The Journey to Oracle Cloud – featuring Baylor University

Hosted by

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

The Journey to Oracle Cloud – featuring Baylor University

Hosts: Trish McFarlane

Guest: Becky Ivy, Associate Vice President of HR Operations & Solutions, Baylor University

This week, we met with Becky Ivy live from the Oracle Cloud World Conference 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada to talk about Baylor University’s journey to Oracle Cloud.

– Ways to approach change within a large organization

– Messaging to a multi-generational employee base

– Importance of having all the right “players” at the table when adopting change

– Becoming a part of the Oracle community


Visit Baylor here or join their team here

Thank you for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript follows:

Trish 0:26
Welcome to the HR Happy Hour podcast. I am your host, Trish McFarlane, I’m coming to you live from Oracle CloudWorld. I am here with a really exciting guest, a first time podcast guest. So I’m feeling really special about this. I am here with Becky Ivy from Baylor University. Welcome to the show, Becky.

Becky Ivy 0:44
Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m just, it’s so great to be here here. In Las Vegas, it’s just been a great conference so far. So happy to be here.

Trish 0:52
Good. Now, is this your first time kind of traveling, you know, post pandemic, or I don’t even know if we’re officially post pandemic, but in the last two and a half years? Is this your first big time out? Or have you been out before this?

Becky Ivy 1:04
You know, I’ve been out before this, it was in May. And it was in Las Vegas. Of course, it was Yeah, same location, different, you know, hotel and things. But it was actually an Oracle sponsored conference as well.

Trish 1:06
This one is huge.

Becky Ivy 1:19
It is very large. I mean, there’s something for everyone, right. And never a dull moment, it feels like they’re, you know, if you really want to do something every moment of the day, boy, there’s something for you to do. And then plenty of opportunity for downtime. I just love how they’ve been very cognizant of that, and the different spaces available.

Trish 1:37
So I agree, I have to tell you, too, I think this is probably the best food at an event I’ve had in years and years. So A plus Oracle, you’ve done a good job with keeping us all fed and everything from the espresso, little bars and things like that around. So it’s been really nice. Well, Becky, you are the Associate Vice President of HR Operations and Solutions. And why don’t you take a moment first and just tell us a little bit about your role about Baylor maybe give people I mean, obviously, we’ve all heard of this, right. But give us some some information about that. I know it’s founded in 1845. So this is a long standing organization.

Becky Ivy 2:14
It really is. You know, I will tell you so way back in 1845, when Baylor was commissioned as university is actually with the Republic of Texas that actually did it. So there is a lot of historical embeddedness with April and just are with Baylor and the state of Texas. And so very historic institution. And overall, really, my role there has evolved. You know, over time, I’ve been there for over 10 years, and came in just as a recruiter, and that is my rent from HR standpoint, I just love recruiting, that’s what I’ve always done. And just like I said, it just really evolved over time. And I will say it was really around 20, you know, 2017-2018, Baylor decided it was time to think about a journey to the cloud. And we went through a pretty rigorous RFP process, decided to go with Oracle, and then immediately jumped into a a project and implementation project, spent a full two years going through all of our processes, really how we do anything within our HR capacity. But we also did the same thing for finance procurement, we added our grants, processing and management as well.

Becky Ivy 3:31
And so in June of 2020, we went live with the whole suite, we call it the Big Bang. So it was HR, finance, procurement, all of it, we completely moved into the cloud at that point in time, it was quite a transformation, just in general, as you can imagine, but holistically, it’s just changed our culture to be one of continuous improvement. And it’s you know, it definitely has its ups and downs. In at first, there’s a lot of downs actually a little bit when you first get to the cloud. You know, we went I mentioned we went in June of 2020. And so we did it in the midst of a pandemic. And we also did it mid year and mid quarter, which I would not recommend. But all of those things that are done two years later, we really feel like we are kind of hitting our stride and getting into the rhythm of what you do in the cloud as an organization in the business. And you’ll really enjoy the relationship we have with Oracle their support for us. And then it’s almost like we’ve just barely scratched the surface. I know for me and HCM, thinking about the digital experience for our employees is really, really important now. And so that’s where I do feel like the future that Oracle is roadmapping out. It’s really exciting for HR.

