Case Studies

WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

ABOUT THE CLIENT: WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Wachusett Regional School District was founded in 1955 and is comprised of students from the Massachusetts towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling. The district’s central office is located in Jefferson, Massachusetts. This K-12 school district, at 155 square miles, is the largest school district in the State, by area.

CLIENT CHALLENGE:

With the onset of COVID-19 emergency restrictions, the Wachusett Regional School District recognized an immediate need to provide their faculty and central office teams with a rapidly deployed remote workplace solution that would provide all users with secure, remote access to their servers and workstations.

THE CHERRYROAD SOLUTION:

Through continuous innovation and development, CherryRoad is committed to optimizing progressive technology that supports growth and change, enhances the quality of our clients’ organizations, and brings about accelerated solutions that meet evolving market needs.

“While it was not our plan to have our central office staff work remotely at the drop of a hat, we thankfully had CherryRoad’s Shark UTM Remote Workplace at our disposal. In a matter of hours we created accounts for all of our central office staff and gave them connections to their desktops. It’s working out amazingly well and has provided invaluable flexibility in coping with the ever-changing work conditions we’re all facing.”

– Barry Sclar, Supervisor of Information Services

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CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, NY

ABOUT THE CLIENT: CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, NY

Middletown, NY, a city in Orange County, New York, United States, lies in New York’s Hudson Valley region, near the Wallkill River and the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. Middletown is situated between Port Jervis and Newburgh, New York. Middletown falls within the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which belongs to the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

CLIENT CHALLENGE:

The City of Middletown had an immediate need to provide real-time interaction at government meetings. It was imperative to keep citizens informed, involved, and safe while adhering to restrictions related to in-person meetings.

CLIENT BENEFIT:

Through CherryRoad’s Digital Town Hall solution, the City of Middletown has the capability to reassure its citizens that they are always operational, making decisions on behalf of the community, and providing real-time updates to emergency and community information. With Digital Town Hall, the City of Middletown, NY, now has a central place to share event content and collaborate on important topics today and in the future for its citizens.

THE CHERRYROAD SOLUTION:

Through continuous innovation and development, CherryRoad is committed to optimizing progressive technology that supports growth and change, enhances the quality of our clients’ organizations, and brings about accelerated solutions that meet evolving market needs.
More than ever before, citizens’ desire communication from their leaders related to key local decisions and an opportunity to participate in their local government in real-time. Stakeholders equally desire a means to provide important information and virtually interact with constituents. With Digital Town Hall, developed in partnership with LogMeIn®, the City of Middletown, NY, now has a central place to share event content and collaborate on important topics. It further enables the City to hold virtual, interactive meetings, giving citizens the ability to:

  • Communicate and become involved remotely, in real-time.
  • Become involved in the community, virtually with live questions and answers.
  • Access information that is pertinent to the business of local government, centralized and stored in a private cloud environment for easy, secure access.

“Our City values the views and opinions of its citizens and wishes them to remain fully engaged in their government,” stated Mayor Joseph M. DeStefano, City of Middletown, NY. “As a tech-forward City, we are proud to utilize a digital tool which enhances our resident’s ability to be wholly involved. Whether it be to indicate budgetary priorities, share ideas, or to hear what fellow citizens want to share with their government, Digital Town Hall provides us a secure, easy-to-use, and digital forum to transact City business.”

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K-12 Districts Turn to the Cloud for Back-Office modernization

"We no longer wanted to be in the business of owning and maintaining our own data centers. We want to be in the business of educating."

Project Manager of ERP and SIS,
K-12 School District

This district isn’t alone. Increasingly, districts across the country are turning to cloud solutions to modernize their back-office processes. Cloud solutions can create tremendous efficiencies that free up time, money, infrastructure and other resources so districts can focus on providing a world-class education to students. Crucial to the success of these back-office transformations is the involvement of a trusted cloud implementation firm like CherryRoad Technologies, an Oracle platinum-level consulting partner with 35 years of experience in modernizing, optimizing and managing complex back-office processes and technologies for school districts, higher education institutions, and state and local organizations.

REDUCING TCO AND IMPROVING BUSINESS PROCESSES

The client, who is the subject of this case study serves 60,000+ K-12 students. Over the years, it has run its legacy data center and back-office applications on-premises, meaning it had to invest in and maintain the data center, upgrade it as needed, manage disaster recovery and more. When it came time to modernize the backoffice, the district considered, and then rejected, an on-premise solution. Technology had gotten in the way of servicing the users. Instead, the district opted to move to a cloud-based Oracle solution, supported by CherryRoad, that provides a wide range of business capabilities while enabling unified visibility and control.

"We have 8,000 employees and are changing virtually every process in the district” shares a District representative “Cherry-Road’s change management experts understand the complexity of the transition and the emotions associated with that. They have been great at educating change agents at every school."

NAVIGATING CHANGE THE EASY WAY

Back-office modernization can be a huge undertaking. Many school districts find the complexity and sheer scope of such a change requires the assistance of a consulting firm with demonstrated expertise. Our client chose CherryRoad to support them in their transformation after being impressed with its cloud-oriented methodology, processes and training; its full range of services; and its long-term support. CherryRoad has worked with numerous K-12 districts for more than 25 years and has been recognized as Oracle’s Public Sector Innovation Partner of the Year. By working with the right partner and using cloud-based solutions, districts of any size can catapult their back-office organizations into the 21st century and position themselves for the future.

