U of T administrative management systems hit 90 per cent uptime

by: Katie Babcock

They’re responsible for running integral processes at the University – from payroll to vacation and sick leave requests to job applications. Now, after a thorough audit and the resulting improved processes, the Administrative Management Systems have increased system availability to 90 per cent uptime.

To bring this project to life, the team at Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI) formed a working group in late January 2019 to see how to improve system availability. This included looking at scheduled outages due to bi-weekly and monthly payroll, fiscal month-end and year end and system restart and backups.

“We decided to look objectively at these outages and ask if they were needed,” says Gary Raposo, manager of Enterprise Shared Services at EASI. “We focused on web-based applications, which are more commonly used during off-business hours, and we were able to make significant improvements to maximize uptime.”

One of the main drivers for improved processes was new developments for Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Manager Self-Service (MSS).

“We’re asking users to report vacation and sick days through ESS, but in the past this service was only available between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. the following day,” says Raposo. “Now someone who needs to take a sick day can submit their ESS request right away rather than having to wait until after 7 a.m. It’s much more convenient.”

After cataloging the systems for a month and examining processes, the team implemented changes gradually over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition.

“We’re trying to move more towards a 24/7 user experience,” says Paul Littlefield, security and solution developer/analyst with EASI and technical project lead. “Another noticeable improvement is that staff can have access to their T4 slips during the last week of April. In the past, they didn’t have this because we would shut down many systems for fiscal year end. Now ESS stays open and staff can easily get what they need.”

In the future, the team will continue to improve processes. This work will continue with the U of T Enterprise Modernization Program – a three-to five-year project that will transform the entire HR Talent Management Suite and the core HR, Research and Finance systems.

“We look forward to making future improvements to our systems, especially through the U of T Enterprise Modernization Program,” says Raposo. “Our ultimate goal is to provide more streamlined and convenient services for an overall better user experience.”