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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 18, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 15
HopkinsOne Countdown Begins; Plans for Assistance Are in Place

By Glenn Small

Just eight days from now, on Tuesday, Dec. 26, the HopkinsOne implementation of SAP business software will begin its "go-live" stage with limited functions for university users. Those who do time entry for hourly employees and employees who do certain human resources-related things will be the first to use the new system.

Then just a few days later, on Monday, Jan. 1, the full system goes live for all Johns Hopkins employees who will be using the new software to do parts of their work, everything from ordering supplies to balancing books to requesting reimbursement for business-related travel expenses.

It's a big change, and it will impact upward of 11,000 employees, many of whom have spent the past three months taking online and in-person classroom courses.

How will the impact be felt?

"Here at Hopkins we've used legacy systems for so long that we've become comfortable with them," said Pamela Paulk, the health system's vice president for human resources. "I just want to warn people to anticipate some discomfort, but, in the long run, this system will be easier and better. It just won't feel that way at first."

Charlene Hayes, vice president for human resources for the university, echoed the challenges ahead. "It is important for all of us to remember that 2007 will bring a lot of change. It won't be easy."

She, like Paulk, stresses that an integrated business software system — one that ties together areas like finance, human resources, purchasing and sponsored projects — will have huge long-term benefits.

"The value we realize in our new world will make all of our efforts worth it," Hayes said. "In the meantime, it requires patience more than anything else."

During the critical go-live period, a lot of help and resources will be available to users, including Quick Start guides, job aids and a special feature of the new system called Custom Help, which allows users to access step-by-step instructions for any transaction they need to do in the system.

But the backbone of the support system is a command center at Mount Washington and the nearly 400 volunteers and HopkinsOne staff who will provide on-site support for users on all Hopkins properties. These so-called SWAT team members have agreed to help out by answering what questions they can, and by knowing how to direct employees to the right resource when they can't. The SWAT team members will wear blue vests with gold lettering on the back, and users can locate someone with the expertise they need by campus location on the "Support" tab of the HopkinsOne Web site (link below).

Roger Rosenblatt, the HopkinsOne deployment project manager, said, "We want this help to be as 'high-touch' as possible, so we've worked hard to create a support network that can be efficient but also flexible and responsive. That's our goal."


Some Key Things to Know

"Make friends with Custom Help," advises Kevin Kobylski, the project manager for business transformation. To learn more, watch a brief demo of how it works: custom.htm

Look for the blue vest! SWAT team members, identifiable by their special garb, are there to help.

Visit the HopkinsOne Support Web page:

Call the Help Desk: 410-735-4500.


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