“We carefully considered the total cost of ownership (TCO),” shared the project manager who oversees the district’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and student information system (SIS) implementations. “We looked at a five-year model for TCO. The upfront cost of an implementation of this size, with world-class software like Oracle’s, is sizable, but it was important to do it right to position the district for the long run.”

The district found it could save money overall by transferring data center costs (e.g., personnel, maintenance, power, cooling, and rack and floor space) to the cloud vendor instead of operating infrastructure in house. Another decisive factor was Oracle’s Platinum Partner CherryRoad and its implementation methodology.

“With CherryRoad’s methodology, we liked the idea that we would have a prototype early, that we would get our hands dirty early, and that the process would be iterative. The other reason we selected CherryRoad was due to its public sector experience.”

USING THE SOLUTION, THIS K-12 SCHOOL DISTRICT EXPECTS TO:

  • Secure data access so district leaders and staff can make informed decisions regardless of their location or device
  • Support data-driven decision-making
  • Implement employee self-service (change contact information in benefits and payroll applications)
  • Standardize purchasing and other business processes
  • Eliminate duplicate data entry for purchase orders, payroll and other processes
  • Obtain a single, consistent version of the truth
  • Streamline workflows for grants, projects, budgets and other processes that have historically been paper-based

THE FOLLOWING BEST PRACTICES WILL FURTHER SET UP DISTRICTS FOR SUCCESS:

  • Define business processes. Knowing how and why departments do things will help a district identify opportunities for improvement and lay the ground work for drafting an RFP.
  • Identify staffing needs early. Determine needs for the project (business leads as well as technical leads) and identify their current responsibilities and how their roles will be filled while they are on the project.
  • Include business SMEs. Identify subject matter experts (SMEs) in the departments where business processes occur and involve them in the project so they understand what they’re getting and can champion the project with other faculty and staff.
  • Seek budgeting help. Modernization requires a long-term financial plan. The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and other organizations can supply guidance on how to sustain projects over time.
  • Address data protection. Be prepared to show how sensitive data will be protected and how the district will comply with government regulations related to financial information, health care records, student privacy and more.

“Cloud applications allow K-12 organizations to bring accountability and modern ERP practices to the back office, letting schools get back to their core mission of education.” said Tom Heldt, CherryRoad, Executive Vice President, “A cloud-based system promotes consistency, security and productivity by ensuring every office in the district is working with the most current software and with constantly improved functionality .”

xl capital image Cherryroad Technologies

XL Capital Ltd.

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About the Client

XL Capital is a financial services company headquartered in Bermuda and incorporated in Ireland. The company has over 3500 employees and offices on Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Its main lines of business are casualty and property, both insurance and reinsurance.

Client Challenge

To implement a single, reliable HR system across XL Capital’s dozen subsidiaries in 37 countries, which run a variety of legacy systems.

Client Benefits

A consistent, global system that has streamlined HR functions and supports regulatory and management reporting requirements.

For XL Capital Ltd., a Bermuda-based Fortune 500 insurance and financial services firm, it was critical to implement a single, consistent HR system worldwide. XL Capital had grown through acquisitions across North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and South America. By 2001, the company was operating in 30 countries.

The companies that now formed XL Capital continued to use a variety of legacy human resources systems, making it difficult for management to track and manage employee data. Even obtaining headcount was a time-consuming, inexact task, requiring manual consolidation of numerous spreadsheets. XL Capital needed a seamless system to streamline its HR functions and support regulatory and management reporting. The company purchased an HR application, then hired CherryRoad Technologies, a certified implementation leader, to implement the system.

“We decided to partner with CherryRoad because we were impressed by the depth of their experience with business process redesign and implementations,” said John Hodge, XL’s global CIO. “We knew that CherryRoad had the business and technical expertise to successfully complete this project.”

CherryRoad Solution

CherryRoad evaluated business processes and developed standard processes across all company entities while simultaneously deploying an HR system in multiple locations in multiple countries.

“CherryRoad Technologies has been an outstanding partner in implementing the HR system in numerous locations for XL Capital. Because our company has grown through acquisitions in many locations, this has been a complex undertaking. CherryRoad has consistently risen to the occasion, achieving each milestone on schedule and on budget. We have the fullest confidence in CherryRoad’s ability to continue achieving rapid, cost-effective results worldwide.”

Mike Grimaldi
Vice President of XL Capital

Gaining a Global Resource Snapshot with an HR System and CherryRoad

For XL Capital Ltd., a Bermuda-based Fortune 500 insurance and financial services firm, it was critical to implement a single, consistent HR system worldwide. XL Capital had grown through acquisitions across North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and South America. By 2001, the company was operating in 30 countries.

The companies that now formed XL Capital continued to use a variety of legacy human resources systems, making it difficult for management to track and manage employee data. Even obtaining headcount was a time-consuming, inexact task, requiring manual consolidation of numerous spreadsheets. XL Capital needed a seamless system to streamline its HR functions and support regulatory and management reporting. The company purchased an HR application, then hired CherryRoad Technologies, a certified implementation leader, to implement the system.

