Recently, TeraThink attended CGI’s tenth annual Momentum Ideas Day. This year it took place at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, VA. In addition to the excellent catering (breakfast, lunch, snacks, coffee, the list goes on and on!) provided throughout the day, there was a lot to learn at this year’s event!
CGI’s Momentum is a full-featured financial and accounting ERP solution focused for the Federal government. Ideas Day allows Momentum users and stakeholders to learn more about the latest Momentum releases. Together, attendees are able to collaboratively discuss existing ideas and brainstorm new ideas for future Momentum enhancements. The day was broken out into multiple sessions to explore various subject areas. Several of my fellow TeraThink colleagues were there so we could attend the varied sessions to gain insight into upcoming Momentum enhancements.
User Experience Workshop
The User Experience Workshop focused on what reporting features CGI is incorporating into the Momentum BIRT reporting tool. The workshop also went over what features agencies would like to have. Neat features include indicating how long it would take to run a report, and performance enhancements so that running a large report would not impact online performance. CGI also listened to agencies, who requested the capability to schedule reports and automatically email reports to users outside of the system.
Given the renewed focus by the Federal Government on User Experience, a focused workshop was welcome. We’ve found that a stronger user experience strongly correlates to system adoption. Listening to the people who use the system daily to improve Momentum is the best way to move things forward.
The general system session focused on the Momentum user experience, interaction, and system-wide functionality that does not fall under a specific subsystem. A highlight of this session was an overview of the 7.5 release of Momentum. This release revamps the system UI and adds many new features. The new UI provides streamlined and configurable navigation menus, automatic page and text resizing, and new filtering/search capabilities to quickly find menu items. The 7.5 release also allows users to leave comments directly on forms. Additionally, it introduces a new attachment framework to allow users to drag and drop multiple attachments at once.
Looking ahead to Momentum 7.6, users will be able to add electronic signatures to contract PDFs generated from award and order documents. This will eliminate the need to print, sign, and scan documents. Additionally, there are plans to allow more than two signers to sign a document and to add digital signatures to acquisition documents.
Many ideas for new Momentum features were provided by the user community in attendance. These ideas will be considered for future Momentum releases. Suggestions include:
- Adding reorganization-like capabilities to allow security organizations to change on several documents at once
- The ability to print multiple attachments at once
- Adding additional user defined fields that are not text fields, such as check boxes or drop-downs
Many government agencies use the credit card or purchase card module in Momentum. Recent updates to the credit card module introduced in Momentum 7.5 include support for the Citibank Global Billing File (GBF) format. The GBF format is the ability to allow multiple aliases on credit card obligations, and offsets for immediate model lines.
A major event that will affect Momentum’s credit card module is the launch of SmartPay 3 on November 30th, 2018. SmartPay 3 is the next generation of GSA’s government charge card program. Recently awarded to Citibank and U.S. Bank, the service provides comprehensive purchase, travel, fleet, and integrated payment solutions. In preparation for SmartPay 3, agencies will need to award a new Task Order under the GSA SmartPay 3 contract, work with banks to provide new credit cards, configure all new cards in Momentum, and ensure banks provide statement files in supported formats.
The end of this session highlighted areas of improvement for credit card. CGI is working with agencies to determine whether Momentum should support additional statement file formats for less commonly used banks. Potential enhancements include the ability to customize which fields are displayed in the reconciliation notebook, the ability to configure which fields perform auto reconciliation matches, and allowing the reconciliation notebook to be locked.
The Budget session was led by Stacey van der Meer and attended by several Momentum customers. Attendees included the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Marshals, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the DoD’s Enterprise Funds Distribution (EFD). Stacey, a CGI SME, assisted the EFD project in implementing general ledger and financial reporting. Additionally, she is familiar with the unique EFD business processes. This was key, as the majority of the ideas discussed had originated from the EFD team!
The ideas were structured as pertaining to budget documents, budget entity updates, and reference data. The following ideas garnered the most discussion: streamlining the entry of budget documents (most agencies showed interest), modernizing the “look and feel” of reprogramming documents (most agencies were strongly for, except those that do not use reprogramming), the need for special characters in budget names (some agencies were for, others against), and a more detailed budget update log (most agencies were interested). Overall, it was a great session with good dialogue, and the majority of agencies participating.
The Performance Budgeting (PB) session was led by David Mays. The discussion was between CGI and USAID. USAID uses PB and is currently implementing new features. PB has grown over the years from solely a budget formulation system to include the SF-132 support, funds distribution, salary forecasting, document management, and more. Ideas focused on streamlining the entry, calculation, and workflow of budget requests, the SF-132 updates, and integration improvements.
The General Ledger session was led by Kate Yalowitz and Stacey van der Meer. This session was very interactive and attended by nearly all the customer agencies attending Momentum Ideas Day. This included folks from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), Department of Justice (DOJ), and others from prior sessions.
CGI asked Agency attendees to consider how they use the GL queries in Momentum. Additionally, which other data fields or functionality would be useful to assist with these activities. Agencies indicated they use GL queries to reconcile trial balances, identify tie point discrepancies, investigate posting model discrepancies, audit support, and a variety of other reconciliation activities. Attendees indicated it would be helpful if Momentum allowed users to search by (even) more fields (including several database-specific referencing fields), supported the capability to sort by more fields, and download results immediately into Excel. CGI indicated several GL Query enhancements are in process to assist with usability!
A Great Day
We had a great time at Momentum Day. We were able to learn a lot and provide important feedback on Momentum to CGI. This will help our clients today and in the years to come.
TeraThink believes the future of Momentum is bright. We are excited to keep up with the latest and greatest news regarding Momentum releases. Were you there? If so, what were your takeaways from this year’s event? Please share your thoughts below. Hopefully, we will see you at a future Momentum User Group event.