Business travel is getting an upgrade. With the help of consulting firm Gideon Taylor, Financial Services and OTS are developing a new business travel system that will move the current paper-based process online. The project has been years in the making.
“I saw a demo of a similar system at the University of Maryland, Baltimore about two years ago and liked the software,” said Associate Director of Financial Services Sue Brodie, who initiated the project. “I knew it would work well for Towson. I spoke to [Comptroller] Debbie Asbury and [CIO] Jeff Schmidt and they were onboard for the joint project.”
The project moved into high gear this fall with the support of executive management and the Enterprise Information Technology Committee (EITC). The project team started out by convening focus groups with representatives from across campus who are involved in business travel. Together, they helped to shape the new system, which includes an online interface with electronic forms and routing to make the entire process simpler and faster for TU’s business travelers.
The project aims to help travelers plan their trips, with easy access to authorization requests for approval, expense reporting and more. In the new system, travelers will even be able to track how far along they are in each approval process, giving them a better understanding of when to anticipate approval and reimbursement.
Project leads Mardette Wetzelberger and Karen Michalak expect to launch the new system this summer with the help of team members Cyndi Zile, Ella Watts, Raza Hasan and Jay Amballa. Feedback and guidance from campus representatives will also play a key part in the development and implementation of the system.