“We decided to partner with CherryRoad because we were impressed by the depth of their experience with business process redesign and implementations,” said John Hodge, XL’s global CIO. “We knew that CherryRoad had the business and technical expertise to successfully complete this project.”

Getting Started

CherryRoad started by evaluating XL Capital’s business processes, including reporting. The end result was a list of standardized codes, such as departments, job codes, corporate titles, and earnings codes, to be used throughout the organization. This change positioned XL for accurate management reporting worldwide and laid the foundation for the new HR system.

Next, CherryRoad began the process of implementing HR applications in the U.S., England, Ireland, and Bermuda. CherryRoad and XL Capital faced the challenges of meeting global expectations while delivering local functionality, achieving simultaneous go-lives of multiple locations in multiple countries, and ensuring knowledge transfer to the users. These challenges were met through the use of CherryRoad‘s rapid implementation methodology and strong teamwork by CherryRoad consultants and XL Capital resources.

CherryRoad visited each site to ensure that all local requirements were captured and considered for implementation. This included addressing government mandated-reporting needs not addressed by the HR system’s functionality (such as CURE Reporting in Bermuda). A stakeholder committee was established, consisting of key decision makers from each site. This committee was the critical forum that allowed each location to express local concerns while receiving global direction.

Addressing Multinational Implementation Issues

CherryRoad is also helping to coordinate XL Capital’s communications and compliance with the Works Councils in each European country where process or system changes are occurring. The Works Councils, formed under the guidance of the European Union (EU), inform and advise employees about business decisions that affect the workforce and impact the employees’ interests. CherryRoad helps XL Capital to explain why process and system changes are occurring, and ensure compliance with Works Council guidelines.

Expanding Worldwide

In 2001, XL Capital acquired Winterthur International, a global insurer. Integrating the Winterthur International business units into XL was a high priority, and HR processes and systems were a key enabler. CherryRoad began working with XL to implement the HR system in Switzerland, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

The implementation was completed in first quarter of 2003. XL Capital is now able to generate consolidated management reports for all HR operations worldwide for the acquired and the pre-existing XL entities. Implementing an HR system and redesigning business processes across the Winterthur International operations moved XL closer to equitable company-wide policies and practices in HR areas such as compensation, benefits, recruitment, and training. Further, by making processes more consistent and fluid across business units, XL has the ability to facilitate the transfer of expatriate workers across countries.

While bringing the Winterthur International sites live, CherryRoad simultaneously began integrating many small sites scattered across the globe, to complete the global system XL Capital was seeking. Currently, only one site remains for XL Capital to be able to report global headcount, perform detailed compensation analysis, and perform various analytics needed to make XL Capital’s HR system a more efficient and effective tool.

Improving Processes

Throughout the implementation project, CherryRoad’s Management Consulting team has continued to partner with XL to achieve business process improvements. “CherryRoad’s Management Consulting group is helping standardize our business processes across the company,” said Mike Grimaldi,. “Because we evolved from so many different companies, we urgently needed to create consistent processes for HR and benefits, and they’ve provided tremendous value on that front. They’ve also helped us explore new programs such as stock administration and benefits administration, and evaluate payroll provider options.”

Business Benefits

With worldwide implementation near completion, XL Capital sees significant improvements in HR systems and processes.

  • The company is achieving its objective of seamless, accurate management reporting, including basic but critical data such as headcount.
  • The HR department’s efficiency and effectiveness are enhanced by the ability to produce real-time data on demand through the system, versus the prior, labor-intensive process of consolidating numerous spreadsheets.
  • HR can more readily meet demands for ad hoc reports, drawing on the increased flexibility and functionality of the application’s query tool.
  • Using the Interface system, XL can now enter changes once (versus the duplicate entries previously required), and they are automatically identified and sent to the provider.
virtuahealthimage Cherryroad Technologies

Virtua Health Organization

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About the Client

In October 1998, Memorial Health Alliance and West Jersey Health System merged to create Virtua Health, the largest healthcare provider in southern New Jersey.

Client Challenge
  • Upgrade current functionality to PS HCM 8.9
  • Eliminate costly customizations where possible through process changes and improved system functionality.
  • Use the implementation as a means to lay the groundwork for a full TAM/CG implementation in 2007 and to improve overall system performance and maintenance.
Client Benefit
  • Broad user acceptance and satisfaction with upgraded system as the overall system performance improved after assisting the organization’s hosting partner with a tuning process.
  • Through broad client technical preparedness, including capacity planning, the project was implemented in a smooth and timely manner.
  • Customizations were reduced by nearly 50%, providing Virtua Health with financial savings through less expenditure at the time of upgrade as well as lower ongoing support costs.
  • Other savings included time savings during the implementation process and lessened support times as the upgraded software was utilized out of the box and PeopleSoft provides more expedient user support.
CherryRoad Solution
  • Person Model aids the organization in the tracking of different employment relationships.
  • Assistance in fine-tuning the relationship between the organization and its Web hosting provider and help streamline and optimize all aspects of the interface between the two.
  • Thorough capacity planning was conducted in advance of the implementation to identify infrastructure upgrades needed to accommodate anticipated growth in both system and user requirements.
  • The desired foundation was established for the planned TAM/CG implementation. The strong functional users utilized an automated upgrade assistant to assess customizations and to determine which did not need to be carried forward tothe new system.

