UA Travel Project Overview
The university is doing a comprehensive reexamination of our travel program with the goal of streamlining our processes, making them more user friendly, creating a process that will allow us to access airfare, lodging, and transportation discounts to save UA money, and improve our travel reporting capability.
The project includes process improvement, policy and regulation updates, replacing the failing Travel and Expense Management (TEM) system and implementing a travel booking tool in relationship with a travel management company.
The project will include a variety of participants throughout the UA system. We are tentatively targeting July through September 2018 for implementation rollout.
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What is the new UA Travel Card?
The university will be introducing a new UA paid Travel Card as part of the UA travel process improvement implementation. This card will be issued to employees that travel on university business and to travel coordinators. The use of this card will reduce the monetary burden to the traveler, streamline administrative processes, reduce hotel/lodging and airfare costs, and increase reporting capabilities.
The new travel process, including the Concur application suite and the new UA Travel Card, will be rolled out together over the next 8 months in a staggered implementation. As your department starts training to use the new travel process, you will learn more about how to apply for the UA Travel Card.
Check out the following links for more card information:
How is Concur Being Rolled Out?
The university is scheduled to roll out the system incrementally rather than all-at-once. After the university completes the steps to make the system production-ready, a very small set of pilot users representing all campuses and statewide will have initial access to the production system.
|Status||Travel Project Activity||Projected Completion|
|Complete||Contract with Concur was finalized||Done|
|Complete||Formed project implementation and focus groups||Done|
|On-Going||Project implementation and focus groups meetings||On-Going|
|In-Process||Define improved business process and rewrite policy and regulations based on travel project group recommendations||Sept 2018|
|In-Process||System configuration and integration, testing, and technical training||Sept 2018|
|Upcoming||Travel Card Program Testing||Sept 2018|
|Upcoming||Concur Testing - Implementation Group||Oct 2018|
|Upcoming||Concur Testing – Focus Group||Oct 2018|
|Upcoming||Identify Pilot Participation – Pilot departments will be identified by each main campus and statewide||Oct 2018|
|Upcoming||Rollout of updated travel policy and regulations||Oct 2018|
|Upcoming||Unit Travel Coordinators - Training and implement travel booking tool and expense tool||Nov 2018|
|Upcoming||Pilot – Training and implement travel booking tool and expense tool with the pilot departments||Nov 2018 through Jan 2019|
|Upcoming||All Users – Concur training and phased implementation for use of travel booking tool and expense tool. Travel booked by users before moving over to Concur will be completed through the original process.||Jan 2019 through Mar 2019|
|Upcoming||All Users - Training Sessions||On-going|
Project Status as of August 30, 2018
In May 2017, a University of Alaska Travel and Expense Program assessment was conducted by Huron Consultants. They completed interviews with key stakeholders, representing staff and faculty from across the three main campus units, to assess the current travel program and identify optimization and enhancement opportunities.
Key findings and observations:
- The current university travel system is no longer sustainable from a technological perspective, and must be replaced. Upgrades and enhancements are no longer supported by Banner (Ellucian), and must be replaced to avoid the risks of trying to maintain it without the ability to upgrade.
- Travel policies, processes and procedures need to be streamlined to create the best overall experience for travelers, department/unit administrators and the institution.
- The system does not meet all of the needs of University of Alaska business travelers. It provides expense reimbursement but no support for travel planning or tools for the traveler’s convenience.
Over 150 key stakeholders engaged in the needs assessment, analysis and selection of Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur), or implementation processes.
The new Concur travel program serves a variety of needs. The convenience of streamlined booking, recording expenses, and reimbursement, as well as mobile apps to support them, were incentives for choosing Concur over other options. It also integrates well with third-party travel vendors.
Project Implementation Groups
Implementation Group - This group is responsible for all facets of the implementation, creating and establishing the project communication plan, defining the business process flow, proposing ideas of how best to utilize Concur, system configuration, proposing regulation changes, and thorough testing. This group will vet these ideas through the Focus Group.
Focus Group – This group is comprised of 28 members who are responsible for reviewing proposals submitted by the Implementation Group, providing feedback to and advising the Implementation Group, and some testing. This is a diverse group representing various aspects of the UA travel stakeholders.
Oversight Group - These leadership group members are project champions responsible for setting goals and making decisions based on the other project groups’ recommendations and the university’s strategic goals.
Detailed listing of project group members.