SIMBA celebrates official launch of project

June 05, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The new System for Integrated Management, Budgeting and Accounting, or SIMBA, that will replace Penn State's financial and other integrated systems, including the University's legacy Integrated Business Information System (IBIS) — marked its official launch on June 4 with a kickoff event that brought together University leadership, SIMBA project sponsors and teams, and SIMBA's implementation partner, LSI.

The event, which was held at SIMBA headquarters in the Technology Support Building on 300 N. Science Park Rd. in State College, featured remarks from David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business; Joe Doncsecz, associate vice president for finance and corporate controller; Mary Lou Ortiz, University budget officer; Michael Busges, director, Enterprise Project Management Office; and Shyamal Jajodia, executive vice president at LSI.

"We are finally and officially on the journey to our July 2020 implementation date. It will be a challenging and exciting journey that will impact Penn State in many ways," said Busges in his opening remarks. "Today we take a moment to celebrate before the real work begins tomorrow."

Ortiz and Doncescz spoke to the significance of this work:

"This is a change opportunity. We're in the home stretch of modernizing and upgrading infrastructure for the University," said Ortiz.

Doncescz added, "Change is the key word; the changes SIMBA will bring to this institution will be amazing. It will give us the ability to make better business decisions."

Gray took the podium and charged the SIMBA team: "You know you're going to be doing something of profound importance for Penn State. Keep your enthusiasm and high sense of engagement throughout the project.

"As an institution, we understand fully the significance of what we're taking on here. We're taking the lion by the tail, and the end result is functionality that will be a difference maker for faculty and staff across the University. This is going to help us to be a more agile and responsive institution. SIMBA will deliver on the academic and research side as much as the business and operational side."

Jajodia rounded out the remarks, speaking to LSI's commitment to Penn State and SIMBA. "We think we're the right implementation partner for you because we bring the expertise in both SAP and higher education. We have a long history of implementing SAP at universities and we bring all that experience here to help you achieve success," he said.

SIMBA will increase the University’s business agility through improved processes, reporting, budget forecasting and integrated functions, while at the same time introducing a contemporary user interface. The SIMBA implementation project is the last of three University-wide efforts to replace antiquated legacy systems with more efficient and modern ones that fully leverage current technologies. LionPATH, the University’s student information system, rolled out in August 2016, and WorkLion, a new human resources and payroll system, deployed in December 2017. 

The University announced its intent to replace IBIS in 2017, and the widely used business suite SAP S/4HANA was selected as the best solution to meet the University's financial needs. The Penn State Board of Trustees approved the SIMBA budget and LSI as an implementation consultant at its May 4 meeting.

For more information about SIMBA, visit

Last Updated June 20, 2018