A non-profit organization, Virtua Health employs 8,000 clinical and administrative personnel and has 1,800 physicians as medical staff members. Virtua Health consists of four hospitals, a comprehensive outpatient health center, two outpatient surgerycenters a home care service; rehabilitation and nursing centers, and Center for HealthFitness.

Named among the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Best Places to Work – Virtua has distinguished itself as one of the first Six Sigma organizations in healthcare, as an early adopter of clinical and digital technologies, and is recognized for its innovative partnerships with nationally renowned organizations.

Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise HCM Systems Upgrade

Our successful partnership with this health care leader led to an on-time, on-budget upgrade of their PeopleSoft HCM from version 8.0 SP1 to version 8.9. Included in the upgrade were Human Resources, Position Management, Benefits Administration, Payroll and limited Employee and Manager self-service. Limited recruiting functionality was also brought forward to set the stage for a full implementation of Talent Acquisition Manager and Candidate Gateway.

Project Challenges

  • Upgrade current functionality to PS HCM 8.9
  • Eliminate costly customizations where possible through process changes and improved system functionality.
  • Use the implementation as a means to lay the groundwork for a full TAM/CG implementation in 2007 and to improve overall system performance and maintenance.

Solutions Delivered

  • Person Model aids the organization in the tracking of different employment relationships.
  • Assistance in fine-tuning the relationship between the organization and its Web hosting provider and help streamline and optimize all aspects of the interface between the two.
  • Thorough capacity planning was conducted in advance of the implementation to identify infrastructure upgrades needed to accommodate anticipated growth in both system and user requirements.
  • The desired foundation was established for the planned TAM/CG implementation. The strong functional users utilized an automated upgrade assistant to assesscustomizations and to determine which did not need to be carried forward tothe new system.

Benefits

  • Broad user acceptance and satisfaction with upgraded system as the overall system performance improved after assisting the organization’s hosting partner with a tuning process.
  • Through broad client technical preparedness, including capacity planning, the project was implemented in a smooth and timely manner.
  • Customizations were reduced by nearly 50%, providing Virtua Health with financial savings through less expenditure at the time of upgrade as well as lower ongoing support costs.
  • Other savings included time savings during the implementation process and lessened support times as the upgraded software was utilized out of the box and PeopleSoft provides more expedient user support.
The University of Delaware- Cherryroad Technologies

The University of Delaware

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About the Client

The University of Delaware has grown from its founding as a small private academy in 1743 to a major university. As one of the oldest land-grant institutions, as well as a sea-grant, space-grant and urban-grant institution, Delaware offers an impressive collection of educational resources. As the largest university in the state, the main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes and Georgetown.

“This is the second time in which the University has partnered with CherryRoad to achieve our business and technology objectives. During both experiences, CherryRoad exceeded our expectations. They have clearly demonstrated that they are a caring organization that listens. They have provided us with consultants who understand that system implementation is a technical and human process and are talented at blending both beautifully.”

Susan Foster
University Vice President of Information Technologies

The University of Delaware enrolls over 16,000 undergraduates and nearly 3,000 graduate students. As a state-assisted, privately controlled institution, the University seeks to enroll students from diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of geographic regions. Currently, 60% of Newark campus undergraduates are non-residents who represent nearly every state and several foreign countries.

Undergraduates may choose to major in any one or more of over 100 academic majors. The University’s distinguished faculty includes internationally known scientists, authors, and teachers, all committed to continuing the University of Delaware’s tradition in providing one of the highest quality undergraduate educations available. The University of Delaware is strongly committed to enrolling and retaining minority students.

University of Delaware Project – Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financials and HRMS Systems Upgrade

CherryRoad Technologies Inc., a full-service systems integrator and Oracle Certified Advantage partner, successfully completed the upgrade and enhancement of The University of Delaware’s Oracle/PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial and HRMS systems.

Performed simultaneously, the on-time, on-budget upgrades bring the University’s PeopleSoft environment up to version 8.9 and strengthen its ability to realize the full potential of the University’s technology investment.

By effectively leveraging new version 8.9 functionality, the University has improved its overall ease of operations and usage of the system while significantly reducing the need for customizations. In addition, the University of Delaware used the opportunity to implement new delivered functionality to improve its current business processes.

Departments most notably affected by the upgrades include: Procurement Services, General Accounting, Research Office, Budget Office, Billing & Collection, Cashiers’ Office, Associate Treasurer’s Office – Financial Services, as well as the Human Resources Office.

CherryRoad offers knowledge and insights that help higher education institutions maximize enterprise performance. Our impressive track record of successful ERP engagements includes higher education institutions such as the University of Delaware and New York University.

We understand the complex needs and environments of higher education institutions. They face intense competitive pressures as web-smart students increasingly demand leading-edge learning environments and enhanced services. Many are attempting to accommodate enrollment increases under tight budget constraints and funding shortfalls – at the same time they’re attempting to respond to higher expectations for fiscal responsibility. And, often, universities and colleges are struggling to operate effectively with aging stand-alone systems.

