Massive tech upgrades to transform U of T employee experience

Arrows heading into distance

From human resources to financial and research applications, technology touches all aspects of the U of T employee experience. Now, the U of T Enterprise Modernization Program is set to transform the future for staff and faculty who depend on the Administrative Management Systems.

After a comprehensive review of current technology options, Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration (EASI) will use the latest SAP technology over the next five years to upgrade these systems – providing a modern, consistent and streamlined user experience.

“The original system was implemented in 1995, and over time has undergone many upgrades. Now it’s time to bring U of T into the future,” says Cathy Eberts, executive director of EASI. “The new version of SAP promises vast improvements in system performance and a new user interface for our mobile friendly HR talent management products.”

The first phase of the overhaul, part of the HR Technology Roadmap, includes a “one-stop-shop” for all human resources needs. This includes learning management, performance and goals, recruitment, onboarding, and succession planning.

“This suite of applications will provide an integrated employee experience from hire to retire, and is designed to attract, retain and develop each employee,” says Erin Jackson, chief human resources officer with Human Resources & Equity. “We want to empower employees with modern software so that they can grow and develop their careers at U of T, and to provide HR professionals with strategic HR resources that they can use to deliver best-in-class HR services.”

The project team will first tackle learning management, which will link employees’ personal and development goals using dynamic online material and external online learning sources. It will also allow staff to conveniently register for courses and record completion of mandatory courses.

Screenshot of the Learning Management System

The new learning module helps users easily view personalized training plans, and access new course catalogues and online learning.

“I’m especially excited about the new SAP Learning Management System for staff.  We haven’t had a system like this at U of T,” says Eberts. “With so many new technologies and applications, such as Office 365, VoIP, and the new SAP products coming on board, staff really need a state-of-the-art system to find the training they require. We’re planning to make this new module available to staff in September 2019.”

From 2019 to 2020, EASI will also be retiring Performance and Goals and Recruitment, and replacing these applications with new versions from SAP SuccessFactors.

Beyond the HR Technology Roadmap, later phases of the project include updates to U of T’s research, financial and procurement applications, and payroll processing.

“This is a whole new world from a technology standpoint,” says Sheila Brown, U of T’s chief financial officer. “The new financial system will be faster, more flexible and user-friendly. We’re one of the top universities in the world, and this technology upgrade reflects our ongoing dedication to excellence in everything we do.”

All of these applications will run on a more robust cloud platform, allowing for faster performance and 24/7 support. It will use SAP HANA, which is a large in-memory database that consolidates thousands of tables and allows users to run faster reports.

These upgrades will lead to new analytics and improved insight into financial, HR, and research administration operations at the university, allowing managers to make enhanced evidence-based decisions.

As next steps, the EASI and HR&E teams are currently participating in workshops to outline project objectives, timelines, and roles and responsibilities.

“This is one of the biggest projects happening at U of T and we’re excited about how it will transform operations at the university,” says Eberts. “With large strategic projects like SAP now in motion, U of T will soon be positioned to offer a first-rate employee and administrator experience.”