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Have a question? Below are some of the questions we're often asked. 
If you don't find the answer you're looking for, please contact us!


General Questions

What is Umoja? 
Who's involved in Umoja? 
Where can I find more information about Umoja?
What is SAP? 
What is ERP? 
What is IPSAS and how is it connected to Umoja?

Approach and Timeline

When will Umoja be implemented?
Why is Umoja being implemented using a phased approach?

Changes and Benefits

Why is the UN implementing Umoja?
How is Umoja different from the systems we already use?
What will Umoja do for the UN?
What are the benefits of Umoja?
How will Umoja affect jobs within the UN?
What types of activities will be changed as part of Umoja?

Key Changes by Functional Area

Which occupational groups will be most affected by Umoja?
What are the benefits for staff who perform transactional business processes in Umoja’s functional areas?
What are the key changes for staff who work in Finance?
What are the key changes for staff who work in in Supply Chain/Procurement/Logistics?
What are the key changes for staff who work in in Central Support Services?
What are the Key Changes in Human Resources?
What are the indirect benefits of Umoja for staff?

Training and Communications

How will changes be communicated to Staff?
How will staff be trained to use Umoja?
What training is available for Umoja?
How do I access training for Umoja?
Where do I go for help after training?

Technical Assistance

What is EIDMS?
How do I activate my EIDMS account?
What do I use my EIDMS account for?

I have not received an activation email from EIDMS. Who should I contact?
How do I log on to Umoja?

Who do I contact for Umoja support or technical assistance?

 



General Questions


What is Umoja?

Umoja is an administrative reform initiative for the United Nations Secretariat that includes a thorough streamlining of UN business processes. At its core, it is an implementation of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Umoja will provide a simplified and real-time approach to the Organization’s management of finances, resources and assets. By 2016, the United Nations Secretariat will have transitioned to Umoja as its central administrative tool, leaving behind multiple and fragmented legacy systems such as IMIS, Mercury, Sun, and many others.
Umoja is not an acronym. Its name means “unity” in Swahili, and appropriately the solution represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United Nations to: upgrade its technology, tools and practices to those appropriate for the 21st century; comply or exceed international industry standards such as IPSAS; streamline fragmented administrative processes, to allow Managers and Staff to focus on important work rather than red-tape; and finally, unify multiple IT and computer systems and platforms to avoid delays, waste and frustration.

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Who's involved in Umoja?

On a project of this magnitude, strong governance is essential: to steer the project, monitor progress, resolve conflicts without delay, decide on priorities, help to manage change and communicate progress to all stakeholders. The main policy decision-making body is the Umoja Steering Committee, which reports to the Management Committee.

The detailed planning and execution of the project is being done by the Umoja team which is led by an Assistant Secretary-General who serves as Project Director and reports to the Under-Secretary-General for Management. The Project Director is ultimately accountable for the execution of the project in collaboration with the Assistant Secretaries-General responsible for the four main functional areas: human resources, finance and budget, supply chain, and central support services.

The Umoja project team includes experts on change management, process management, administration management, and technology management, as well as experts in each of the functional areas. These Subject Matter Experts came to the Umoja team from various departments and offices within the UN in order to ensure that the solution meets the needs of the UN.

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Where can I find more information about Umoja?

Umoja Website

Keep checking in here on the website for up-to-date information on the progress of the project, training materials, and other important resources such as the User Quick Guide, the Umoja Journey of Goods, and the Deployment Timeline.

Facebook

Visit Umoja’s Facebook page at at www.facebook.com/unumoja. Click “Like” in order to receive the latest updates from Umoja and photos from our activities in the field.

Twitter

Follow Umoja on Twitter at www.twitter.com/unumoja for the latest project news and information.

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What is SAP?

SAP is the name of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software at the core of the Umoja solution. Umoja will be using multiple types of SAP Software. Our core processing systems are based on SAP ECC 6.0 and SAP Netweaver 7.3.

SAP will provide a financially integrated and robust centralized system which will allow the UN to better manage its resources, assets and finances.

Additionally, beginning in 2014, Umoja Extension 1 will begin rolling-out the Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Management Self-Service (MSS) components of SAP, otherwise known as "self-service portal" for UN Staff to manage Personnel and Travel Entitlement requests with less paperwork and delays. More information will be provided on this new functionality in 2014.

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What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) is a system that provides an integrated suite of information technology applications that support activities such as finance and budget management, human resources management, supply chain management, central support services, and other core functions. ERPs allow for the streamlining of operations in an organization through process re-engineering, sharing of common data, and implementation of best practices and standards.

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What is IPSAS and how is it connected to Umoja?

