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CGIAR OCS wins an award!

posted May 25, 2016, 1:50 AM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Jul 26, 2016, 2:33 AM ]

UNIT4 recognised 12 organisations for their implementation of UNIT4 products in 6 categories. CGIAR was nominated and came runner up to UNOPS in the category “Special Achievement”. OSU submitted an application at the request of Nick Gibson that was based on what the OCS project has achieved and the challenges faced. 

It was awarded in recognition of 10 independent, but allied, organisations showing that they could work together to implement a core client of the same product hosted in a single cloud location carried out in trying implementation circumstances. Either that or for CIP research on growing potatoes on Mars that received a mention during the award ceremony.

UNIT4 Advisory Council for non-profit organisations

posted May 25, 2016, 1:39 AM by Caroline Nzui

CGIAR attended the inaugural Advisory Council meeting for non-profit customers. UNIT4 has setup 4 Advisory councils based on vertical sectors of their customer base. The other councils are for Professional services, Public services and Education & Research. Five customers from a sector make up each advisory council. The other non-profit members are Action Contre La Faim (ACF), Norwegian Red Cross, Save the Children, The Salvation Army and UNOPS. The objective of the Advisory Council is to build a long term relationship between the customer and UNIT4 and establish a sounding board for the UNIT4 Business World solution and business development going forward. Members will provide ideas and strategic input into the future requirements of the sector and in return will receive early release of new versions for testing and to provide feedback.

At the first meeting we received more detailed insight into the changes made to all parts of UNIT4 and discussed new requirements and improvements to the product including: providing development tools and more information to speed implementation of updates and upgrades, provision of 24/7 support, new modules for grant management (UNIT4 are working on designs for Macmillan Cancer support) and fund raising (connectors to CRM products such as MS Dynamics and SalesForce) and more interactive feedback options for donor reporting by providing access to published reports, project photos and videos and other information that documents progress on a project.

The education sector discussed the requirement for a module related to or linking to research outputs such as publications and data which would also be useful to OCS members.

The next advisory council will be in 6 months’ time hosted by UNOPS with the option for virtual participation.

CGIAR relationship with UNIT4

posted May 25, 2016, 1:37 AM by Caroline Nzui

In the last 18 months UNIT4 has made huge organisational changes within the company. They have moved from country based silos to a global structure organised around products. CGIAR now has access to executives in the global structure and is no longer reliant on UNIT4 UK.

OCS Operational Support Unit (OSU) met with Paul Marriner, the Global Head of Non-Profit advisory and explained the challenges OCS members had in their relationship with UNIT4 during the implementation and with the issues that have been experienced during implementation and use of the product. As an initial starting point to repairing those relations and improving our current implementations UNIT4 have offered to carry out a review of the OCS implementation. The review will concentrate on features of the product where OCS members have indicated there are issues or that the product doesn’t provide the required features. These will include: commitment accounting and funds checking; travel; dashboards; missing workflow and the re-engineering of the Project and Agreement implementation that is preventing us from using new Project related features of Business World.

The review will start in May and will be carried out by Phil Beaumont, a very experienced global pre- sales consultant and a solution architect yet to be named. A report will be prepared for discussion at the next OCS Steering Committee in early June.

OSU Service Desk Launch

posted Sep 15, 2015, 11:59 PM by Caroline Nzui

The long awaited ServiceNow service desk system went live for OSU on Monday 14
th September 2015. It will now be easier to follow up on issues and view regular reports on pending tickets and service level attainments from the service desk.

ServiceNow is a cloud based solution that offers effective IT Service Management as per ITIL Best Practices. It’s process automation platform that can manage most aspects of ICT services from incident and problem management, change management and configuration management.

To log all issues and requests to “OCSSupport List” ocssupport@cgiar.org. All messages sent to this address will now be automatically logged in the system and assigned to an OSU Support person. The self-service module will be operational within a few weeks that can be used to log issues and requests online.