CherryRoad helps higher education institutions integrate and automate administrative information. We understand how to accommodate higher education requirements ranging from varying pay cycles to complex tenure and grant tracking. Through our training and change management programs, we’ll ensure your staff embrace new processes and systems. And, our implementation expertise results in significant improvements in administrative services.

After completing an ERP project at the University of Delaware, our clients said in a “thank you” letter to CherryRoad: “We are glad to be at the successful conclusion of our implementation. We have learned a lot from the experience and even more from our CherryRoad team. To us they are worth their weight in gold.”

CherryRoad’s experience with institutes of higher learning as well as our flexible approach to service delivery is evident in our ongoing relationship with New York University (NYU), one of the largest private universities in the U.S. We began working with NYU in 2001, when we created customized documentation for their Financial and Reporting system and then trained students in a mixture of topics based upon their needs. We also conducted user training on General Ledger, and other systems for the School of Medicine.

NYU engaged us again to complete an Asset Management Fit/Gap Analysis. CherryRoad also led a project to consolidate the NYU Technical Support Desk, which supported the technology needs of NYU employees and students. Regardless of the service, NYU knows they can rely on CherryRoad to help maximize the return on their ERP investment.

When the University of Delaware partnered with CherryRoad on their HR system upgrade, they were pleasantly surprised in several ways. CherryRoad provided far stronger project management than the University’s prior implementation partners had, which meant an improved upgrade process and on-schedule completion. For example, by opening the lines of communication across the Database Administration, IT, and HR departments, CherryRoad ensured a smoother upgrade and a better end result. Overall, CherryRoad’s team helped University staff to improve and interconnect work processes and better leverage their ERP system. And because CherryRoad delivered the HR system upgrade under budget, the University was able to apply remaining budget dollars to implementing the Benefits Billing application. So CherryRoad not only delivered the upgrade on-time and under-budget, they also provided the University with greater-than-expected functionality.

As a result of the success of the HR system upgrade, the University engaged CherryRoad again for their Financial and HR upgrades to version 8.9

Twentieth Century Fox - Cherryroad Technologies

Twentieth Century Fox

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About the Client

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, with hyphen, from 1935 to 1985) – also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox – is one of the six major American film studios as of 2010. Located in the Century City area of Los Angeles, just west of Beverly Hills, the studio is a subsidiary of News Corporation.

Client Challenge

To upgrade the ERP Financials system and transition to an internet-enabled self-service applications environment while supporting a large user base and maintaining a high level of uptime.

Client Benefit

Twentieth Century Fox was able to roll out their Financials system to a large user population without experiencing any significant performance issues.

Twentieth Century Fox is a $4 billion integrated entertainment company with operations in three business segments: Filmed Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Television Studios, and Cable Network Programming. A News Corporation Company subsidiary, Fox is based in Beverly Hills, California and has more than 8,000 employees and contractors.

CherryRoad Solution

In order to ensure that web-based n-tier architecture met all of Fox’s requirements, the CherryRoad team conducted a comprehensive pre-upgrade planning, load testing and system monitoring. CherryRoad’s rigorous, structured approach to load testing incorporated a proven third-party automated testing product.

“Thanks to CherryRoad’s comprehensive approach to infrastructure design and testing, we were able to roll out our Financials system to our large user base without experiencing any significant performance issues.”

Cindy McKenzie
VP of Corporate IT

Upgrading the Financials System in a High-Utilization Organization

Transitioning to a Web-Based N-Tier Architecture

When Fox made the decision to upgrade its ERP Financials system, it faced some of the same challenges that many large enterprises encounter in transitioning to a web-based architecture, including:

  • Ensuring acceptable online performance for a large number (500) of end-users
  • Supporting a high volume of batch processes, especially during peak periods of report processing
  • Maintaining high uptime requirements
  • Minimizing new hardware procurement costs

Fox engaged CherryRoad Technologies for the upgrade, based on CherryRoad’s successful past work with the company on Financials implementations, upgrades, and evaluations. CherryRoad had implemented Fox’s Accounts Receivable and Billing systems, then upgraded the overall Financials system, and implemented Asset Management – all successful projects, completed on time and on budget.

For the upgrade, CherryRoad laid out a plan to ensure that the web-based architecture met all of Fox’s requirements:

  • Pre-Upgrade Planning – Before the upgrade, perform Upgrade Readiness Evaluation, including designing a comprehensive hardware architecture that included all components, costs, and configuration of web-based n-tier architecture.
  • Load Testing – During the upgrade, utilize Segue SilkPerformer utilities to stress test the online and batch components to determine their upper limits.
  • System Monitoring – For post-production support, establish monitoring procedures and make additional recommendations to enable IT to constantly monitor all components of the architecture to proactively prevent issues.

Pre-Upgrade Planning

Prior to the upgrade, CherryRoad initiated the project with a Readiness Assessment, which included architecting the new hardware environment. To ensure the new web-based architecture would support their extensive online and batch requirements, the CherryRoad team used industry benchmarks, best practices, and normalized hardware metrics to define baselines. They quickly captured critical data to properly size infrastructure requirements and configured report servers to eliminate bottlenecks.

