We’re excited to have upgraded the university to the newest versions of the PeopleSoft Human Resources (HR) and Student Information System (SIS). These new versions of our HR, Payroll and Student applications are now being used across the enterprise by the Office of Human Resources (OHR), Payroll, Enrollment Services and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as well as many other colleges and departments.
“Oracle’s PeopleSoft platform is the core of many of our HR and SIS processes from registration and financial aid to payroll and employee selfservice,” says David Kieffer, Senior Director, Enterprise Applications. “There is no question that this was the right time to make a change. Traditional vendor support for our current system had already expired and Ohio State was one of the last customers still using the previous version. Upgrading was necessary to keep our data safe while also offering functionality and processing benefits for multiple areas.”
The project focused on going from customizing a software package to align with our processes to aligning and streamlining our processes to suit a newer version of the software. The difference is profound. Extensive customization to the software has previously meant cumbersome maintenance and an inability to take advantage of much of the functionality we already own. Conversely, using a more out-of-the-box version of the software will allow us to use new tools now, and positions us to take advantage of upgraded features in the future.
The benefits don’t end there. In addition to allowing us to use some impressive new functionality, completing this project has:
- given us an opportunity to improve some of our business processes for more efficient daily operations
- offered simplified system maintenance while allowing more seamless integration with other Oracle/PeopleSoft modules
- decreased the risk of unscheduled outages associated with aging hardware
- Increased database server processing capacity and reduced annual server costs
Additionally, some non-PeopleSoft changes were also made during the project. For example, we upgraded the current version of the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to the new version called “u.achieve 4.0” as part of the upgrade project scope.
From a change management prospective, we worked with project sponsors to redesign processes and smoothly integrate the changes into the new system. Cross-functional teams from stakeholder areas worked on this through all phases of the project. OHR, Payroll, the Controller’s Office, Enrollment Services, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, as well as OCIO Infrastructure, Data Warehouse, Identity Management and IT Security coordinated their work streams to ensure we remained focused on how system changes could impact each area. The project also included several testing phases to ensure a high quality system. Subject matter experts (SMEs) in each of these areas, as well as college and department SMEs, were engaged as change agents, and their help was invaluable. They were able to provide input based on their expertise in related processes and their knowledge of the people who would be affected by the switch to the updated system. This was a huge undertaking that could not have been successful without the collaboration of Ohio State teams across the enterprise.