Trish 4:51
Yeah. Could you talk a little bit about how many employees do you have at Baylor there that you’re sort of impacting with this digital experience?

Becky Ivy 4:59
Absolutely. So there’s total around 8000 employees, I would say. And so we that’s made up of faculty, staff and students. So for Baylor, our biggest employee population, our student workers, we stayed really is. So we hire 1000s, each semester in different types of roles, you know, on campus. And so when we really talked about moving to the cloud, in a digital experience, we had to think about it very broadly. So you have a faculty member who’s concentration on research and teaching and all those things, you know, they come into play, you’ve got staff who are your administrative support partners, but also, I mean, we have police officers we employ. And so it really did run the gamut. And then we had student workers, student employees working anywhere, you know, between 10 and 20 hours a week, but really needing the convenience of, you know, a digital component on their phone to clock in and out. You know, believe it or not, before we went to the cloud, we did have paper time cards still in usage on campus, in some places, I will not say where, but we’ll protect them. But, you know, needless to say, as we transition to the cloud, you know, we were able to really eliminate all that redundancy. And it’s not that we’re perfect, and it’s just, you know, sunshine and roses all the time. But we certainly have transformed. And I think we know going forward. That’s, that’s just the pattern, that’s our rhythm, that’s what we have to be used to is the nimbleness that comes along with being able to move grow, develop for your employees.

Trish 6:33
Yeah, no, I’m glad that you mentioned that you’ve done this over a number of years, right, you sort of had the two years leading up to it with all the change management and sort of looking at all your existing processes, which, again, probably a lot of things would have been done on paper, like many organizations, and I think sometimes, when I was in HR, when other HR leaders speak with me, they sort of feel like I’m far behind, maybe my organization is far behind. And really, I think there’s still so many out there doing things on paper. Right? So how did you sort of prepare? Whether it was your team or some of these teams of employees? Maybe the two years leading up to the transition?

Becky Ivy 7:11
Okay, great question. And I think it really was a preparedness, and it took time and effort. And almost, you know, we had to build a pretty good solid foundation, and then build on top of that, to get to where we, you know, we eventually went, you know, went through go live, and then where we are today. So initially, we really talked through what are the pain points that we are all feeling. One of the things I’ll share is people are running a variety of different payrolls, multiple payrolls. And I think there are a lot of places that do that. Still, that’s very painful to my goodness.

Trish 7:43
It tends to get really ingrained, I think, of all the systems I’ve ever worked with in my career. So as an HR I was 20 years, that was always the one that was like hardest to change, because everyone is so just deeply, deeply close to their payroll providers. So how did you approach the change that in to get everyone on the same page?

Becky Ivy 8:04
We did this really kind of before go live, it was just a reiterative. Look at that process. And when we really got down to it and talking, talking to folks, there was so many redundancies and I think they really understood that too, as we looked at it. And we, you know, process, mapped it out and showed them, and it was really asking them why why do we do it this way? And then go? Well, I don’t know. It’s just really how we do it. Right? And it was really asking them, can you imagine if, you know, a way that we could do it more effectively and efficiently? And what if we didn’t have to do all of this? You know, additional things? What if we didn’t have 10 levels of approval, and I’m not being sarcastic? No, I’m, I’m with you. There are some HR transactions that I mean, and that is very typical to have just a multi layer of an approval system, that sometimes is completely separate from the transaction itself. So we had a very healthy size and our population that was ready, you know, especially once they saw it all drawn out, to to streamline to, we knew we were not being very effective. We hadn’t really looked at all this since early 90s. And so if you can imagine, you know, no cell phones back then, you know, most of our phones were maybe the cordless phone where you pulled the cord out, you know, and had those and we thought that was really, you know, technology savvy all the way to now we do everything on our iPhone. So we’ve missed so many years in between and new, you know, our our population knew it was time to really take a new look at it. And I think our students expected that from us to, you know, there, there certainly is a digital age within the student population where the expectation is very, very clear. It’s gotta be really, really easy. I want to be able to do on my phone. And so I think, you know, some of the feedback we had received is this is not a great student employment experience. So how do we really change that as well?

