Cork City Council
Cork City Council provides Local Government services to nearly 250,000 people in Ireland´s second largest city. Cork is a major international port and airport, and home to one of Ireland's key universities. Cork was also named European Capital of Culture in 2005.
The Team at Cork City were finalising plans around the upgrade of their JD Edwards system to Enterprise One v.8.12. Although the project included Finance, Sales, Inventory and Purchasing, their immediate concern was the training and ongoing support of their Purchase to Pay System. Aidan O'Riordan, Business Systems Analyst, ERP Applications for Cork City, was responsible for the implementation and knew that supporting 350 users at Go Live would put incredible pressure on the project team at this critical time. With a small support team, including the JD Edwards developers, and with a ‘realistic’ budget, Aidan reviewed the options available.
As a member of the Oracle JD Edwards community, Aidan first saw Oracle´s User Productivity Kit (UPK) demonstrated at an Oracle event. UPK is a collaborative content development platform that allows organisations to drive user productivity and mitigate risk throughout all phases of the software ownership lifecycle. Realising the potential for its use on his imminent project, a business plan was created to support the investment. Having previously written manuals using Microsoft Word and provided users with one-to-one training of at least one day in duration, the cost savings were qualified and the budget assigned with two key objectives. The first objective was to increase the speed of content creation, editing and publishing, and the second was the provision of both classroom and on-line training.
Using UPK, the JD Edwards developers at Cork City soon realised the benefits of a tool that provides a platform for collaborative working. Working with the raw content as a basis for system development and as the communication tool for notification of customisation, the developers were able to record and continually enhance process driven content as each system transaction was developed and finally completed. The testing team used the UPK content and in so doing verified its value to the user community so that at the training stage the materials being offered to the users, both in the classroom and for on-line support, truly reflected the new system and the updated processes. Aidan added, "For the week or so around Go Live it is usual for our Support Desk to be swamped with support calls. With the implementation of UPK, we experienced a tangible reduction in these calls, which enabled us to focus on other areas."
Following the success of the JD Edwards UPK Project, Cork City Council invested in what was the non-Oracle version, known as OnDemand Personal Navigator, to support their non-Oracle projects. Aidan provided a summary below of the lessons learned on the first project which were then applied to the second:
- Ensure you use as many internal resources as possible; you need to achieve ownership to ensure the content is continually updated. This is more cost-effective
- Never under-estimate the importance of development standards. In effect, you are creating blocks of learning content that the user will view as one, so it needs to look the same
- If you are on a tight budget don't feel that this solution is too expensive. The tangible return can be proven quickly
- Choose your partner carefully. Paying the highest price does not necessarily mean that you will get the best service