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Vol 1 Issue 1 June 2015

posted Jun 15, 2015, 2:50 AM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 2:39 AM ]
Biannual newsletter for the One corporate system (OCS)

Letter from OCS Steering Committee

We are excited to launch our first newsletter, which is specifically designed to share experiences of the CGIAR centres participating in the One Corporate System (OCS) initiative. We plan to keep you updated on the progress of OCS through our bi-annual newsletters. The focus is directed towards you; the scientist, administrator, student and how the system can work for you, your success stories and the future plans that we have in store for OCS.
We want this newsletter to be valuable to you so please don’t hesitateto share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve.

One Corporate System

How it all started

Did you know that the concept of more integrated business systems of CGIAR Centres were proposed as far back as October 1999? The current proposal started to take shape in the form of the One Corporate System when in 2008 a culmination of drivers, including the replacement of outdated, unsupported, noncompliant or expensive systems,led several CGIAR Centres to investigate the option of a new corporate business system.

With an urgent need for change in some cases, the Corporate Service Executives saw the potential benefits and added efficiencies from working together to implement the One Corporate System (OCS). Read More.

The OCS Project.

The One Corporate System project was jump-started with 10 members signing the agreement to implement Unit4 Business World software from UNIT4.The implementation was to be rolled out in three phases. CIP, IRRI and WorldFish in the first phase, the Consortium Office, AfricaRice and ICARDA in phase 2 and Bioversity, ICRAF, ILRI and CIAT in phase 3. Read More.

OCS Success Stories

OCS at IRRI: Gone live but the work is not done

About 18 months after implementation, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) OCS team continues to improve processes, making business transactions simpler, faster and ensuring that project information is more accessible across the organization and other Centres.
“We must be able to monitor our expenses in real time. OCS is a tool that can do just that,” noted IRRI’s Director General Robert Zeigler. “We don’t want to go back to the old, fragmented systems,” he adds. “OCS gives us something to build on, toward an even more responsive and flexible system.” Read More.

CIP’s Journey

International Potato Center (CIP) has been live with OCS for more than 20 months that have been full of interesting challenges and encouraging results. From the initial apprehension of transitioning to a new system to realizing the benefits of a central repository for key operational information followed by a major upgrade to Milestone 4 that has received positive reviews, OCS has proven itself to be a rewarding experience. Read More.

The Alexander Sapega Story; OCS Bioversity International

The G41-42 room is spilling over with anxious HQ staff, as well as Heads of Corporate Services and Human Resources. Alexander Sapega marks the highly anticipated moment; with the help of the OCS project team, he logs into Agresso.
“I didn’t feel nervous, because Dario Valori, the IT Manager & OCS Project Manager, and the project team were there,” says Sapega. “For me the entry was simple and natural.” Read More.

OCS Operational Support Unit

The Operational Support Unit (OSU) was created to manage the common OCS hosting environment, the contracts and otherOCS administrative tasks. It’s role quickly expanded to include allcommon aspects of the OCS project including providing application support, facilitating information sharing between Centres and coordinating the design and development of future improvements to the system. A 5-year business plan has been developed that will guide the future initiatives of the project with support from OSU. Read More.

From the Team: Employee spotlight

Ian Moore.
Head of OCS Operational Support Unit (OSU)

Can you tell us which quick-wins OCS has brought to the Centres who 
are already using it?
As an ERP it incorporates Finance, HR, Logistics and Research Management functions that were previously managed through separate systems. This integration allows Centres to
move away from the functional silos that had been built, and they are now improving their workflows and processes to take advantage of this integration leading to more efficiency, faster processing and more
accuracy in their work.
Read More.

Center Updates


The Budgeting and Forecasting versions have been completed and implemented on OCS. The module will enable the Centre to lock away and report on originally approved budgets at the start of the year and to dynamically report on how much is expected and spent
against each budget at the end of the year. Read More.

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
CIAT began 2015 with the good news that the Unit4 Business World platform was officially launched on 5th January. The uncertainties associated with such an important event are gradually being resolved, while already yielding significant benefits for the Centre in Human Resource Management and Travel Modules which will correspond with the needs of the regions, and provide new training schedules. Read More.

ICRAF goes live in Nairobi

On 31st March 2015, ICRAF Nairobi was awash with bright green and orange, the official colours of the One Corporate System. Screens throughout the campus were lit with OCS messages. ICRAF was finally going live after years of hard work. Read More.

To read more in this issue. Find the full copy in high resolution here.

  • Letter from the OCS steering committee
  • One Corporate System
  • OCS success stories
  • Editor’s pick: Five posts you should read this quarter.
  • OCS Operational Support Unit
  • From the team: Employee spotlight
  • Press releases
  • Pictorial