CGI brings Bell a human resources solution that is truly self serve
“We have received excellent feedback from end-users, as HRSS is an innovative and highly usable tool. This is a great example of process simplification.”
Johanne Boudreau, Associate Director - IS/IT Human Resources
Bell Canada is Canada's largest supplier of telecommunications services. With one of the world’s most robust and reliable public switched networks, Bell Canada provides advanced voice, data and image communications to millions of business and residence customers across Canada.
Bell employs some 44,000 people and depends on its human resources information system to manage the storage and maintenance of employee data, the administration of benefits, the recording of time worked and vacation taken, and the production of its payroll.
Bell was seeking a way to streamline its HR administration system and use technology to reduce the amount of manual intervention needed when HR information and changes were entered into its SAP HR system. It wanted to allow its managers in the field and their assistants to input changes and have them validated and posted automatically.
These changes previously had to be forwarded to a human resources representative, who would validate the information and enter it into the system. Bell had prepared a business case and projected the number of transactions per month that could be saved and the number of people who could be redeployed by introducing a more efficient system. It further wanted to deploy the new system to users in its entire family of companies, including Bell Mobility, Bell ExpressVu, Bell Distribution Inc., Northern Tel, and Bell Nordiq.
The main transactions the company targeted for automation were hiring, position changes, return to work, disability status and reclassification. While the SAP platform offered a manager self-serve product, it was based on the manual processing of transactions by the HR department and therefore did not entirely meet Bell’s needs.
CGI proposed creating an entirely new product that made use of validation rules to ensure that all transactions would be subject to an effective and automatic approval process. The human resources self-serve (HRSS) project presented the business challenge of training hundreds of users, as well as the technological challenge of ensuring the new solution was thoroughly tested prior to being introduced.
CGI’s in-depth knowledge of SAP proved crucial, as the new system would have to access the existing SAP portals seamlessly to provide users with a tool that was both efficient and easy to use.
CGI began by putting together a relatively small team of experts in SAP, Java applications and system testing. SAP provided guidance to CGI to help it validate its plans and develop a Java-based application that would respond to Bell’s requirements. CGI’s extensive functional knowledge of SAP technology and the SAP HR product made it the ideal partner for this project.
CGI prepared a prototype to ensure that the system could be delivered as planned, and it presented this prototype to Bell, which appointed its own team of senior experts to work closely with CGI. The teamwork and communication that resulted proved to be a major success factor for the project. With everyone involved truly working as a single team, the CGI/Bell synergy ensured that all requirements were clear at each step of the process. The Bell team handled the change management and training aspects, while CGI managed all technical components of the mandate, including those that touched on user training.
Extensive testing covered all permutations and combinations aligned to Bell’s business requirements, and the roll-out was conducted on a staggered basis to identify and deal with any issues quickly. Go No/Go meetings were started several weeks prior to the Go-Live to ensure all groups were aware of issues and to facilitate the Go decision-making process.
“I felt that the majority of the CGI resources associated with our project were totally committed to providing an excellent product and were proud of the work we accomplished,” stated Enza Bifolchi, who was Bell Canada’s Associate Director - IS/IT Human Resources, during much of the project.
- SAP R/3
- SAP Portal
The human resources self-serve product was delivered on time and on budget and has garnered rave reviews from Bell users. Transactions that previously took two days are now done in seconds. Deployments went very smoothly, with a detailed cutover plan helping to monitor start-up activities.
The solution underwent exhaustive testing to ensure it would fully meet users’ needs, and after 18 months in operation, Bell had not requested a single change. In fact, over time, Bell is planning to decommission other applications in order to leverage its new solution and apply it to more transactions. CGI continues to support the solution.
“We have received excellent feedback from end-users, as HRSS is an innovative and highly usable tool. This is a great example of process simplification,” concluded Johanne Boudreau, current Associate Director, IS/IT Human Resources for Bell Canada.
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