New Agresso User Group Forum

posted Feb 17, 2015, 4:22 AM by Caroline Nzui

The Agresso User Group have moved from Yahoo as  the main communication Chanel to a new Forum with over 400. CGIAR has renewed their membership with the Agresso User Group (AUG) for 2015 so members can have an alternative location of obtaining solutions to issues from other Agresso Users. The new forum  is available at www.augforum.co.uk

You will need to reregister to gain access to the new forum using the instructions in the document below. Indicate the Organisation as CGIAR and use an @cgiar.org or irri.org email address  when registering. The forum is open to any CGIAR staff member that wants to register.

Agresso Customer Conference 2014 Presentations

posted Nov 10, 2014, 9:33 PM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Nov 10, 2014, 9:36 PM ]

Five CGIAR OCS staff participated in the Agresso Customer Conference 2014 in Edinburgh, UK held on 8th and 9th October 2014.

CONNECT, EMPOWER, INSPIRE: UNIT4 2014 Customer Conference

The main theme of the plenary presentations was that UNIT4 will be concentrating on improved Analytics and the User Interface in upcoming releases of the product. They want the experience of using Agresso to be much closer to the Apps and interfaces used outside of the office.

Everything will be available through a browser including mobile apps to ensure they can be used on any device. Targeted analytics will be used to help users do their work (Uber and Facebook were used as examples; making use of big data analytics in a similar way that Facebook and Google predict what adverts you’ll be interested in from your recent activity).

Cloud based Agresso “capabilities” will use standard API and web services to interface with other vertical or best-in-class systems that Centres may be using. However, not much was said about future improvements to core modules.

UNIT4 Agresso Customer Conference 2014

posted Oct 14, 2014, 1:18 AM by Caroline Nzui

Edinburgh International Conference Centre - 8th & 9th October

This two-day event will be exclusively for UNIT4 Agresso customers with a new format which has been designed to give you direct access to consultants, partners and product experts.

Exciting new features and software enhancements will be presented and on the evening of the 8th October, the annual black tie Gala Dinner will take place.

Edinburgh International Conference Centre - 8th & 9th October. Registration closes 5pm on Tuesday 30th September.

Read more about it here: Unit 4 User Conference 2014.

Agresso UK User Group

posted Oct 14, 2014, 1:17 AM by Caroline Nzui


The CGIAR OCS project is now a member of the UK Agresso User Group . One of the main benefits will be access to the Yahoo group that Agresso users group members have access to. This will be an alternative location for obtaining solutions to issues from other Agresso users. 

Anyone from a CGIAR  OCS Centre can sign up to join the group. You have to register to join and will need to link your business email address with a Yahoo account. Requests for membership are moderated but will be given automatically to @cgiar.org email addresses. For IRRI staff please make sure that in the comments field you indicate that you are a member of the CGIAR and you will then be able to register using your irri.org address.

More information can be found Agresso UK User group webiste

OCS Updates – July 2013

posted Jul 24, 2013, 4:04 AM by Tania Jordan   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 4:05 AM ]

First Base Build improvement Workshop in Rome

Approximately 20 colleagues from the OCS Phase II and III centres are getting together from July 22- August 9, 2013 in Bioversity, International (Rome) to participate in the first of a series of workshops to collectively improve the current OCS Base Build. 

The objective of this first workshop is to add in some additional desired and commonly agreed functionality to the Finance and Logistics modules of the OCS B1 client. 

The improved base system will ultimately assist centres to more rapidly prepare and deploy their localised builds. This shared initiative will reduce the amount of time required by individual centres to localize; and avoids duplication of efforts across centres.

The remaining workshops are being scheduled from September 2013 and intend to incorporate additional functionality to the other modules of the base build. 

WorldFish OCS Go-Live

WorldFish successfully rolled out their system on Monday 22nd July to the WorldFish HQ in Penang and to their regional offices. 

This was preceded by many intensive weeks of effort by the WorldFish team to complete user acceptance testing and end user training to schedule.

Congratulations and all the best to our WorldFish colleagues!

OCS: Keeping Connected-Nov 2012

posted Nov 26, 2012, 5:47 AM by Tania Jordan

By: Carlos Alonso


OCS is moving full speed ahead. Over 100 staff members from IRRI, CIP , WorldFish, Africa Rice, ICARDA, ICRAF and ILRI including system builders, process owners and key business users are working with Unit4 consultants in completing localization designs, the build, planning end-user training or starting user acceptance testing...


Read more on OCS: Keeping Connected November 2012



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