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BG@100 launches tech upgrade

After two years of planning, programming and data crunching headaches, the University successfully upgraded its payroll, benefits and human resources software last month as part of its ongoing BG@100 Project. The new software replaces an antiquated, 16-year-old system and offers a bundle of new features to various University employees.

“The biggest advantage is self service,” said Bill Gerwin, BG@100 Project director. He refers to Web-based applications that will allow the University community to do more than just order a parking permit or change their address.

One new self service as a result of the June 27 upgrade, or “Go Live,” is the new “View My Paycheck” application available on MyBGSU, which will provide more detailed information than has been displayed on University check stubs in the past, including employer contributions — monies paid by the University towards an employee’s retirement program.

Mohammad Chowdhury, a lab consultant for information technology services, who has his paycheck directly deposited into his bank account and therefore will no longer be receiving a printed pay stub, is happy that he will no longer have to visit an office to retrieve his stub. He can get to it from any computer with an Internet connection.

“The problem with the old system is that you have to be in this lab, the union lab, to get your pay stub,” he said, adding that he also appreciates the added information now available through the application.

Another new application on MyBGSU, “View Compensation History,” will allow employees to view changes in their pay rate since the implementation of the new software.

The new applications are a component of the new software, known as PeopleSoft, being installed in various offices of the University. Eventually, PeopleSoft will replace the University’s old finance and student information applications, as well. This will mean fewer office visits for employees and students alike within the next few years.

For the human resources department, the upgrade is a breath of fresh air.

“We love it,” said Rebecca Ferguson, assistant vice president of human resources. “The functionality is a lot broader than what we had under the other system. The ability to get information out of the system has become a lot easier.”

The old human resources software interface was text based, similar to an ATM. There were no graphics, pull down menus or windows. With the new system, all of that has changed.

“The difference is stark,” Ferguson said. “This program has drop down menus. It is a phenomenal system.”

The first “Go Live” of the BG@100 project is the result of an 18 month process. It began with 257 individuals from various University offices identifying their needs for new software. The result of that survey produced a list of 6,309 requirements for the new software that the University would be requesting vendors to supply.

After looking at various options from vendors, the University decided to go with PeopleSoft, which is now owned by the Oracle Corporation. Shortly thereafter, project leaders requested the University come up with a name for the project.

“The name BG@100 represents our desire to move to new administrative systems as we approach the centennial of BGSU, as well as our goal to achieve 100% satisfaction in the services provided through the use of our administrative systems,” it states on the project’s website.

The University set up an office to handle the transition, which will complete the conversion of all University data to the new system as well as train employees in various departments of the university.

It took months for the project team composed of thirty people to determine how the data would be converted to the new system. Once the automated conversion was determined, the entire weekend before the system went active was spent actually converting the data.

The staff of the offices of human resources and payroll received two one week training sessions to get acquainted with the new system. Half the office would go one week, and then the other half would go the second week.

Even with the training, though, Ferguson said the transition was not easy.

“We all have this very high standard on customer service, and to not be able to perform as we did a month ago. It is rough,” she said. “There have been bumps, which I think is very normal. Give us thirty days and you won’t see a disruption at all.”

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