The team also addressed critical factors in designing the hardware architecture, including issues of scalability, administration, and load balancing and failover. They used multiple smaller servers in a server cluster – a more scalable solution than a single large server. In addition, in selecting servers, they identified the vendors’ latest product lines, to maximize support and maintenance, and used the initial baseline benchmarks to validate the choices. The end result was a comprehensive specification document that included alternative hardware configurations, server and switch model numbers, software and middleware, and detailed budget. Fox was therefore able to procure the new hardware and receive vendor certification well before the upgrade began.

Load Testing

CherryRoad validated the configuration with a rigorous and structured approach to load testing with a proven third-party automated testing product. Fox and CherryRoad partnered with Segue, a leading provider of load testing applications, to assist in this effort. Using the SilkPerformer product, the team simulated conditions of high-volume online users, peak batch processing periods, and intensive transaction processing.

A key focus was Fox’s extensive use of nVision reporting, which under the new architecture centralized all report processing and could potentially create bottlenecks. Because of the careful planning done before the upgrade, the configured servers were able to pass load testing and proved that hardware issues would be minimized at the completion of the upgrade.

System Monitoring

In order to ensure that hardware problems are detected and proactively solved on an ongoing basis, CherryRoad assisted Fox in implementing a systematic process of monitoring all internet-enabled self-service applications components. This included using utilities such as Tuxedo monitors, as well as those delivered with the Oracle RDBMS. The Unix operating system also provides various tools that provide statistics on system utilization. Fox is also using Segue Service Analysis Module (SAM) to monitor back-end systems and create effective monitoring metrics.

A Successful Launch

Transitioning to an internet-enabled environment requires careful planning, particularly for organizations with a large number of users and high processing requirements. It is therefore critical that planning and testing be performed before, during, and after the upgrade. CherryRoad was effectively helped Twentieth Century Fox navigate through this transition.
As Cindy McKenzie, VP of Corporate IT for Fox said, “Thanks to CherryRoad’s comprehensive approach to infrastructure design and testing, we were able to roll out our Financials system to our large user base without experiencing any significant performance issues.”

State of Georgia - Cherryroad Technologies

State of Georgia

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About the Client

Georgia, the ninth-largest state in the nation by population, with an estimated 10,134,710 residents as of 2008, is also the third fastest-growing state in terms of numeric gain and fifth in terms of percent gain.

Client Challenge

The main objectives of this project were to:

  • Plan, Design, and implement the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise SRM software to support SPD procurement operations.
  • Rollout the system functionality to two additional state agencies.
  • Create a master plan for the staged rollout of the procurement system functionality to all other state agencies.

“From their executives to their consultants on the ground, CherryRoad has been committed to our success. Their professionalism and win-win attitude put them at the top of our list of potential implementation partners. I highly recommend them as a valued business partner.”

Brad Douglas
Commissioner

The Governor’s Commission for a New Georgia Procurement Task Force examined how Georgia’s 123 state agencies handle procurement – selecting, bidding, and purchasing of thousands of supplies and services totaling more than $3.8 billion per year. As a result of the Task Force findings and recommendations the procurement transformation initiative was launched in late 2005. Since a significant amount of spend is procured through the DOAS State Purchasing Division (SPD), much of the Initiative’s efforts were focused in this area. The SPD establishes statewide contracts, which state agencies are required to use and which other State Agencies, State Institutions and local governments can use.

The SPD transformed its core organization and procurement standards and determined that Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise was the best technology to enable the State to employ their recently improved business process. The State wished to replace its paper based and manual intensive process with an online and electronic solution.

The CherryRoad Solution

The State issued an RFP in early 2007 and subsequently awarded a contract to CherryRoad Technologies to implement the selected Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise SRM modules. These modules included eProcurement, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Contracts Management, eSupplier Connection and the Supplier Portal. The State wanted to add these modules to the existing PeopleSoft Financials Instance that was already in production. In addition, the State wished to integrate the system with a 3rd party electronic
catalog system, SciQuest.

The requirements for the new solution included:

  • Replace paper based requisitions with an on-line requisitioning tool.
  • Electronically route requisitions through the approval process.
  • Automatically create Purchase Orders based on approved requisitions.
  • Electronically dispatch purchase order to vendors.
  • Manage the Statewide Contracts in an electronic solution and allow on-line collaboration in the contract process.
  • Electronically process solicitations from creation through analysis to award.
  • Enable vendor self services to access purchase orders and payments.
  • Replace the current vendor registration system.
  • Allow agencies that were not using the state’s Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise instance to easily access items on the statewide contracts to obtain the preferred pricing.
  • Automatically post bids to Georgia Procurement Registry.

