(note: this public comment was in regards to the proposed ERP vendor/project. Despite the serious concerns brought up by Ms. Robertson, the Board approved the project anyway.)
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about the ERP project.
I am very concerned about the Workday Payroll & Benefits cost projections, the source of the funding, hidden costs that have not been presented, risks associated with this project, and the inevitable additional costs that the district will face when a solution for Financials and Procurement is pursued in the near future.
My main concern is that this will lead to a lower amount of money that the district will pass to the neighborhood schools in the future.
You were provided with costs for Payroll and Benefits. There may be additional costs in the following areas for Payroll and Benefits.
1. $150,000 in travel costs from CedarCrestone. These costs were mentioned in the SOW. It does not look like they are included in the 2.2 million dollar estimate.
2. Mulesoft Consulting Expenses. This was also mentioned in the CedarCrestone contract. Is there an SOW for Mulesoft that provides this cost estimate?
3. Annual production support costs from CedarCrestone. You were provided with post-production subscription estimates from the company Workday, but you were not provided with post-production support estimates from CedarCrestone. The MSA with CedarCrestone should indicate if and how CedarCrestone will be involved post production support. The MSA was referenced in the agenda, but not attached. Also, is there a separate SOW for CedarCrestone production support?
4. Workday costs during implementation, you were provided with implementation estimates from CedarCrestone, but are there additional implementation estimates from the company Workday? Is there an SOW for Workday that provides this implementation cost estimate?
5. Additional DCSD internal costs to implement the project. Only $600,000 has been estimated, but additional funds will likely be needed to fulfill the DCSD roles and responsibilities that were stated as dependencies in the CedarCrestone contract.
In addition to the costs associated with Payroll and Benefits, it is inevitable that in the near future, you will be asked to approve contracts for several million additional dollars to pursue a solution for Financials and Procurement, because support is ending for these components as well.
The finance department should be able to provide cost estimates for these additional components because they were included on the RFP, and multiple vendors have submitted bids.
At this point, DCSD has stated that Workday does not have a Financials and Procurement solution that matches what is needed. Therefore, they may end up suggesting that Oracle be upgraded to the next version anyway, leaving DCSD with a hybrid of 2 ERP solutions. A hybrid solution will likely be the most expensive path.
With IT project management, there are success factors, and there are red flags. Hiding significant costs from stakeholders at the beginning of a project is a significant red flag. It is a big financial risk that will likely be mitigated with additional funding that comes from somewhere.
Please make sure that you have the answers to these questions, and that you’ve been presented with ALL of the project costs before providing your approval, so that you can be confident that you are making an informed decision.
Thank you again for your time.