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Sponsored Programs Update: Why We’ve Chosen to Implement a Brand-New InfoEd Module

Winter sunrise at the Belltower. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

We’ll be one of the very first InfoEd clients to implement its brand-new sponsored programs module — Post-Award Management (PAM). 

“We’re optimistic this is going to pay good dividends for NC State. We’ve had an opportunity with InfoEd to contribute to the development before it’s released to their other clients,” says Sherrie Settle, associate vice chancellor of sponsored programs and regulatory compliance and a member of the ERA project Steering Team. “And that’s what we’ve been doing since summer.”

Instead of going with InfoEd’s Award Tracking (AT) module, as originally planned, NC State will be implementing PAM in conjunction with the Proposal Tracking (PT) module to replace RADAR. This decision was based solely on our commitment to delivering a product that meets the requirements needed — and that we agreed to deliver. It’s not a matter of scope creep or lusting after the latest bells and whistles. 

PAM: What It Is and Why We Went This Route

As the preliminary stages of user acceptance testing began with the previous AT and Financial Tracking (FT) modules, the cumulative cost of inefficiencies in managing each project across PT, AT and FT became obvious. 

“Information had to be entered or actions had to be taken multiple times to get the data integrity you would want to see,” Settle says.

In discussing our concerns with the vendor, we were introduced to their planned PAM module (which replaces the AT and FT modules) and invited to consider it as a solution.

PAM’s functionality will eliminate this duplication of effort by pulling data automatically from PT, which will essentially become a container of project information from PINS initially, then from the RED Proposal Development module.

Beyond streamlining award processing efforts, the new PAM module provides mechanisms for better quality control for data, as well as a new and better paradigm for future integrations with our financial systems. PAM really is a next-generation product from InfoEd — and NC State has had an opportunity to influence its development through early adoption to be sure that it meets our needs.   

Implications on Project Timeline

While this decision did extend the length of our implementation timeline, we by no means had to start from square one. With requirements gathering and business process mapping already out of the way, once we got our hands on PAM, it was merely a matter of determining exactly how those requirements will be met and how those processes will be performed in PAM.

We plan to begin user acceptance testing with PAM later this spring semester. Our internal timeline has re-stabilized and we’ll be posting an updated version of our timeline graphic soon.