CherryRoad Technologies designed the following business process around the capabilities of the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise modules listed below:

  • Utilize eProcurement to enter on-line requisitions, route for approvals using workflow, and source approved requisitions to a Purchase Order.
  • Integrate Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise with SciQuest to access the on-line catalog and place catalog items onto the online requisition. Use integration to electronically dispatch the purchase order to the vendor thereby eliminating paper requisitions, faxes, and emails.
  • Utilize Supplier Contracts Management to manage the entire contract process and allow on-line collaboration between the agencies and SPD.
  • Enable eSupplier Connection to allow bidders and suppliers to register on-line in order to receive bid notifications, reply to on-line solicitations, monitor purchase order and payment activity.
  • Utilize Strategic Sourcing to manage the entire solicitation process from bid creation through contract award.
  • Integrate Strategic Sourcing with the Georgia Procurement Registry to post all bids on-line.

The robust functionality of each module along with the tight integration with the Core Financial modules was the State of Georgia’s primary reason for selecting the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise product. CherryRoad’s deep understanding of the Public Sector environment, along with their proven experience with the modules listed above, helped Georgia choose the company as their implementation partner.

Client Results

CherryRoad and the State of Georgia set out to implement the above mentioned modules and roll out the functionality to the SPD and two other agencies within 18 months. The project, which represents one of the first statewide implementations of the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise SRM suite, was completed on-time and under budget. The project went live in January 2009 and the production support period was completed in July 2009. The solution is widely considered the most successful technology project within the State of Georgia in the last 5 years. The master rollout plan was delivered in April and the remaining target agencies are scheduled to be brought on-line by mid 2010.

The system meets the business objectives as follows:

  • Paper requisitions within the pilot agencies have been replaced with electronic requisitions resulting in a reduction in ordering time.
  • Solicitations are now processed electronically within Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise allowing all data to be captured within one system.
  • Integration of 3rd party solicitation software has been replaced with Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise eliminating the need to for two systems.
  • Bidders and Suppliers are now registered directly in Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise eliminating the need for another integrations point.
  • Vendors can now monitor their purchase orders and payment online, reducing the amount of support needed for external vendors.
  • Statewide contracts are now managed on-line and within the solution.
  • Outside agencies can access contract items on-line and easily identify the best price for an item.
State of Delaware Office of Pensions - Cherryroad Technologies

State of Delaware Office of Pensions

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About the Client

The State of Delaware Office of Pensions maintains comprehensive and responsive systems for benefits and funds management which helps retain a quality workforce and provides a secure and supportive retirement commitment.

Client Challenge

To manage an overwhelming volume of complex data, prepare for future expansion with fixed resources and improve customer satisfaction.

Features

A blueprint for implementing many streamlined transaction processes, a strategy to move these processes to the Web, many enhanced business practices throughout the Pension Office and identification of enabling technologies for each situation.

Client Benefit

Simplified business processes that eliminate redundancy, reduce manual transactions with increased efficiency, realign accountability for data integrity and significantly reduce the number of forms required.

CherryRoad Solution

CherryRoad Technologies assessed Delaware’s Pension Office business and provided 40 detailed, strategic recommendations to streamline processes and better utilize technology, specifically the Internet.

“We can’t say enough about our partnership with CherryRoad Technologies. Their technical expertise, integrity and ability to truly listen and react to our needs helped make this project a tremendous success.”

John McCartney
Strategic Information Systems Manager

CherryRoad Technologies’ recommendations help the Delaware Pension Office prepare itself for the transformation to a Web-enabled environment, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

Delaware’s Pension Office Business Processes Needed an Update

With only 50 full-time employees at the Pension Office and no plan to increase staff, the volume and manual nature of the existing business were overwhelming. Some of the Delaware Pension Office’s procedures had been in place for over 20 years and management wanted to incorporate best practices while getting away from “that’s the way we always did it.” They also wanted to move their processes to the Internet, but were not sure where to start. CherryRoad recommended that management perform a business assessment, utilizing our proven assessment and redesign methodologies and web strategy expertise to evaluate the effectiveness of the Office of Pension’s processes and its readiness to move to the Web.

Increasing Efficiency and Improving Service to Pension Customers

CherryRoad performed a detailed assessment of the Delaware Pension Office’s business in the areas of employee administration, retiree maintenance, refunds and data collection. Objectives of the assessment were to identify productivity improvements, operating inefficiencies and cost-saving opportunities. We also determined which of its processes could benefit from utilizing available technology, relying on our depth of experience in this field. This included better utilizing their ERP system, imaging, Intranet/Internet capabilities, workflow and other enablers. Our approach included interviews, brainstorming with management, process walk-throughs, transaction testing, cost/benefit analyses and change management considerations. CherryRoad worked with the Pension Office management to envision the future of their business. We then provided 40 strategic recommendations including quick hits to improve productivity, short-term actions to enhance existing processes while establishing a platform for change, and long-term initiatives aligned with Delaware’s envisioned future and objectives.

A Single Recommendation Provides a 300 percent ROI

Among the 40 recommendations were steps to realign data verification and integrity at the source, automated and more effective data collection and input processes, and a significant reduction in the number of forms used (from 69 to 11). Many improvements required no investment, just a change in methods. During CherryRoad Technologies’ assessment process, we recommended eliminating a redundant audit of data that was already being performed at other state agencies. This recommendation alone will provide a return on investment on the project of over 300%. Says John McCartney, strategic information systems manager for the State of Delaware’s Office of Pensions, “We can’t say enough about our partnership with CherryRoad Technologies. Their technical expertise, integrity and ability to truly listen and react to our needs helped make this project a tremendous success.”

