New information system will improve service in human resources 

By Barbara Black

An upgraded human resources information system (HRIS for short) will be needed to support any goals established by the strategic planning process.

Nearly 70 per cent of the university’s spending goes to pay its employees. ROSS, the system used to manage employee information, is old, expensive to maintain, and inflexible. It can’t keep up with the needs of users and departments at the university, and the data requirements of external agencies. In fact, the current system spells everything in capital letters and can’t be navigated with a mouse.

A more reliable, more accessible system should be able to handle many more functions than is possible now. Areas in need of improvement include: position control, tracking time and attendance, automation of forms and processes, and query tools for reporting, among others.
Benoit Pantaloni is an actuarial science graduate working at Concordia on a short-term contract as project manager for the implementation of a new HRIS. He has worked in HRIS system development and implementation for more than 10 years in both the private and public sector, notably at hospitals. Under his guidance and that of a steering committee, Concordia will get a new HR system called emPath, version 6.4.

“The licence of the new system was bought at almost no cost in 2007,” Pantaloni told the Journal. “emPath, from Now Solutions, was less expensive than PeopleSoft and Banner-HR. It had better functionalities than Banner and was by far the easiest of the three systems to implement.”
The new system is web-based, which will make it easily accessible from other departments, Pantaloni explained. Because it is built using modern technology and techniques, it will require less frequent customization for our needs.

emPath will be introduced in phases over the next two years. The first phase will be to survey and analyze user needs, review the data entry processes, and proceed to a much-needed data cleanup. Pantaloni said the successful completion of this first phase is essential to implement the phases that will follow.
Training will be provided to HRIS users in the months leading up to the rollout of emPath, and users will be able to communicate with the implementation team via email.

Data reliability and integrity are paramount to institutional planning and decision-making, Pantaloni said.

“The recently announced deficit makes it more important than ever that the tools are in place for careful budget planning. A new human resources information system will make this task more efficient, more reliable, and ultimately, save money that would be better spent elsewhere.”

The members of the steering committee are Roger Côté, Brad Tucker, Patrick Kelley, Andrew McAusland, Nathalie Laporte, Anna Michetti, Tanya Poletti and Benoit Pantaloni.


Concordia University