UPLB University Student Council on eUP

"The students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños have had enough. This first semester alone, aside from the administration's ignorance of the 160+ organizations' call for Organization Registration, the students of UPLB yet again face their biggest obstacle since the LLCP implementation during 2010 - the mishandling/mismanagement of SAIS for the 'eUP' Project of UP President Pascual under his "One UP" vision.

"Clearly we see the spoiled 'fruits' of President Pascual's commercialization of UP education, as transpired by the #eUPPaMore fiasco this first week of November, compromising student services for profit from the controversial deal between UP and Smart, which is commonly called as the eUP Project. This dubious deal has led to the termination of UP Los Banos' own SystemOne, with the UPLB administration geared toward's eUP, disregarding the many technical difficulties, security concerns and lack of features of SAIS. This eUP Project has already been under scrutiny, as millions of funds have been allocated to the project, with 750-800 million alone for its 1st year implementation, compared to UP Diliman's CRS which they invested 45 million in a span of 5 years (as per OSR Report). There is also a lack of transparency on the operations of the eUP project.

"SAIS implementation in smaller campuses such as UP Manila and UP Cebu has led to UPM's rescheduling of their 1st day of classes last 1st semester 2014-2015. If SAIS has already been found as faulty in small campuses such as UP Manila, what more would be the consequences if it were to implemented in large campuses such as our own? Do we need SAIS? Do we need eUP?

"The University Student Council, together with all local College Student Councils, through a consensus at the Student Legislative Chamber last 24 October, calls for a university-wide WALKOUT against the administration's neglect on student welfare and on the continuing commercialization of UP education under President Pascual.

For more details, see UPLB SC's FB page.

"Nakatipid"

One bullsh*t eUP is telling the UP community is that in acquiring Oracle, the University is "nakatipid." (For more eUP BS, see this). Given to hyperbole, eUP people are heard in presentations saying, "Sobrang nakatipid!"

eUP has availed of "97% discount" in getting Oracle licenses. What eUP people don't tell you is that the Oracle Campus Solutions V9.0 they got for the University is a relic from mid-2000s and has already been replaced by a new version. (That's not even saying anything about Oracle licensing traps.)

Here's the purchase order (PO) for such licenses:
Shown here is just the last page. The earlier pages and full PO are linked here.Total cost for licenses alone is P7,819,773.91.

Note the limited time of "full use" and the "quantity" or number of users.

From there it gets more interesting because Oracle also requires SEPARATE, RECURRING maintenance and technical support for P10,858,734.00 (See Table "Shared IT Recurring Costs" here). On top of that is "Managed Services" for P60,000,000.00, which is "Outsourced system maintenance and technical support for core eUP information systems."

So to acquire Oracle ERP, it "only" costs the University less than 8 millions pesos. To keep it running, the Oracle systems installed require no less 70 million pesos more as recurring (yearly?) costs! And that's "sobrang nakakatipid!," according to some perverse logic of eUP people.

The "pagtitipid" doesn't stop there. Most interesting is that eUP Oracle implementation requires Oracle hardware as well. The hardware component below is just for SAIS.

That also needs Oracle authentication system, which can be used by other Oracle ERP modules.
So in addition to Oracle software and maintenance costs is the cost for Oracle hardware, which again requires additional maintenance and eventual replacement costs! The gears above are not even new. That should be ironic for eUP gearheads who love mouthing the rhetoric of "state of the art." These servers are overpriced metals being shoved down UP's *ss as "discounted" equipment.

We're only talking about basic installation here. No customization, data migration, training, hardware, bandwidth, hosting, salaries, utilities, travel and accommodation, consulting yet. So don't be surprised if the total cost could run up to billions.

This situation is a classic case of vendor lock-in. Yet, there's no guarantee Oracle components will work smoothly (as evidenced by earlier implementations in the different UP CUs). At a slightest sign of trouble, eUP runs to Oracle!

Are there any cheaper yet robust alternatives to this madness? You bet! Is there no choice but Oracle? None, according to eUP people who are "nagtitipid" by just using Oracle marketing materials straight out.