The CherryRoad Advantage

CherryRoad Technologies practical, proven approach to problem solving and our commitment to open communication helps our relationships with clients grow. Our recommended improvements will increase efficiency throughout the pension administration department. We’re now in Phase 2 of our strategic plan for Delaware’s Pension Office, where we’ve developed an integrated Web strategy, which incorporated a customer survey to better understand what the constituents want. The results of this phase will further enhance and expand the services provided to customers and the options they have to access them. The Pension Office can now manage its entire operation more effectively and is poised for the desired expansion of service offerings, which is helping to restore the public’s belief in government that works.

Pulicis Groupe logo - Cherryroad Technologies

Publicis Groupe

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About the Client

French, multinational advertising and communications company Publicis Groupe, is one of the big four global advertising holding companies, conducting its operations in approximately 196 cities in 104 countries.

Client Challenge

To unify data sharing applications and interfaces throughout eight companies and 100+ business units with 8,000 employees at 193 offices in 75 countries.

Features

An enterprise-wide system of IT standards for project costing, purchasing, payables, billing, accounts receivable, general ledger, and time and labor.

Client Benefit

A standardized, organization-wide system for real-time reporting, project costing, and other financial reporting capabilities.

CherryRoad Solution

CherryRoad Technologies’ implementation of a standardized financial reporting system across the multiple organizations.

“CherryRoad Technologies understands that flexibility and adaptability are essential for success in the communications industry. With CherryRoad as our partner, we implemented a software solution that lets us measure the profitability of individual projects and customer accounts, allocate personnel and resources more effectively and support the overall growth of our business.”

Jim Dileo
Senior VP of Worldwide Information Technology

Client success through an organization-wide financial management solution for Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe Needed Integrated Financial Processes and Systems to Keep Pace with its Rapid Growth

In the highly competitive world of advertising and communications, the efficient sharing of ideas and information is the foundation upon which a company’s reputation and success are built. During a period of dynamic growth, re:SOURCES, a shared service organization of Publicis Groupe (then the MacManus Group)* realized that its homegrown financial and human resources systems could no longer support its global operations. One of the largest communications companies in the world, the company had to repeatedly build and customize interfaces and data reporting features for its eight companies, each of which maintained its own policies, procedures and administrative protocols. In addition, several mergers and acquisitions had resulted in a variety of different business models.

“As our company continued to grow, it became increasingly difficult to manage the ongoing maintenance and improvement of customized software systems while trying to be responsive to our business units.” said Jim Dileo, senior VP of worldwide information technology at Publicis Groupe. “We needed to establish some clear IT standards that would enable us to share and collaborate on a worldwide basis.”

Precise and Timely Information Leads to Improved Profitability

After an extensive evaluation, re:SOURCES selected CherryRoad to manage and implement their financial and time and labor software. Utilizing our unique RDS (Rapid Deployment of Software) methodology, we identified the organization’s existing capabilities, defined their emerging requirements and began the implementation process. An important element in the success of the project was CherryRoad’s in-depth knowledge of the software and our understanding of Publicis Groupe’s needs.

Our rollout team was on the scene several weeks in advance to make sure the business units were ready to make the most of the system. A detailed analysis and checklist helps ensure that customizations are minimized and kept on target. We conducted a walk-through and developed an issues log for further system refinements. The modules went live and we subsequently began rolling out to all North American business units.

“We increased the flexibility and responsiveness of our organization and avoided spending a ton of money retrofitting our older applications,” says Dileo. “We can now track our resources and keep our projects on target. Web-enabled solutions provide employees, clients and even vendors with easy access to up-to-date information.”

“CherryRoad Technologies understands that flexibility and adaptability are essential for success in the communications industry,” said Publicis Groupe’s project manager for the implementation. “With CherryRoad Technologies as our partner, we implemented a software solution that lets us measure the profitability of individual projects and customer accounts, allocate personnel and resources more effectively and support the overall growth of our business.”

According to Lois Drumhiller, Publicis Groupe’s technical project manager, “We’ve been able to provide real-time reporting and a lot more project management capabilities to the local offices. We designed how we wanted to view our client business, as well as our internal business. The software handles that very well.” She added, “It has certainly been wonderful partnering with CherryRoad Technologies.”

The CherryRoad Advantage

The key to the success of CherryRoad Technologies’ implementation for Publicis Groupe is the customized project costing system. It allows managers to determine each client’s contribution to their profit rate and deliver reports customized for the needs of each operating unit. Armed with up-to-date information, managing the diverse groups of creative, account and production teams has become dramatically easier. Best of all, it helps Publicis Groupe provide better service to its clients by controlling costs, and that’s a big competitive edge. In addition, the scalability of the system first implemented in 1999 has positioned the organization to utilize the application across the larger Publicis organization.

*The MacManus Group and Leo Burnett merged to become Bcom3 in 2000. Subsequently, Publicis Groupe (the international advertising/communications firm) acquired Bcom3 in 2002, to become the world’s fourth largest advertising, PR, and communications firm. This case study describes work that CherryRoad performed for the re:SOURCES division of The MacManus Group prior to and during these organizational changes.