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On 23 October 2008, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project launched a five-day contest challenging staff to come up with a name that embodies the promise and expectations behind the proposed ERP system.

The response was overwhelming! Over 1,000 staff members participated, from D-2s to interns, as well as military and police officers, and staff from peacekeeping duty stations and Offices Away from Headquarters (OAHs). The ERP Project Team was delighted by the enthusiasm and creativity displayed by staff members.

The ERP Project Team has now completed a detailed review of the 1,287 names that were suggested. The review process included inputs from ERP Focal Points from different departments, OAHs and field operations around the world. Following this, eight names were presented to the ERP Steering Committee. The Committee narrowed the names down to four finalists.

All UN Secretariat personnel are now invited to vote on the following four ERP Project name finalists:

  1. Nexus: Derived from the Latin nectere, meaning to bind, Nexus implies a network, or connection, or interaction. The new ERP system will be at the core of the UN's management systems and it will connect the Organization both geographically and functionally.
  2. Orion: A prominent constellation on the celestial equator. In Greek mythology, Orion is a hunter who challenged the gods, as well as a mythical figure in several ancient cultures including Australian, Chinese, Mexican, and Scandinavian. Orion implies strength and equality.
  3. Umoja: A word meaning together or unity in several African languages, including Swahili and Zulu. The ERP will provide unified information technology (IT) systems, processes and ultimately organizational culture. It will also unify a diverse group of people (UN personnel) around a single cause: protecting and uplifting humanity.
  4. Aurora: The Roman goddess of the dawn, as well as an atmospheric phenomenon (Aurora Borealis or Australis), Aurora represents a new era or a new dawn in the management of the UN's resources, characterized by spectacular and uplifting effect of the rising sun, or the polar lights.

To vote, please email your preferred name to by 16 January 2009. You are requested to vote only once.

The ERP Project Team reiterates that the staff member who originally proposed the winning name will win an iPod Touch for his or her creative efforts!

Originally published in iSeek on Wednesday, 31 December 2008, New York

Blog Posts: Umoja Website
December 2008

  • Name the Enterprise Resource Planning Project and win an iPod - Four finalists announced!
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