spearmc client simon fraser university

2022 PeopleSoft Innovator.  Simon Fraser University, in conjunction with their partner SpearMC, modernized their research portfolio with PeopleSoft Grants Management, the first of a four-phase effort. Additionally, the team upgraded PeopleTools and deployed fluid homepages, WorkCentres, custom tiles, and pivot grids. There has been significant use of Page and Field Configurator and event mapping to tailor their system without invasive customizations.

About Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in British Columbia, Canada, with three campuses: Burnaby (main campus), Surrey, and Vancouver. SFU went live in February 2022 with PeopleSoft Grants Management. This project was the first phase of the four-phase Research Enterprise System (RES) Program. The RES Program was established in 2019 to support SFU’s strategic vision. It will improve the way SFU manages their approximately $150 million, and growing, research portfolio and reduce the administrative burden on faculty allowing researchers to focus on conducting research. The program will aspire to improve how research projects are supported throughout their research life cycle and improve service to researchers while controlling risk to the university.


SFU chose SpearMC Consulting as their PeopleSoft Grants implementation partner. At the start of the Phase 1 implementation, SpearMC provided SFU with PeopleSoft Grants Management project team training as well as training on “de-customizing” PeopleSoft using the latest PeopleTools features and PUM updates. The Phase 1 implementation of Grant Management utilized the following delivered tools to improve the user experience and reduce customizations:

  • Page and Field Configurator was utilized to make fields required or to relabel fields to more Canadian specific terms. For example, the CFDA field was relabeled to “Program / CFDA” since “CFDA” applies to US Federal awards while many large Canadian sponsors use the term “Programs.”
  • Page and Field Configurator to handle certain security requirements, such as hiding or disabling entry on specific pages with sensitive information.
  • Other new functionality like event mapping was used extensively to automate field defaults as well as entry of new data. Some examples of event mapping include turning on standard activities for a project regardless of project type, defaulting certain Journal Header values, defaulting certain ChartFields on the Grants Project Budget page, and automating the creation of SpeedCharts when setting a project to “open”.

As a part of the Phase 1 Grants project, we also expanded the use of WorkCentres and pivot grids to facilitate communication and handoffs between teams. Shortly before the Phase 1 project, SFU had upgraded their PeopleTools and rolled out fluid homepages with custom tiles. Since SFU users are used to accessing tasks and pages via WorkCentres, custom fluid WorkCentre tiles were created for each functional area (end user, AP, financial management, GL, procurement, and auditor.) For Phase 1, an additional Grants WorkCentre fluid tile was rolled out. The WorkCentre was configured using delivered configuration to include MyWork, Links, and Queries sections including an “Awards Ready for Activation” pivot grid which is used to hand off grants from the Research Services pre-award department to the Research Accounting post-award department.

It’s impressive what the SFU PeopleSoft team has accomplished! Not only have we adopted the latest features and functionality to “de-customize” our implementation, but we have also delivered tremendous value with the Phase 1 project by expanding payroll encumbrances. We are using the integration between PeopleSoft Payroll and PeopleSoft GL/Project Costing to create not only current year payroll encumbrances but also future year payroll encumbrances for research projects!

Oracle has recognized SpearMC for our specialization and deep expertise in their products. This success story was originally published on Oracle’s website as an example of how organizations are unlocking their potential with the help of our team and Oracle solutions.