Workers’ Compensation Board–Alberta sought solutions that would continually modernize human capital management (HCM) and financial supply chain management (FSCM) systems without interrupting business operations and impacting client services.
The organization engaged NTT DATA in long-term consulting services that span system upgrades, new cloud deployments and application management to deliver improved HCM and FSCM capabilities, streamline workflows and reduce costs.
“Technology modernizations like those we’ve made with NTT DATA help us make a meaningful difference in our clients' lives.”
Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB) was created by the provincial government to administer the Workers' Compensation Act for workers and employers in Alberta. Funded by employers, it provides cost-effective disability and liability coverage for work-related injury and illness, including compensating workers for lost income and coordinating health care and other services needed due to a work-related injury.
WCB makes decisions that affect the two million workers they cover in Alberta, and the nearly 170,000 employers whose contributions fund worker benefits, return-to-work programs and health care services.
Two decades of successful PeopleSoft projects
NTT DATA’s long partnership with WCB began in the late 1990s when the company helped implement PeopleSoft Financials and Human Capital Management to modernize the WCB’s back-office systems and streamline business processes.
After this successful implementation, WCB sought to outsource application management services for their PeopleSoft environments to optimize operational support costs and mitigate risks associated with system maintenance, upgrades and system changes that could impact normal business operations.
“NTT DATA proved to be a reliable and cost-effective partner from the beginning,” says Laurent Charron, Corporate Controller for WCB. “They’ve consistently delivered high quality services in support of our end users and business community.”
Large-scale upgrades without impacting business operations
The NTT DATA team also performed several application and tools version upgrades, functionality extensions, custom enhancements and technical infrastructure re-platform initiatives so that WCB’s PeopleSoft environments stay current on supported software versions and consistent with WCB IT team standards.
Through consultation with NTT DATA, WCB decided to upgrade its PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) and Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) systems to Version 9.2 to ensure continued Oracle Support, leverage the Oracle Continuous Delivery Model, implement new functionality and replace customizations where possible.
WCB wanted the upgrade schedule to accommodate normal business cycles, while ensuring that the upgrade timeline met an organizational need for adequate user acceptance testing to reduce risk.
At the time, WCB ran PeopleSoft environments on a mainframe operating system with DB2 databases for the database server infrastructure and Windows for the application and web servers. The upgrade scope included seven financial environments and five human resource environments.
The upgraded PeopleSoft modules included receivables, payables, general ledger, purchasing, core human resources and the payroll interface with integrations to several internal and external third-party systems.
With understanding and deep knowledge of this PeopleSoft environment, NTT DATA planned two separate upgrade projects for HCM and FSCM that were executed over a 17-month timeline. Both projects were upgrades of the existing data and re-implementation of required customizations from Version 9.1 to Version 9.2 with some targeted areas of added business value.
The following new areas of functionality were investigated for inclusion in the current or future upgrades:
A seamless transition to automated business processes
The HCM environment went live first; the FSCM upgrade followed with a successful launch a few months later. “NTT DATA delivered both upgrades on budget and ahead of schedule,” says Charron. “The projects were really seamless. We had no unintended downtime and no increase in support tickets.”
WCB realized benefits from the 9.2 upgrade by retiring customizations and enjoying further automation of business processes. In addition, several of NTT DATA’s Application Management Services staff were integrated as part of the project team to ensure an easy transition from the upgrade project to ongoing applications support.
Continuing WCB – Alberta’s digital acceleration
NTT DATA continues to work alongside WCB as it takes steps towards a cloud strategy for enterprise systems. When implementing a Workday HCM system for HR and payroll functions across the organization, NTT DATA continued to be a trusted advisor.
NTT DATA leveraged its WCB-specific knowledge to make sure that the implementation of the new HCM software solution integrated with WCB’s existing environments and processes. NTT DATA also continues to provide application management services to WCB for both PeopleSoft FSCM and Workday HCM environments.
Due to this flexibility and in-depth understanding of WCB’s business and processes, several NTT DATA team members have been recognized by WCB over the years with special awards for their pivotal roles in the organization’s digital transformation.
“Technology modernizations like those we’ve made with NTT DATA help us make a meaningful difference in our clients' lives,” says Charron. “We’re looking forward to a continued partnership that delivers additional value for our staff and for working Albertans.”