Trish 9:51
I’m glad you mentioned that because I don’t want to break it down just into generational sort of difference right there, right because we can all certainly benefit from doing things mobile and But I have twins that just started college this year, as well. And, but but they do ever do everything on their phones so comfortably even filling out their college applications and just things where I was like, Are you sure we don’t want to get the computer out? Let’s get a computer out and try it, you know. So I do think that maybe my discomfort as a leader, I wouldn’t want to sort of taint what, you know, someone may be just entering the workforce would want to experience and it’s comfortable experiencing. So that’s a nice delicate balance. I think with that. And you mentioned you have highly professionally educated, you know, professors, police officers, you probably everybody, every job in between, right? So was there anything that you or your team did sort of special for yourself to prepare? How to message and bring all of these different types and ages and together in the journey with him?

Becky Ivy 10:53
You know, that’s a that’s another really good question. I think we really were concentrating on, you know, readiness. So especially as we got closer to go live, and that was a component within change management. We really have had, we’ve thought about from a student experience. So as you think about, you know, high school, do you have to brand new freshmen, but as you think about their high school experience, are they ready for college? Are they ready to be freshmen in college, have that dorm experience, and you know, that that residential life piece of it and all those things? So it was kind of an easy transition to think through that from our employees? Are they ready to experience, you know, what it’s going to be like in the cloud and be more digital? So we’ve kind of looked at their blueprint that our admissions enrollment team, they do a fabulous job around students, and really tried to say, how can we do that a little bit differently for employees and make sure we’re, we’re going to them, as you know, where they need to be met. So taking those steps, I will tell you, No, we had the best laid plans heading into 2020, all kinds of different events in person, of course. And then much like everyone, you know, March hit, and so we all went to spring break and just never came back. And so I think most colleges and universities have that same experience. And even you know, throughout the country, it was just one of those very stark moments, you look back and go, Wow, if we had only known, but it really was a point in time where we had to pivot our, you know, our strategy and and really go how do we meet people where they are because now they’re in their homes? And they’re not leaving? And what do we do next?

Trish 12:29
Well, obviously, I mean, so that’s happening in March, you were going to go live just a couple of months after that. So I’m imagining So correct me if I’m right, that you were sort of through all of your, our majority of your testing and sort of all of the the plans were laid, right, it was really just kind of those finishing touches. Did you drastically change how you rolled it out, though? Because everyone was home? And what were some of the differences maybe going that way? Versus had everyone been on campus?

Becky Ivy 12:57
I mean, we’ve certainly made a very large change. At that point time, I think, you know, I mentioned we had quite a few just in person events, whether that was, you know, demoing the system, whether that was having people come in and, you know, Demo, demo the system for us and do some of our testing that had never touched it before. We were so excited to kind of have those things take place. And literally, you know, it was within a week’s time period, we knew that was going to switch. And so we went and we worked with our change management team and marketing team and said, How do we bring this to the masses and make it exciting still and people connect to it? So we did we took a kind of different approach. And so we is so looking back over it. It’s so it was so much fun to do. We looked at the TV show The Office, the hit show, and we we did some work reached out to some of their actors through Kenya. We had three different cameos done when with Oscar Stanley and Kevin, where they were talking about it in character around just changing software’s and office, your office dynamics and things so they were short. And then we released those over time, about three weeks out just an increment. So people kind of got a taste of that we released those three different newsletters and emails and then the day of go live. We did a larger video. And so that was with Angela. So her name’s Angela. And she is at Baylor and loved it. Oh, it was awesome. I mean, she’s been she’s a Baylor grad so we Oh yeah. So we were able to connect directly with her to do what we needed to to do to record all that and so between her and our president, Dr. Levine Glinda, Linda Livingstone. We coordinate it so so you know, Angela kind of started out with character and then she kind of switched but it was really good. And then as soon as Dr. Livingstone came up, she was holding a mug that said world’s best boss was classic.

Becky Ivy 14:55
So then Linda really introduced this system to our to our population So I and she is beloved by our students, faculty. She’s extremely well respected. And just, I mean, just great. So for her to endorse it, encouraging people to get it, get get there on a video. And then immediately as she wrapped up, you know, she was able to say, and your next step is going to be, the system will guide you to update your emergency contact, and immediately using guided learning with, with cloud, it took them right to where they needed to do it. So they jumped right into the system started utilizing it immediately. So it’s a great first experience. And that’s what we focused in on was what was the first experience somebody has in the system, because that’s going to lay, you know, really the rest of their experience for them. So when we, when we honed in on that, instead of I think we were really looking at it, I mean, we we really were thinking of doing like a carnival almost, you know, and kind of just almost like a celebration. But when we switch to like, what is your first experience gonna be like in the system? It was it was a very interesting dynamic that changed and we found very successful.

