Melbourne Uni deploys Web-based HR

After announcing the introduction of world-leading, stretched cluster technology last year, the University of Melbourne is now using the system to deliver online HR and payroll services to some 10,000 staff.

The university has a fully redundant Oracle on Tru64 Unix system for active-active processing power across two separate campuses (CW July 19, 2004).

With the financials application in place, the HR and payroll modules went live on January 1 this year. The HR module gives full-time and contract staff more self-service capabilities.

The university systems project manager Robert Koop said about 1000 staff now rely on the Oracle financials application and around 500 to 600 use it on any one day.

"Some 6000 staff and several thousand of the 9000 casual workers, about 10,000 all up, have access to the self-service system," Koop said. "It's all HTML-based screens; it delivers standard information back to staff, and allows the transaction of leave applications and change-of-bank details."

Koop said that, before the online system was available, HR staff had a "bunch of paper around".

"Workflow approvals can be done online and the next steps include support for probation periods, pay increments, and performance appraisals," he said.

"Everyone can see the potential. The system is working well and people are getting used to it."

After investigating online payslips, the university no longer uses them.

"To avoid overloading the system, an e-mail is sent out on payday to assure all staff that their pay has gone through and that further details are available through the self-service system," Koop said.

After moving from an in-house "siloed" application, the university has standardized on the Oracle application modules and does integration and customization work in-house.

"This involved adapting the Workflow and payroll modules to our practices," he said. "We have used the product as it comes, because you need to have huge support staff for in-house applications."

The first research module has just gone into production and will be gradually rolled out over the next few months and will be used by about 2000 academics.

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