University of Connecticut uses cloud access, digital signatures to keep projects on track through COVID-19

December 11, 2020 | 3 minute read
Janet Poses
Product Marketing Director
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The University of Connecticut decided to centralize their review-approval processes and cost management in 2018 using Oracle’s Primavera Unifier solution, providing easy access to the University’s critical systems from any location.

Read about the University's accomplishments in our earlier blog post, University of Connecticut ranks top of class in project delivery with Oracle's Primavera Unifier.

Since, the University of Connecticut has continued to grow their implementation of the asset lifecycle management solution by bringing system expertise in house and building new business capabilities. Most notably, the University leveraged the Primavera Unifier integration with DocuSign to transition their many EVP- and director-level sign-offs to electronic signatures.

Improving resilience during COVID-19

As a public entity, the University has a stringent review process that includes multiple layers of approvals. Prior to using DocuSign, paper copies were delivered to our executives for them to review and sign.

Those signed documents were then scanned and uploaded into the Oracle system. The university saw an opportunity to streamline this process and took the first step of implementing electronic signatures for their EVPs in December 2019. This new process was successful: steps were removed and the process was sped up.

Growth in electronic signatures

In March 2020, the benefit of electronic signatures grew exponentially when COVID-19 fundamentally changed how many U.S. organizations work. Documents that normally were sent to executives to print, sign, scan, and upload into Primavera Unifier were instead completed with just a few clicks.

The university quickly expanded the valuable electronic signature capability to the director level to support their team working from home and facilitate construction document management. The turnkey integration between Primavera Unifier and DocuSign allowed the University of Connecticut to easily implement the electronic signature capability themselves.


“Although we had already begun implementing electronic signatures, COVID-19 definitely sped the roll out, and I would be surprised if others are not in the same boat."

-Matt Grimm, IT Team Lead, University of Connecticut


Adjusting to change

Communication also has been dramatically impacted. “Construction is a face-to-face business, so it has been tough," says University of Connecticut IT Team Lead, Matt Grimm.

The university’s planners and designers have predominately worked offsite, relying heavily on electronic communication. While just a skeleton crew, the construction managers need to be at the construction worksites to oversee the work in the field.

The expectations of onsite meetings and face to face discussions and resolutions have also changed. It is harder to establish and grow relationships over the computer.

“The university is not sure if there will be lasting cultural change; they will have to wait and see,” says Grimm. There are interim plans to transition administrative roles to being partially remote, even once offices open back up.

What’s next for the University of Connecticut and Primavera Unifier?

The university hired two new systems administrators to help manage Primavera Unifier in house. Both employees are taking advantage of Oracle’s subscription-based online Primavera Unifier training, despite one administrator already having strong expertise with the Oracle system.

The comprehensive nature of the training has proven valuable both as they look towards gaining a Primavera Unifier certification.

One of the business processes the university built in-house is managing task orders. These architectural amendments are elements such as change orders for an architect.

Although the university still must follow its review and sign off process, by automating the workflows, the school has saved an average of one week per cycle—a 25-30% improvement.

The University of Connecticut plans to continue to expand their use of the facilities asset management software and drive further efficiency, visibility and control benefits by bringing additional processes online.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

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Janet Poses

Product Marketing Director

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