The current eUP systems are unsustainable; they create lopsided dependency on Oracle. They cause serious financial and technical burden to the University, now and in many many more years to come. They are a waste of taxpayers' money!

Bandwidth for Vendor Lock-in

The eUP Project champions more internet bandwidth. Of course UP needs faster internet. Who doesn't? But here's how an otherwise beneficial goal can reinforce an existing lopsided arrangement and run contrary to the University's interest.

Below is mostly the eUP-proposed bandwidth increase for UP constituents.

The current providers of bandwith are PREGINET and local ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The main question is: Will the increase be sourced primarily from PREGINET or local ISPs?

If PREGINET, it's not much of an issue because it's like government money going back to government and PREGINET can just collect at cost whatever 3rd party providers charge in order to fulfill UP's requirements going to the cloud (the Internet beyond UP's WAN) to access services like Google, Facebook, Youtube.

There's a good chance that will not be case. Likely it's going more to ONE local ISP (yes, fearless forecast!) than PREGINET, and by local ISP, eUP wants PLDT/ePLDT--the biggest (not necessarily the best) player in Philippine internet. Why?

Earlier on, eUP decided to put eUP servers on PLDT's Vitro datacenter. It's a modus that feeds on itself. If the eUP servers were placed within PREGINET, that would have been a different story. But since they're on PLDT territory and PLDT hardly interconnects with other local ISPs, the arrangement lends itself towards pricing bandwidth in PLDT's favor. It will "force" eUP to specify in the "bidding" any of the following specs:

  • "direct connectivity to eUP cloud infrastructure and services" (or some words to that effect)
  • "nationwide presence" (or some words to that effect)
  • "ability to provide direct links to all UP campuses" (or some words to that effect)

And who do you think will win in the "competitive bidding"? O, perhaps Eupleaks can just read minds!

Already UP is on vendor lock-in situation with Oracle. With SAIS, HRIS, FMIS, etc. using Oracle, UP is dependent on Oracle and cannot use competing solutions without substantial switching costs. With PLDT for networks to run eUP's servers, yet another layer of vendor lock-in is slowly but surely being imposed upon the University. Checkmate!

As it is, the cost of eUP is already hundreds of millions of pesos of taxpayers' money. Putting the University on vendor lock-in ensures that favored vendors have the same UP cow to milk for a very long time.


Update: Sept 17, 2015
The results are in. And the winner of the bidding is (drumroll please)... IP-Converge, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ePLDT!

Testi from SAIS Student User

Here's a UPOU student voice we need to hear:

"My

enrolment form is now a “Shopping Cart”; I’ll try not to get too political here and some people could indeed compare enrolling subjects with shopping but in my opinion, it is in poor taste and if anything shows a lack of forethought in the design of the site.

To end this I don’t want to say there’s anything INHERENTLY wrong with switching systems, what’s wrong is in the slapdash manner in which it is being done.
The old system (which was simple/streamlined and not broken) is being phased out for a new one that’s completely untested and half‐done at a time that can be very inconvenient to the end users. I can understand a dual system, enrol on the old system while the new one is slowly implemented with issues being fixed along the way before it is made the sole system. But this is just crazy.

"

Read the full account.

See Also Related Stories: Bunch of Amateurs!, eUP - 1.3 billion pesos hence, Progress Report a la PAEP.

Leads are good but we need more

Thanks to those who gave us leads on possible questionable transactions in the eUP Project. But we can do better than that. We want proof! So if you're in a position to share with us scanned receipts, vouchers, emails, login access (no, we won't hack!), documented personal connections between suppliers and decision-makers, then you're are YOU with balls! Email us with what you've got at admin@eupleaks.com

We've been amused by those who shared login access, because one of the three lame excuses of PAEP on why eUP flopped is that UP people forget their passwords. (The other 2 lamers: pirates and slow internet. Serious!) So share with us your login credentials and let us remember your passwords for you (wink, wink!).