Empty desks in modern school classroom Why Oracle Cloud HCM and ERP were the right fit for Boise State University

Why Oracle Cloud HCM and ERP were the right fit for Boise State University (and could be for you too!)

Making the move to any cloud platform can be daunting. Successfully positioning your company for this move means defining your goals and timelines, understanding platform needs and of course your ideal results. Once those discussions occur, choosing the right cloud platform to help you achieve your goals is essential for any organization. Oracle HCM unifies global processes for HR, both talent and workforce management, payroll and employee experience. Importantly, it is one of the pillars of a seamless cloud platform that unifies HR, Finance, accounting and Supply Chain. Managing these critical back-office processes on a consistent cloud platform yields tremendous results.

Boise State University, a public research university, was looking to modernize their ways and resolve manual processes which lead them to both Oracle HCM and ERP. Jason Fairman, Project Manager at Boise State, recently sat down with Jeff Haynes, Director in Baker Tilly’s Oracle practice, to discuss their journey and advice for organizations looking for similar results.

In the beginning: Implementing ERP and HCM

Q: Tell us about Boise State’s decision to move to a cloud platform and what challenges you wanted to address in the process?

A: Boise State was a PeopleSoft user but historically not focused on upgrades. As a result, we were boxed in and out-of-date.

Q: Why did you select Oracle and then chose to do your roadmap of implementing ERP and then HCM?

A: We knew we needed to move to the cloud. Since 1999, we had been on PeopleSoft and were happy with our technology vendor, so it was a no-brainer for us to work with Oracle. As part of our long-term strategy, we had selected HCM at the start, so we always knew we were headed in that direction. Unfortunately, our financials were in a worse position than HR so that was our priority. After our go live, we let the ERP system stabilize for 12 to 18 months before starting our HCM implementation.

Q: What do you think was harder? HCM or ERP implementation?

A: HCM was definitely harder with the payroll being massive. HCM has more users (about 5,000 vs. 50 for ERP) which made the experience, iterative design and flow more important because everyone within the organization would touch it.

The end product

Q: Now that you are fully functioning in ERP and HCM, what positive results have you experienced?

A: The user interface and experience is much better. For employees and managers, it is extremely modern, easy to use with minimal guidance needed. Since using it, we have seen a decrease in payroll process timing, cutting the payroll cycle in half from seven to eight days to four days end-to-end. Recordings are also far easier to combine. We have better estimates versus accrual dashboards that allows for more timely decision making.

Boise State must send reports to the state - with our legacy system we would have to pull from two systems and combine them but now with OTBI (Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence) we can automate this process, making state and federal reporting easier.

Thankfully there is also less maintenance with your on-premises equipment, saving time and money with upgrades and patching with servers, which affects your ROI (return on investment). The transition allowed us to fully move away from having both a salary ledger and a general ledger. Now we only need a general ledger. Overall, time, labor and absence are far better than before.

Lessons learned

Q: Getting through ERP then HCM with Baker Tilly, what were Boise State’s lessons learned?

A: It’s so important to select the correct modules and it is much better to do a multi-module implementation versus a phased approach such as time, cost and efficiency. When implementing payroll, we learned to be aware that there are only four times that you can go-live but truly only one time that you would want to go-live.

For HCM, we are still learning additional benefits that we did not get in PeopleSoft with updates in self-service tickets and automating processes.

Q: What governance advice do you have?

A: Organizations in the cloud know the importance of governance. I recommend building out your governance model pre-go-live during the implementation process.

Q: What suggestions do you have in handling change management and driving adoption?

A: It’s important to have a partner, like Baker Tilly, that emphasizes change management with strong methodologies on how to execute it. I recommend being as transparent with stakeholders as possible. The application gives a lot of flexibility with things you may want to do, but it is important for their buy-in. You do not want to buy the software and continue doing everything you have always done. It’s a great opportunity to optimize what you do across each of your divisions. These may be hard conversations to have, but they are so important for overall success.

Q: What advice do you have for organizations looking to select a partner?

A: Pick a partner you are comfortable with. Implementations can take a while, so this is important. Find someone who will partner with your stakeholders in order to drive the transformation from your current state into a future state that leaves you in a better position than where they found you. I also recommend selecting a partner that challenges your thinking. They need to understand your industry, your culture and can guide you into using HCM by tailoring it to your organization’s needs. Your partner is a big part of your design sessions and will help you develop solutions along the way.

Through this journey, Boise State became one of the first higher education institutions to invest in both Oracle ERP and HCM Cloud. Learn more about Boise State’s HCM journey with Baker Tilly here.

Jeffrey Haynes
Office building courtyard with trees
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