Calculate the Cost of Cornerstone

calcclipartIn late 2017, URA began research to assess Cornerstone implementation after one year.

We asked:  What did Cornerstone cost?  Was it worth the effort URA and other staff and faculty have made?   This week, we have some preliminary answers.

We made several Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests to find what Cornerstone cost—Rutgers management stonewalled us and even told us that Cornerstone did not exist. The amounts paid to Oracle for Cornerstone licensing, purchase and services have proven very difficult to analyze.  But something else jumped out in the OPRA results—the millions paid to Deloitte consulting to manage the Cornerstone implementation process

What this research does show is that, on an initial bid of $4.8M, Rutgers had paid Deloitte Consultants $12.2M by the end of May, 2017.

Rutgers’ “Engagement” with Deloitte for Cornerstone Implementation: by the numbers

Title Date Period Covered Amount File Name

(with links)

What does the document tell us? 
RFP R15-2838 June 2015 N/A Request for Proposal June 2015.pdf Rutgers seeks a contractor for the transition to a cloud system. This is the second RFP Rutgers released to find a partner (it wasn’t awarded the first time).
Deloitte’s Best and Final Offer July 3, 2015 $4,886,202 R15-2838 Deloitte’s Best and Final Offer Best, but as we will see, not so final.
Interim Engagement Letter, OPO#2242046 9/21/15 One month $407,183 Not provided by Rutgers management. Cost is referenced in “Cornerstone Addendum 6”
Addendum 1 12/18/15 letter Nov 2015, Dec 2015, Jan 2016 $407,183 per month ($1,221,549 total) Cornerstone Addendum 1 Extending the interim agreement until an official agreement could be signed.
Addendum 2 1/28/16 letter Feb 2016 $407,183 Cornerstone Addendum 2 Total so far $2,035,915

Services Agreement: February 26, 2016

Addendum 3 3/9/16 March 2016 $6,707,475 Not provided by Rutgers management .  Cost is referenced in “Cornerstone Addendum 6”.  They must have signed an official agreement around this time.
Addendum 4 8/9/16 Extended to 11/19/16 $858,000 Addendum 4 Deloitte Cloud Financials “Support conversion reconciliation, increase post-production support, and deliver central accounting training”. Missing the CR-14 executed 8/25/16
Addendum 5 9/21/16 10/3/16–11/4/16 $73,218.64 Addendum 5 Deloitte Cloud Financials Additional trainings-CR-15. Fixed fee, Deloitte says they scheduled enough trainings, but due to low enrollment & cancellations, not everyone was trained.
Addendum 6 12/2/16 11/19/16–6/3/17 $2,411,911 Addendum 6 Deloitte Cloud Financials New PO#442124; CR-16 Phase 2
Addendum 7 6/6/17 1/3/17–5/15/17 $183,644 Addendum 7 Deloitte Cloud Financials Year-end wrap up and training; CR-17
Total   Oct 2015- May 2017 $12,270,163.64    


Cost/Benefit: How URA members see Cornerstone after a year

Was the $12M paid to Deloitte Consultants money well spent? 

In January 2018, URA conducted a follow-up survey of members.

Here are some sample responses to a single question: Please describe in your own words the impact Cornerstone has had on you and your ability to do your job.

  • We were sold on something that never came to be. It was supposed to free up time, make our job tasks easier, smoother, and the system was to be more user-friendly. It’s been a nightmare. 
  • No one started off understanding how the full system worked — not management, not end users, and not the vendor — NO ONE accepted any responsibility for the proper functioning of the thing. 
  • The expense report process is now much improved.
  • I was ashamed to be a Rutgers employee because of Cornerstone. When word got out to the media about the problems we were having — I thanked God that the media didn’t know the half of it
  • Whenever we would call our business managers for answers, THEY wouldn’t even have a clue on how to do a certain thing. They should have all been trained on Cornerstone like the back of their hand so that when we had questions, we could turn to somebody for answers.
  • I had been pleased by the training until we found that basically we were lied to. 
  • Managing grants with the new system is a night mare. I requires even more shadow/excel accounting than previously. 
  • After a year the system is working better, but it still needs improvement.

To see all 557 answers to this question, go to this page.

In the coming week, URA will also be providing more complete data on the full survey, and on the costs paid directly to Oracle.