Published February 20, 2015
Vintage is in, but not when it comes to manual record entry.
Finding parts and technicians to maintain UB’s 30 year-old IBM mainframe had been difficult and expensive. For the first time since 1990, University Business Systems are being transformed to make them more efficient and provide new capabilities.
Similar to the Student Services Transformation in 2010, which brought us HUB Student Center, the Business Systems Transformation is using web technology to put a new face, functionality and features across business systems in the Human Resource and Financial Services arena. In fact, UB is the first SUNY campus to utilize the SUNY Human Resource system as its system of record, leveraging key benefits via the revised electronic personnel transaction form system (ePFT).
Paper forms are a thing of the past with UB’s Web-based interfaces. With ePTF, it is easy to submit, track, and manage reclassifications, pay increases, new hires, promotions, and other personnel actions. University employees will experience faster, more reliable transactions, improved accuracy of data, and a more streamlined and efficient process.
“To process budget transactions previously, paper forms had to be completed and mailed to Crofts Hall before they were manually entered into the system,” said Gary Pacer, Manager of Application Development with Enterprise Application Services (EAS) and the Technical Lead for BST. “Right now, they are double data entering everything, but with the new BST, that will go away.”
UB Information Technology and University Business Services have been working very close with SUNY, as they are also building new applications to ensure accurate data.
“Leveraging the SUNY system as part of the HR system is better for positioning UB in the future. The sky is the limit at this point with technology,” says Steven Woodward, Manager of Application Development with Enterprise Application Services (EAS), part of UB Information Technology.
E-budget revision is one of the new applications in UB’s E-Business suite. This app provides an electronic way to submit budget revisions with a faster processing and turnaround time.
“The process flow is faster,” said Tom Okon, Director of Business Reporting and Systems and Functional Lead on BST. “This also paves way for future work. In the case of petty cash reimbursements, people around campus are waiting for funds to be recovered. Having an electronic process will get them what they need faster.”
UB’s business applications have purposely been designed to work, look and feel the same way, so customers won’t see a big change. As more E-business applications are rolled out, UB staff will be more aware of new capabilities that will increase their ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks.
Tom, Gary and Steven have been working on the Business Systems Transformation for the past three years with a team of 60 UB employees from UB Information Technology and UB Business Offices.
“It’s important for the university community to know many people are involved in this project,” said Tom. It’s only through the dedication of UB’s staff that this project has stayed on schedule and been successful.”
“The commitment from all of the people involved from SUNY, UB’s Administration, the Business Offices, and UBIT is huge and they are all thrilled to be making this work,” said Gary. “The focus has changed from ‘why can’t we?’ to ‘how will we?’”