International Public Sector Accounting Standards (“IPSAS”) is an internationally accepted accounting protocol that the UN Organization will fully comply with by 2014, following the recommendation of the General Assembly in 2006.

Compliance with IPSAS will ensure that UN accounting practices are aligned with industry best practices, enabling enhanced financial transparency and accountability, improved decision making resulting from more detailed financial information, improved consistency and comparability of financial statements across offices and duty stations and full and easy access to more comprehensive information on costs and expenses.

The UN has gradually moved from its own set of accounting standards (UNSAS) towards the adoption of the new internationally accepted standard in order to make its financial and reporting system more effective and transparent.

To read about IPSAS standards and learn how and why the UN is complying with IPSAS, please visit http://ipsas.un.org (UN network only).

The Umoja solution and IPSAS go hand in hand. Using SAP as the new Enterprise Resource Planning software across the UN Secretariat will further ensure that the UN complies with IPSAS standards in all its financial transactions once Umoja has been deployed.

The Umoja team is working closely with the IPSAS implementation team within the UN Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts (OPPBA) in all of its preparatory activities for deployment of the Umoja solution.

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Approach and Timeline

 
When will Umoja be implemented?

 Click to review the Umoja Deployment Timeline.  

  



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Why is Umoja being implemented using a phased approach?

Umoja’s phased approach enables the UN to mitigate delay, absorb change at a tolerable rate, and address some of the risks associated with deploying a comprehensive solution in a global organization.

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Changes and Benefits

 
Why is the UN implementing Umoja?

Umoja will enhance accountability, transparency and internal controls for all types of resources. It will help improve decision making and planning capabilities by providing up-to-date and accurate reports and data. Additionally, Umoja will enable managers to exert tighter financial planning and controls and ensure compliance with public sector standards such as IPSAS.

The Umoja solution represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United Nations to:

  • Upgrade its technology, tools and practices to those appropriate for the 21st century
  • Comply or exceed international industry standards (e.g. IPSAS)
  • Streamline fragmented administrative processes, to allow Managers and Staff to focus on value-added work rather than red-tape;
  • Unify multiple IT and computer systems and platforms to avoid delays, waste and frustration

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How is Umoja different from the systems we already use?

An ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) system provides an efficient means for transferring and sharing information across many different functions across a business, rather than having to maintain parallel versions of that information in multiple unique systems. This allows the organization to reduce redundant effort and eliminate conflicting information concerning vendors, clients, resources, employees, and other critical data used to make decisions and complete transactions.

In order for such a system to be truly effective, our organization will first have to fundamentally change and modernize how day-to-day work is carried out, by streamlining and simplifying processes.

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What will Umoja do for the UN?

UN staff will not just be learning a new system, but more effective and efficient ways to work. Staff members will be freed from repetitive and redundant tasks, enabling them to devote their energies to providing value-added services. In addition, staff will be able to update personal information, complete benefits enrollment, view leave balances, submit travel requests and expenses, and check payments – all online.

The Umoja solution will:

  • Provide all Secretariat offices with an integrated transactional system
  • Replace or integrate numerous existing legacy systems such as IMIS, Mercury and Sun
  • Reduce time and resources spent on manual, paper-based processes
  • Increase time and resources directed toward programmes that make a difference in the lives of UN beneficiaries
  • Equip UN staff with modern technology and enhanced skills

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What are the benefits of Umoja?

Umoja will:

Renew the way the UN manages human, financial and material resources, bringing the organization up to accepted common standards

Enhance decision-making by linking programmes and operations with the allocated resources

Reduce the average time required for administrative processes, by streamlining, integrating and automating business processes

Increase efficiency by reducing the amount of staff time spent on manual processes while enhancing accountability on internal controls

Enable the implementation of IPSAS by the Secretariat


Click image to review the Top Ten Improvements
 



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How will Umoja affect jobs within the UN?

As processes are simplified and streamlined throughout this initiative, roles within the organization will change. The manner in which each staff member will be affected will vary based on their role and position. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Umoja will reduce the amount of time staff members spend on paperwork and manual administration. Umoja will enable us to work together more effectively on behalf of our constituents and beneficiaries.

Organizational alignment activities are underway to examine detailed change impacts including changes to roles. We will provide you with detailed information as the new roles and processes are finalized.

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What types of activities will be changed as part of Umoja?


For an example of how Umoja will change the way the UN works, view the Umoja 
Journey of Goods and review the talking points.

Umoja will change the way we do a wide variety of activities, from ordering materials and tracking inventory to performing all of our financial activities and managing projects. It will also impact the way we manage our assets, our people-related activities and various other processes.

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Key Changes by Functional Area

 
Which occupational groups will be most affected by Umoja?

 Umoja will most directly affect staff working in Finance, Procurement, HR, Logistics and other support services.

