New system will improve business processes and how people work together through better access to data
A new Human Capital Management/Payroll system is coming to campus. SU signed a Master Subscription Agreement (MSA) with Workday on April 30, 2012, with implementation of the new system targeted for January 1, 2014.
“To support the University’s goal of elevating its status as a preeminent research institution, we must deliver a robust human resource management system that supports efficient and effective employee and manager self-service while empowering University decision makers with the information needed to focus our investment in people. Workday, in conjunction with planned enhancement in SU people programs, is a critical enabler of our goal,” says Tom Rose, Chief Human Resources Officer.
Chris Sedore, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Operations, added, “Workday will reduce our costs while increasing our operational efficiencies and our access to and understanding of our data. Our intent is to look at every business process, reduce steps and distribute activities to streamline and simplify processes.”
Syracuse University began its relationship with PeopleSoft and components of their Human Resources/Student Administration (HRSA) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform approximately fifteen years ago. HRSA, also known as Campus Solutions (CS), is an integrated database system that enables students, faculty, and staff to access their critical University information resources, including academic information, course selection, class registration, class schedules and rosters, online grading, advising information, student records, payroll information, benefits information and others. HRSA is the primary functional system behind SU’s enterprise portal, MySlice. In 2005, PeopleSoft was acquired by Oracle Corporation.
Oracle announced a couple of years ago that it is splitting Campus Solutions/HRSA into two systems, PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0 and PeopleSoft HCM (Human Capital Management) 9.1. Organizations like SU that use HRSA must implement the split by December, 2014. Oracle’s extended support for the integrated HRSA system ends at that time. The creation of two separate systems will make support/maintenance more complicated and costly. HCM 9.1 is an incremental change from what is now in place, and would require SU to build or buy an HCM/CS synchronizer to provide integration. Not only will there be two systems to maintain and operate, but each of the stand-alone systems will have their own maintenance and upgrade protocols. Campus Solutions will gain new functionality via semi-annually released “feature packs,” while HCM will follow the traditional “big upgrade” path.
“These changes put us at a long-term decision point for the future of SU’s HR/payroll system,” said Sam Scozzafava, Associate Chief Information Officer for Administrative Systems. “When coupled with our desire to streamline SU’s operations, and with developments in the ERP software industry, we face an opportunity for service transformation. This transformation is centered on the convergence of cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms that not only enable high degrees of user self-service, they also avoid the need for on-site upgrades and can help reduce yearly investment in operations and support,” said Scozzafava.
A scan of available alternatives to PeopleSoft saw Workday emerge early on as a clear candidate. Workday pitches itself as “a unified, modern administrative solution for higher education” and claims to provide “the only unified global Human Capital Management, Payroll, and Financial Management solution delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS) and uniquely designed for the needs of Higher Education.” Workday’s co-founder and co-CEO is Dave Duffield, who was a founder of PeopleSoft and a critical contributor to their growth.
As Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the Workday platform is a web-based ERP system used concurrently by multiple customers. Workday's multi-tenant model means customers share one physical instance of the Workday SaaS solution without ever seeing each other's data, which simplifies upgrades. Since all customers use the same code, the system relies on configuration, not customization to meet customer needs.
Workday currently has more than 200 customers including Chiquita, Commerce Bank, Flextronics, Time Warner, and Thomson-Reuters. Higher Education customers in addition to Syracuse include Georgetown, Brown, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, USC, and NYU, with other high-profile institutions giving it serious consideration.
Last fall ITS teamed with subject matter experts from SU’s Human Resources and Payroll departments, and Accenture Consulting, to perform a rigorous comparison among three approaches -- the current, modified version of the PeopleSoft software, PeopleSoft without modifications (“vanilla PeopleSoft”), and Workday – and concluded that with upcoming improvements by the time it is implemented at SU, Workday will support SU’s business processes as well as our heavily customized version of PeopleSoft.
“While Workday will be of great benefit to SU, any system has limitations,” said Scozzafava. “We will limit the need for work arounds and customizations through deep engagement with decision makers and end users.”
Rose agrees. “Early in the project life cycle we’re planning extensive socialization of the decision making environment we intend to create through Workday, including a review of the gains in functionality and trade-offs we will need to make within the application,” he said. “By doing disciplined process redesign, anchored in a clear vision of this decision environment, we will limit the need for work arounds.”
“Workday will help transform how we conduct HR and Payroll services,” said Scozzafava, “and in doing so will provide better access and use of real-time HR and Payroll data. This will not only improve the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of business processes and how people work together, it will help free up IT resources to work on even more strategic, high-value university projects.”
Details about the Workday implementation are being developed and will be communicated in the future. In the meantime, anyone with questions, or who want more information are invited to contact Sam Scozzafava at email@example.com.
Article by: Christopher FinkleContact Information: ITS Service Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, (315) 443-2677
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