What Does Legacy stand for?
Legacy is a term that refers to an outdated and unsupported software system. In LAUSD, IFS is our legacy system.
Why is the District doing this?
We continue to rely on an aging system for accounting and purchasing called the Integrated Financial System (IFS). The IFS runs on aging equipment with outdated software, neither of which is supported by the original manufacturers. Not only does this mean slow and inconsistent performance and an outdated user interface (look and feel of the screens), it also creates serious risk of loss of financial data and accounting errors each day it continues to operate. In order to protect the District from continued risk—as well as alleviate burden on school and office sites for accounting and purchasing—the Board of Education authorized investment in a modernized system that runs on Systems Applications and Products (SAP) software.
This sounds expensive. How is the District funding this while we’re in a budget crisis?
Recognizing the urgency of replacing a 20-year-old system, the Board of Education approved a project budget that was part of a major capital plan that included not only the LRP but numerous other technological and facilities updates of which the District was in dire need (e.g., school cafeteria equipment replacements, bus replacements, and solar panel installations). Very strict funding criteria were put in place to ensure that investments could be made in ways that provide relief to the General Fund, qualify for Measure Q bond funds, improve efficiencies and reduce operational costs, and minimize risks of critical system failures.
It is important to recognize that by running more efficiently, the District's new accounting and purchasing system will save millions of dollars in resources annually. So, over time, the LRP will actually save a great deal more money than if we continued to rely on IFS.
How will this affect me?
Depending on the position that you hold, you may not notice any changes at all. Employees who are responsible for making purchases or have responsibilities relating to budget will be directly impacted.
What will happen to IFS?
Upon the completed implementation of the LRP project, SAP will replace IFS. IFS will no longer be the System of Financial Record for LAUSD.
Will all schools and offices start using SAP at the same time?
No, this will be a phased roll-out in order to provide timely training and preparation for the transition to SAP and to minimize the impact to our schools.
Why Can’t We Just Keep Using IFS?
We know from experience that the typical lifespan of enterprise software is about nine years before it is in need of replacement. The current system—IFS—has been in place in LAUSD since the 1990s. The system is now far beyond obsolete and putting the District at risk of costly financial errors. It is only a matter of time before the system fails completely resulting in catastrophic disruption in District operations. The system must be replaced with a modern solution as quickly as possible.
How will this affect my school?
Depending on the various roles employees play, some will not notice any change at all. Others who are heavily involved in purchasing and accounting, however, will notice major changes in how they do their work; in fact, it will get much easier. For example, rather than having to memorize tons of codes and funding lines, employees will be able to purchase products using a “shopping cart” feature as if they were using a service like Amazon.com.
Of course we realize that employees will need to be prepared for the changes, and—not to worry—plenty of training is part of the plan. As more details in the rollout plan are determined, we will issue communications ahead of time so you know when your location will be affected and when trainings will be available and for whom.