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What are the benefits for staff who perform transactional business processes in Umoja’s functional areas?

Umoja will free staff members from many routine clerical and administrative processes, enabling them to focus their time on strategic and substantive activities that will enable the Organization to better deliver on its mandates in the long-term.

  • Technology management: consolidating major bespoke systems that are costly to maintain and cannot easily interact to a global solution which uses industry-leading technology to improve decision-making (legacy systems to be replaced over time include IMIS, SUN, Mercury, Procure+ and eventually Galileo)
  • Given that administrative processes will be standardized across Secretariat locations, staff who transfer to new duty stations will require less time to learn the local way of doing business
  • Umoja will provide opportunities for UN staff to improve their skillsets by preparing them to be proficient in the latest technologies.

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What are the key changes for staff who work in Finance?

  • Compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), a modern standard of accounting

  • Automation of financial processes with better controls: the system automatically checks for sufficiency of funds before a requisition can be made, payment process is initiated when a good is received in the system, payment of invoices requires entry of receipt and automated “3-way matching” of Goods Receipt, Invoice and Purchase Order
  • Bank accounts, funds, assets, and other key data centrally stored and shared across the entire Organization
  • Managers will have direct access to real-time financial information and other programme/project data and reports

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What are the key changes for staff who work in in Supply Chain/Procurement/Logistics?

  • The UN will have one set of data for vendors, materials, and services centrally stored and shared across the Organization

  • Better integration with Finance 
  • Automated requisitioning and procurement procedures: Requisitioners can search from a central catalogue that lists all goods and services available to them from current contracts, purchase orders are automatically created using information from the requisition (for catalogue requisitions), tracking of the end-to-end Procurement process in the system
  • One Procurement system enables advanced reporting from a single source
  • Low Value Acquisition (LVA) process will no longer be paper-based

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What are the key changes for staff who work in in Central Support Services

 Facilities Management:

  • Real estate, assets, and other Master Data will be centrally stored and shared across the entire Organization
  • Maintenance of leases will now occur in the system
  • Robust, organization-wide automated reporting will enable forecasting and space planning

Services to the Public and Staff:

  • Vendors and customers will receive detailed and consolidated billing statements (as opposed to multiple)
  • Third-party procurement will be done within Umoja
  • Grants and Trust Fund management directly integrated with billing process so invoices related to the grant are automatically generated

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What are the Key Changes in Human Resources?

  • UN staff data will be stored centrally and shared across the organization

  • Transfer of staff across duty stations will be seamless
  • Managers will have access to up-to-date staffing information and organizational structures

The Employee Self-Service (ESS) portal will allow staff to:

           a) View and update to their HR profile
           b) Initiate and track requests for benefits & entitlements
           c) Make travel requests directly and submit claims electronically

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What are the indirect benefits of Umoja for staff?

  •  Business processes: moving away from working practices which vary by location to a single way of delivering administrative services using a single source of data, with improvements gained in speed and efficiency.

  • Faster, simpler processing of administrative transactions with more employee self-service features.

  • Staff satisfaction: moving towards more coherence and increased consistency across the Organization, and away from time spent on routine administrative tasks.

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Training and Communications 


How will changes be communicated to Staff?

The Umoja Team is currently implementing a full-scale Communications and Engagement campaign to prepare staff for the changes being brought by Umoja. Updates and important documents and resources are being shared with staff via the Umoja Website, social media such as Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t already, you can access key documents at the following links:

Additionally, the Communications team creates a monthly newsletter (available on the Umoja Newsroom blog) in addition to topical iSeek articles to keep Umoja stakeholders updated with the latest information and project news.

Finally, if you have been identified as an Umoja end user, you will begin to receive communications, staff messaging, and targeted communications around training and deployment during the 2 months before implementation.

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How will staff be trained to use Umoja? 

Umoja training delivery is aligned with the deployment of Umoja and uses the Train-the-Trainer approach in order to build local capacity for Umoja ongoing training and support.

  • Designated process experts will be trained by the Umoja Project Team and, in turn, these process experts/trainers will train end users and will be the ‘go-to’ persons in their respective business areas. 
  • On-site end user training will be scheduled six weeks prior to each Go-Live date. 
  • A key element of Umoja end user training is that it is role-based. Each role has a specific curriculum to follow and end users will participate in courses based on their Enterprise Role
All Staff

All UN Staff can review general Umoja training materials in the Training section of this website.

End Users

Training of Staff identified as Umoja end users will take place approximately 4-6 weeks before deployment at each location. End users (Staff Members who have been mapped to an official Enterprise Role in Umoja) will receive information on their roles, course requirements and course schedule ahead of time.

