Enterprise Systems and Process Renewal Project

More Ease, More Functions

When SunGard’s Banner human resource/payroll module goes live in January 2012, Ball State faculty and staff will be able to do more with the online Employee Self Service.

Enhancing the tool is just one benefit of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), says Jeffrey George, director of financial information systems and technology and a member of the HR implementation team responsible for getting the module in place for the start of the calendar year. The first payroll generated in Banner will be on Friday, January 13.

“The Banner Employee Self Service not only will allow employees access to their pay stubs and current benefit information,” he says, “but they will also be able to make changes that they were not able to do online previously. This includes being able to change direct deposit information, change contact information, make benefit selections during open enrollment, and a variety of other tasks. Employee Self Service will also be available 24 hours a day, unlike the 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. availability we have currently.”

In addition, the Banner Digital Campus systems will allow designated faculty and staff to quickly and easily generate reports without requiring the assistance of technical staff, he says. This change allows technical staff to focus on producing more complicated reports from multiple systems.

The timekeeping tool Kronos is being reconfigured to integrate with Banner. Supervisors and administrators will be affected by the changes, which include learning new earning codes. The new codes will help better define wages and salaries as well as improve reporting, but they will require supervisors and administrators to modify their current reports.

“Employees who only enter their time online or use a time clock shouldn’t notice any change except that there will be no historical information once we go live,” George says.

Electronic personnel action forms (EPAFs) will replace FormBlaster, a customized application designed for the current system. EPAFs will be used to assign employees to jobs (including student employment), change employees’ pay rates, add or remove stipends, and end assignments. EPAFs are designed to be easy to use, but they will function differently than FormBlaster. To ease the adjustment period, individuals responsible for preparing them will be trained, and support will be available.

Implementing the new systems has required team members to dedicate three days a week since early December 2010. In October 2011, they started dedicating almost 100 percent of their time to ensure that all the employee information is converted accurately and the system is configured to pay employees correctly and able to produce all the necessary reports.

In addition to testing, converting, creating EPAFs, and reconfiguring Kronos, the team is developing training materials in multiple formats. Training sessions for those most affected by the changes will be held in December and early January.

“The camaraderie among the team and the support we have from everyone all over campus has been great,” George says. “In addition, the support from our SunGard consultants has also been great and critical to the successes we have experienced to date. Honestly, it takes all of us on the team working several hours extra at night and on the weekend to make sure we do what we can to make the go-live date of January 2012.

“In anticipation that the current level of activity and effort will escalate over the next few months, we ask for everyone’s patience and continued support as we work our way through this process. It is also important that everyone—employees, administrators, team members, and the HR, payroll and benefits staff—understand that the level of effort communication, patience, and support will only get more intense after the first payroll is generated. This project requires an incredible amount of work and time, but hopefully we will all agree, in a year from now, that the effort was well spent!”