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Contributed by Shelli Mekos on 04/24/2013
Submitted on behalf of Vice President Carl Sgrecci
In the Fall of 2011 Financial Services formed a project team to explore alternatives that would replace the current manual system for creation and processing of Travel Authorization and Travel Expense Report Forms with an automated Travel Expense Management system. We also recognized the need to explore alternatives to the College’s current travel booking solution provided by Travel Guard Chartis.
Upon completion of the evaluation process, the Financial Services project team identified Orbitz for Business as the vendor to provide web-based and agent assisted Travel Booking services and ExpenseAnywhere as the vendor to provide web-based Travel Expense Management services including Travel Authorization and Travel Expense Report Form preparation and approval. Near the completion of this evaluation process, the Huron Group began its’ Effectiveness and Affordability Review of College processes. Huron evaluated the College’s current travel processes and made specific recommendations in their findings, which supported the Financial Services project team recommendations. We therefore moved forward with successful contract negotiations with both Orbitz for Business and ExpenseAnywhere to bring their respective solutions to Ithaca College.
After reviewing complexities and dependencies, and with a goal of providing cost and efficiency savings to the college as quickly as possible, it was determined that the Orbitz for Business solution would be the first to be implemented. Financial Services is therefore pleased to announce that the Orbitz for Business implementation has progressed to the point where we have invited a select group of faculty and staff to participate in a pilot project designed to utilize the Orbitz for Business solution and provide feedback on the usefulness and effectiveness of this application. The feedback that we receive from the pilot team will be used to make adjustments to the Orbitz for Business website as well as to determine when Orbitz for Business might be made available to all Ithaca College faculty and staff.
The College’s Institutional Effectiveness and Budget Committee (IEBC) is currently reviewing all of the Huron Group’s recommendations, including their recommendation to centralize travel program management. This includes whether or not use of a centralized travel management system will be required by all employees when traveling on college business.
Even though we have concentrated significant efforts on moving forward with the Orbitz for Business solution, Financial Services is also actively engaged in discussions with ExpenseAnywhere to fully define the scope of work, resources and timeline required to deliver the functionality provided by their application to the college.