Customer Success

University of Greenwich Capitalising on the Cloud

Introduction

The University embarked on the implementation of a new Human Capital Management system. It is fitting that a University so associated with time (the Royal Observatory is on the doorstep) were able to achieve this in a record time – seven months from contract to cutover of core HR and then a mere four months later to deliver Payroll as well.

 

THE JOURNEY

Like many organisations, The University of Greenwich had developed their existing HR Payroll system over a number of years. The existing system, ‘Oracle E-Business Suite’ had a wealth of data, a plethora of customisations and a host of dependent systems. However, unlike the maritime wonders that Greenwich is so associated with, this system had become a ‘creaky ship’ under the weight of that history.

The University really needed a complete HR solution, one that would provide a consistent intuitive user experience, one that would streamline and systemise to eliminate time- consuming manual processes and one that would increase insights into the workings of the University and its business.

The University were faced with a quandary, sail on with a system that would only ever take them so far, or invest in a future proofed platform that would take them into the clouds. After deliberation and due diligence, the University chose the latter and after securing the services of Namos Solutions to implement Oracle HCM, they never looked back.

The benefits of the project were aligned to the mission of the University; to transform lives through inspired teaching and research. By migrating its current HR systems to Oracle HCM Cloud, the University was confident it would be able to transform processes and in doing so, inspire enhanced employee and student experience and empower its HR team.

ONE TEAM APPROACH

When Namos got onboard, it was clear this would be an effective partnership. The University had ‘buy in’ from leadership which fully understood the benefits of the product.

That senior level ‘buy in’ fostered a ‘no blame’ culture and a steely resolve to simplify and optimise processes. The result? An enfranchised project team where decisions were taken with autonomy and a ‘long term’ view.

Although the project team brought together in- house subject matter experts, new recruits and a host of Namos Consultants, the team all pulled together as one. Senior leadership were on hand to chart a clear course, ensuring the team rowed in the same direction. When the project encountered issues, all hands were on deck intent on moving forwards.

The core values of the project team aligned to the core principles of Namos; Professionalism, Expertise and Trust. The team consisted of professionals that respected one another’s considerable expertise and trusted one another to deliver.

CHARTING THE COURSE

Even with bought in leadership, an enfranchised project team and the expertise of an award-winning solution implementer like Namos, nothing guarantees success like hard work!

Namos are experts in applying the industry best practise in Oracle solutions implementation (broadly following the ‘Oracle Unified Methodology’), however, there is considerable work involved in implementing systems of this scale.

The Initiate and Design phase involved identifying every interface, mapping all the data from the source system, and aligning agreed requirements to configurable functionality.

What followed was a Prototyping phase, carefully walking through functionality and refining and aligning awareness of the requirements to capabilities of the product.

Only then did the team commit to testing functionality. It was at this stage that the professionalism of the team shone through, with the Project Manager ensuring timely testing, the subject matter experts confidently accepting functionality and the expertise of the Namos consultants acting on defects in hours or days as opposed to weeks and months.

Intense data migration, integration, reporting and change management was a constant demand of every phase.

All of this meant that the core HR system was deployed into production for the start of February, a mere seven months after the contract sign. What followed was four months of meticulous parallel payroll runs reconciling to the penny, before going live with Payroll at the end of May.

RESULTS

Within only a few months running with Oracle HCM Cloud, the University of Greenwich has been able to bring together siloed business processes and ways of working into a single source of truth. The system is providing its employees with access to accurate and consistent information whenever and wherever they are.

In less than a year, the University has gone from uncertainty and anxiety regarding the future of its HR systems estate to pride and optimism of the future capabilities.

After the tireless efforts of the project team, the project sailed through ‘Early Life Support’, so much so, the system is already in stable operation supported by the Namos ‘eNlighten’ Managed Services Support team.

THE FUTURE

The University continues to invest in a Digital Strategies which will build system capabilities that provide the foundation for continued IT and University successes for years to come. From enduring siloed, disjointed systems and processes, to enjoying seamless effective system solutions.