As with all staff, Umoja end users can view general Umoja training materials in the Training section of this website. However, in order to be certified in Umoja, Staff who have been identified as end users will need to attend training through inspira and through Instructor Led Training on-site.

Staff Members with specific Enterprise Roles in Umoja will need to complete all required courses in order to become certified users of Umoja.

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What training is available for Umoja? 

A ‘blended learning’ approach is used to deliver training. To accommodate different learning requirements and facilitate knowledge transfer, the Umoja training programme integrates:

  1. Computer-Based Training (All UN Staff)
  2. Instructor-Led Courses (Umoja end users only)
  3. Simulation Learning (Umoja end users only)
  4. Job Aids (Umoja end users only)
  5. Hands-on Practice Sessions (Umoja end users only)

For Umoja Foundation, Computer Based Training consists of Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 courses:

  • Level 1 courses are introduction/overviews of how different functional areas work in Umoja.
  • Level 2 courses are navigation courses that guide users through the fundamentals of getting around the Umoja system.
  • Level 3 courses are advanced, transactional-level and intended to be studied in an instructor-led environment. The courses also contain links to simulations which can only be viewed while browsing on the UN network.

Level 1 and 2 courses are prerequisites for the advanced Level 3 courses. All UN Staff can view Level 1 and Level 2 courses (for Foundation only) in the Training section of this website. However, Umoja end users must complete course assessments for Level 1 and 2 courses via inspira in order to be certified and complete their prerequisite requirements for Level 3 courses.

Level 3 courses are available to Staff identified as Umoja end users only, and should be accessed via inspira. Staff Members with specific Enterprise Roles in Umoja will receive instructions on course requirements and their Instructor Led Training schedule approximately 4-6 weeks prior to deployment in their location.

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How do I access training for Umoja?


If you have been identified as an Umoja user, you must access Computer Based Training and/or course assessments via 
inspira in order to be certified.

You can access Level 1 (Overview) and Level 2 (Navigation) Computer Based Training courses for Umoja Foundation in the Training section of this website.

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Where do I go for help after training? 

A triaged support structure will be set up as part of the Umoja deployment. The support structure will include local office support, process experts in each functional area (Finance, Procurement, Supply Chain/Logistics, HR, Project Management, Sales, and Real Estate) and technical support.

As time goes on, on-going training support and end-user training will be provided as and when required. Training content and learning materials will continue to be enhanced and developed, and the training approach and delivery will be enhanced on an ongoing basis, aided by feedback and evaluations. 

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Technical Assistance

 

What is EIDMS?

EIDMS is a unique ID number that allows OICT to map users to Umoja. It is more unique, sophisticated and secure than your staff index number or email address. Receiving your EIDMS credentials and activating them to log in to the Umoja Dashboard is the first step to accessing Umoja Production Systems. 


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How do I activate my EIDMS account?

If you have been identified as an Umoja end-user for deployment at Cluster 1 Missions, you should have received an activation email from eidmssupport@un.org providing a login name, temporary password and instructions on how to log in to EIDMS.

To activate your EIDMS account, visit http://eidms.un.org and activate your EIDMS account using the login name and temporary password you were provided.

For step-by-step instructions on activating EIDMS, please see the Umoja User Quick Guide.

Please note: You cannot request EIDMS activation for yourself by emailing eidmssupport@un.org. Please see below on what to do if you have not received an EIDMS activation email.


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What do I use my EIDMS account for?

Your EIDMS credentials allow you to log in to the Umoja Dashboard at https//login.umoja.un.org.

From the Umoja Dashboard, you can access Training Practice Systems as well as Umoja Production Systems using separate credentials as outlined below:

If you are an Umoja end-user assigned to classroom training, you have received a generic User ID and password to access Training Practice Systems from the Umoja Dashboard.

A separate User ID and temporary password, different than your EIDMS credentials, will be provided to you to log in to Umoja Production Systems from the Umoja Dashboard. 


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I have not received an activation email from EIDMS. Who should I contact?

Please confirm with your supervisor that you are on the list of identified end-users of Umoja.

If you have confirmed that you are an identified Umoja end-user, and that you have not received an EIDMS activation email, please ask your Site Coordinator to contact Umoja on your behalf.

Please note: You cannot request EIDMS activation for yourself by emailing eidmssupport@un.org.

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How do I log on to Umoja?

View the User Quick Guide on the Umoja website for step by step instructions on logging in to Umoja via the Umoja Dashboard. Logging on to the Umoja Dashboard requires EIDMS activation.


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Who do I contact for Umoja support or technical assistance?

If you are still unable to find an answer or resolution to your issue, please open a service ticket with your local Help Desk. View the User Quick Guide for helpdesk procedures and contact information.


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