Trish 16:04
Well, I love that for so many reasons. I love that you took something in pop culture that everyone have different ages can relate to and different experience levels. Right. Right and have that connection. So great on that. Also, like a former student, right, a former graduate. So again, I think other people listening to the show, if you’re thinking about, you know, a go live situation, think about those and cameo, which is amazing, I would have never thought to include cameo. But what a great way to kind of bring in, like people in in a way you wouldn’t have done before pre pandemic.

Becky Ivy 16:36
It really was one of those moments where, you know, cameo was just really gaining steam, and it just seemed like, wow, we could really do this. And then it just seemed like it all worked together. It was so fun. I think, you know, when Stanley’s video did his it said his was really one of the best ones. And he said, You know, it’s even better. It’s going to be even better than pretzel day. If you’re afraid Yeah, you get it. So yeah, it really did resonate. I mean, we had people who were like, hey, put those videos out. There was him again, you know. So yeah. But I think to that first experience, in system is is a critical juncture to really consider which I don’t think we would have done that at all had it not been, you know, being kind of forced to but the pandemic.

Trish 17:22
Yeah. Now I know. So we’re here at CloudWorld. I know you’re speaking tomorrow. Could you maybe talk a little bit about your session, what message you’re giving and even dive in a little bit? You know, you talked about you’re using both HR and finance and procurement. How has it been now that you’ve been live? And what are you going to be sharing with audience tomorrow?

Becky Ivy 17:43
So tomorrow, we’re focusing in on Oracle guided learning. And I mentioned it just a minute ago, when we were talking through kind of our go live scenario. But that piece of our experience, moving to the cloud has just been such a critical component to our success. If you’re not familiar with it, definitely encourage you to come to this session tomorrow and check it out. It is it’s your just in time information that your employees need as they go in the system. And so it’s really when you you know, it’s all the it’s all the things like pop ups that come up when they hover over something, it’s that guided pathway, if you want your employees to, you know, go in and do things like update contact information, or demographic information or anything like that. And so there’s so many embedded ways that that is just a resource within a tool. We’re actually looking at so many different options that you can do with with that. And so definitely come to the session tomorrow, learn more about what we utilize going forward, you know, going, going through a go live, but then even now for our change management efforts. And so, yes, I think guided learning has just been a real game changer for me, for us. And we’re really excited about what they’re doing going forward with it. So I’m sorry, you asked me another question.

Trish 18:57
What’s next, though? I mean, obviously, you’re using it for human resources. You’re using it for finance and procurement. What’s next for Baylor as you sort of continue this partnership with Oracle? Obviously, they made a lot of announcements here this week. What are you most excited about for the future?

Becky Ivy 19:12
Oh, absolutely. So mentioning, our partnership with our finance partners procurement, just across the board that that was a very new approach to business to for Baylor, but it is actually very critical for the cloud as well. So we started all the way back at the beginning of our project, with a brand new chart of accounts. And we had all of the right players at that, you know, at the table to do that inclusive of HR. And you’ve never before had that really happened. And so that has carried us all the way through the project. We’ve got an you know, a great governance process and group set up. So as we do make changes, we know it impacts all of us. So we’re all you know, needing to understand it and be on board with it. And so I think those are critical pieces that aren’t system related, but you learn about your team was in your culture, and you really do have to kind of bust down those silos, and start really, you know, working together. And so all those things are, are really what we learned, going forward. We’re very excited. So we are implementing fusion analytics warehouse, we are. So we started this summer, pouring our data out of cloud, we’ve got kind of that first level, done that baseline baseline, find the foundational data, definitely for HR you need. So you know, you know, your hiring numbers, you need your separation numbers, you need your demographics. So we’ve just got that feeding over into the test system. It’s beautiful, the, you know, everything that that digitization provides, from, you know, from a user perspective, I mean, it is just, it’s amazing to have that at your fingertips. And so being able to experience that and provide that, you know, to our leadership team and other leaders throughout campus in order to make decisions, it’s just going to be a real game changer for us.

