Published on 08-May-2007
Bayfront Health System is a private, not-for-profit medical institution located in St. Petersburg, Florida, consisting of numerous facilities including Bayfront Medical Center, six walk-in clinics, an air-medical helicopter program serving 15 counties, and several additional offices and programs.
To reduce total cost of ownership and improve the capabilities of the hospital’s enterprise systems, which were inefficient and nearing capacity.
Infor enterprise applications running on IBM System i.™
New capabilities give Bayfront managers improved access to HR information; overall reduction in cost of ongoing operations and maintenance; and better allocation of IT personnel to core business activities.
CONSOLIDATING FOR BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
Bayfront Health System is a private, not-for-profit medical institution located in St. Petersburg, Florida, consisting of numerous facilities including Bayfront Medical Center, six walk-in clinics, an air-medical helicopter program serving 15 counties, and several additional offices and programs. Founded 100 years ago, Bayfront has always focused on superior customer service.
The IT strategy at Bayfront had been a best-of-breed approach, with numerous applications (some homegrown), different database systems and platforms providing financial and decision support functions. The overall environment had grown over time, with new applications being added and integrated with the infrastructure.
By 2004, Bayfront was facing several challenges. The variety of platforms, operating systems, databases and applications was becoming too expensive and difficult to support. Some were old and unsupported, and the IT staff was too small to effectively manage them. In addition, it had become evident that many of the organization’s business processes could be made more efficient by starting fresh with an integrated enterprise suite.
Taking lessons learned from having a diverse, complex infrastructure, Bayfront sought a single, integrated application platform that would offer the capabilities it needed, including payroll, human resources, fixed assets, general ledger, accounts payable, and purchasing and materials management. The best fit proved to be Infor HCM (Human Capital Management) and Infor FMS (Financial Management Systems).
On the infrastructure side, having experienced an environment with three different databases and three hardware/OS platforms, Bayfront sought a solution that would be far simpler to deploy and manage, and less expensive to own. The new infrastructure would have to provide 24x7 reliability and excellent scalability for anticipated growth in applications, offer high security, be easy to manage by a small IT staff and, most importantly, provide a good return on investment immediately. Bayfront followed Infor’s lead and chose IBM as the hardware, software and database provider. The organization had previous positive experiences with IBM, having used IBM RS/6000® and IBM AS/400® servers.
LEVERAGING THE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Infor has a strategic relationship with IBM Premier Business Partner Sirius Computer Solutions, a systems integrator and IBM reseller, as well as with IBM. Thanks to this close working relationship, the three companies provide enhanced value to their joint customers. IBM works with Infor to optimize its applications for IBM hardware and software, and shares its extensive expertise with Sirius to ensure that new Infor solutions are implemented quickly and effectively.
"We didn’t know Sirius, and we had a local partner we’d worked with before," says Judy Best, Director of Applications at Bayfront. "So we were initially a bit skeptical. But we like to take advantage of industry partnerships, because they leverage the knowledge and expertise of all parties - and we saw real value in Infor’s relationship with Sirius and IBM. Because of that partnership, we realized that Sirius could provide the right IBM product solutions to support our new environment. We’d be able to save time and money."
A PHASED APPROACH
In order to minimize risk and simplify the task of troubleshooting the new environment, Bayfront decided to go with a phased implementation. "We don’t have an army of IT staff," says
John McLendon, VP and CIO. "Bringing the new systems online in stages makes it easier to track down potential problems that might arise."
Having to keep some of the legacy applications online meant additional integration, but that was a known and accepted factor, says Judy Best. "Because of our decision to go with a phased approach, we did a fair amount of integration work.
For example, we have a decision support system, and had to extract information from the Infor payroll application to support it."
The initial rollout includes Infor’s Payroll and HCM systems. Fixed Assets and General Ledger will be coming next, followed by Materials Management and Accounts Payable.
Bayfront’s conservative approach is to start with the basics, then ramp up the capabilities as experience is gained. This goes not only for application functionality, but for hardware capabilities as well. The advanced features of the IBM System i server that Bayfront has installed include dynamic logical partitioning - a key benefit as the number of applications increases.
NEW CAPABILITIES BOOST
The application suite is delivering new capabilities that are being very well received by Bayfront’s employees. Managers are now able to access information that was not available from the legacy applications. For example, managers are able to easily bring up employee information, including hourly rates, addresses, and paid time off (PTO) balances. Employees are now able to access more information about themselves online.
The new system has the potential to eliminate paper pay stubs entirely. "We’re planning to go completely electronic, with direct deposit ... no pay stubs at all," said Deborah Menendez, Director of Human Resources. That’ll save us money and time because we won’t have to generate all that paper. And the employees will have immediate access to their pay history."
The new system is also helping Bayfront become more competitive in a tight job market. "Our legacy system for job posting and applicant tracking was homegrown and largely manual," says Judy Best. "It didn’t work very well. We were losing job applications. Now, prospective employees apply online, and the system automatically populates the appropriate fields in the Infor HCM application. It’s faster, more efficient, and much less prone to error."
The system is even able to provide functions that were not anticipated. "We’ve found that we can link the point-of-sale systems in our cafeteria and gift shop to the payroll application," says McLendon. "In February 2007, we plan to implement it so that employees will be able to make purchases without cash ... it’ll just come straight out of their pay. Our food service partner has told us that a program like that can boost sales significantly."
With any significant change in enterprise systems, employee buy-in is critical. The change to the way employees access information such as PTO balances is a case in point.
"Initially there was some push-back, because with the new system some information isn’t showing up on their pay stubs. But when we showed them how easy and intuitive it was to get all of that and more online, we got a very enthusiastic response," says Menendez.
Judy Best concurs. "At our weekly technology steering committee meetings, the managers and directors have been very positive about all of the new self-service capabilities. It makes their job much easier."
Sirius helps customers design, implement and maintain their IT infrastructure with best-of-breed technology solutions. As a national IBM Premier Business Partner, Sirius provides certified experts to deliver solutions that incorporate IBM servers, storage, software, enterprise printers, point-of-sale systems, professional services and financing. Sirius partners with leading ISVs such as Infor to give customers a total, integrated solution to meet specific technology and business requirements.
For more information, visit www.siriuscom.com
Infor delivers fully integrated enterprise solutions as well as best-in-class standalone products that address the essential challenges its customers face in areas such as enterprise resource planning, supply chain planning and execution, customer and supplier relationship management, asset management, product lifecycle management, financial management, performance management and business intelligence. With more than 8,100 employees and offices in 100 countries, Infor provides enterprise solutions to more than 70,000 customers.
For additional information, visit www.infor.com
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