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The suspense is over! The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system now has a name: "Umoja" (pronounced oo-MO-jah), which means "unity" or "together" in several African languages, including Swahili and Zulu.

Ms. Pauline Omondi-Ingabo of the Division of Administrative Services at the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) entered the winning name. Ms. Omondi-Ingabo explained her choice of Umoja for the ERP Project in her submission, stating "the UN is working towards a common goal globally and that is to bring the world together as one."

Regular iSeek readers will recall that, in October 2008, the ERP Project held a competition among staff to find a name for the ERP system that will be implemented across the Secretariat. This system will enable more effective management of the human, financial and physical resources that allow us to more efficiently fulfill our mandates.

Over 1000 staff members submitted 1287 names, demonstrating the diversity and creativity of our colleagues.

The names were considered by 58 ERP Focal Points from different departments, offices away from headquarters and field operations around the world. Based on their feedback, eight submissions were then presented to the ERP Steering Committee, the Project's governing body.

The Steering Committee further narrowed the list to four finalists – Aurora, Nexus, Orion and Umoja. Staff selected their favourite of the four in a final round of voting in January.

In a close contest, Umoja came out on top with 34 per cent of the vote, followed by Nexus with 30 per cent.

At its 29 January meeting, the Steering Committee endorsed the selection of the name Umoja for the project, noting with pleasure that it reflects the United Nation's multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment and a shared mission.

The Umoja Team congratulates Ms. Omondi-Ingabo, who will be featured in a future iSeek article, on her winning proposal. The team would also like to thank the hundreds of other staff members who submitted names and voted in the competition for their interest and support.

Originally published on iSeek on Wednesday, 18 February 2009, New York

Blog Posts: Umoja Website
February 2009

  • Umoja to bring unity to the way we work
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