Becky Ivy 20:55
And for the first time ever, I mean, we have it available prior to the cloud, that was it, data was always kind of behind a shield. And no one knew exactly what was going on with it. Well, now, you know, we’re able to put it in a format where people can read it, make decisions on it, employees have more access to it than they ever have before to and so, you know, that’s really, really exciting to think, think about think ahead. We’re also looking at implementing digital assistant. So we utilize help desk right now and really enjoyed it. But digital assistants definitely on our roadmap, that’s going to be, again, one of those, one of those tools, that it’s almost an expectation, I think, especially in such a, in our world today. We haven’t, you know, ultimately websites and available to us. You know, I think the employment experience really needs to follow suit with that it needs to be something that employees you know, they’re not, it’s not dull. And it’s not annoying. I think HR does a lot of annoying things sometimes. stop emailing me or you know, no more newsletters HR. Oh, we love our newsletters. I know. But I think a lot of what digital assistant and guided learning provides us is that just in time, hey, you need to know this now. And then you can forget it. Because good news, it’s still here when you come back and you need it again. Right?

Trish 22:11
Well, I’m glad you mentioned digital assistant too, because I think you know, I’ve been out of HR about seven years, doing the direct day to day and back then it was sort of like we felt like if we if we pushed people towards that sort of an experience, maybe we weren’t caring for them in the right way. And I do feel like since I’ve left HR, there’s a net shift. So now I would actually view that as being cared for if I had a digital assistant sort of filling in those gaps. So that maybe I’m not having to go to HR for every little thing, right? makes you more self sufficient, it helps you find the information you need really quickly, because you’re right, we’ve been sitting on huge amounts of information. And it really was very difficult to make decisions on that. So I love the examples of not only what you’re excited for, but how you’re actually using it and putting it into practice.

Becky Ivy 22:58
Absolutely, we’re very, very excited about what that means for like I said, our faculty, staff, our students, you know, great things. And again, I mean, I know, it has been a quite a journey ups and downs. And just as a word of encouragement for anyone who’s either considering it or in the midst of implementation or just gone live. Stick with it, it’s definitely, it’s definitely worth it. And, you know, the growing continuous improvement nature that we see out there, it’s just the wave of the future. And so it’s important, it’s important for higher ed. You know, the one thing too, I will add that we’ve also found this sense of community, with folks on the cloud, especially in higher ed. And so there’s other universities that have gone before us and some after us. We get together we talk on calls, we get together and conferences like this. And we share so much insight. It’s it’s not really a cent even of competitiveness, but it’s we’ve got this on the higher ed Oracle Cloud community. That just is, I mean, we support one another. So as your if anyone out there is heading in that direction know there’s a community out here support for you, too. And happy to talk you through any of that.

Trish 24:09
I love that. Yeah, HR often feels like you’re an island. I mean, there were many, many days where I felt like my, my team and I were sort of out there by ourselves because there wasn’t really HR for HR, right? No, no, your Oracle community become sort of that that guiding it soundboard, if you would to, like help you through the rough days and to really celebrate when you’re all kind of experiencing the winds from making the decision and making the move. Right. So well. Before we close I want to at least ask you you mentioned you started as a recruiter. So our is Baylor hiring is there anything we can do to point people to you and also for potential students? Where can can they go as well and get information about Baylor?

Becky Ivy 24:53
Thank you so much. I love this question. Absolutely. Yes, we are hiring so you know, it’s Please check out our website. All of our staff positions are there as well as our faculty. And also our we’ve got a whole student side available too so once you’re Baylor student you can go through an application process if you’re interested in anything Baylor, please go to our website, it’s you can find all kinds of great information there. And and you can always call to we’ve got a an s hr email address. If you have any questions. If it’s not HR related, we can certainly get you to the right place as well.

Trish 25:32
I love it. Well, good. Well, we will share all of that in the show notes as well. Thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for sharing your expertise and just all of kind of the growing pains as you’ve made the decision all the way through now to sort of seeing it through fruition and, and we wish you the best of luck with that and the best of luck tomorrow at your presentation.

Becky Ivy 25:51
Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Trish 25:52
Well, that is all for this episode of the HR Happy Hour. My name is Trish McFarlane and for Becky Ivy, we thank you for listening and bye for now.

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