP system to be a useful tool, they may want to migrate in old agreements into the system.  If you are in this situation, please work with the project manager to develop a plan to add these agreements into eRFP.

  • How will I log into Sysoft eRFP?

    Your AD user name (6 digits without the e) will be your user name for the system.  This will be used with a unique password of your choice as credentials for the system.    

  • Will I be able to access Sysoft eRFP remotely (offsite)?

    As eRFP is a web based system, it can be accessed from any browser using your log in credentials.

  • What will change with reports and workflow approvals?

    Workflow approvals previously done in PeopleSoft Financials will now be done in eRFP.  Those workflows will be very similar, but in eRFP will allow for more functionality related to agreements.  The workflow approval pathways will mimic those in PeopleSoft with additional levels for Legal and other departments involvement in the process.  Reporting in eRFP will be dependent on user levels.  Heavy users will have expanded options for reporting than light users will.  Reporting and workflow approvals can be discussed in the training sessions for users.

  • How do I prepare my department/site for this new system and any changes that may be coming?

    For many users, the process for creating and executing agreements will change dramatically with the implementation of eRFP.  The expectation is that this will not negatively impact the majority of users, rather offer a better environment that will lead to efficiencies and improvements in the contracting process.  This implementation will also help to drive more uniform processes for entering into agreements for the District.  The first step to this process it to be aware it is coming.  Please have discussions in your department or school as to who should be included in the training sessions. Please be inquisitive and ask questions about the process.  Please continue to familiarize yourself with the new information that is provided on the progress of the eRFP system by Purchasing & Contract Services.  More updates will be coming in the next few weeks as the implementation draws near.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions about the project?

    Feel free to reach out to the SPPS Project Manager, Jamie Atkins at 651-767-8289 or jamie.atkins@spps.org for any questions you have on eRFP or the implementation project.  

Last Modified on July 16, 2019