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June 25, 2009 - Fridays @ first - Summer Thursday Edition

And we’re off…CUNYfirst is Live! What a week it was!!

“The more I get exposed to the CUNYfirst system, the more I realize that it is going to be a very powerful tool.  There will be a lot of work getting up to speed up front, but I am confident that at the outset it will help reduce the time it takes to conduct HR-related tasks.  We won’t have to deal with a mountain of paperwork anymore…we can focus on developing ideas, working with our customers, and being more results-oriented.”

 – Imelda Redito – HR Director – Hostos Community College

Going Live

Executive Vice-Chancellor Allan Dobrin and Vice-Chancellor Gloriana Waters joined many CUNY professionals who gained access to and begin working in the CUNYfirst system.  Applications now include new processes for Human Resources and Recruiting (HCM/TAM), Line Item Budgeting and the Course Catalog for Queens College and Queensborough Community Colleges.  

Friday – June 19th

The CUNYfirst system went live on time and the first task was to validate processes and make sure applications worked.  Our teams from Oracle and CUNY CIS and CUNYfirst spent most of Friday in a shakedown mode to ensure the system was ready for CUNY professionals.  Business offices staff who had been working in the General Ledger (GL) were given access so they could resume their work.  The GL went live about a year ago, and those working in it had to use multiple user names and passwords to access their work.  Now, they have a single sign-on through the front door to CUNYfirst – the Identity Management System (IMS).  Through IMS you claim your working account before you have access to the applications.  Access was also given to Registrars at Queens College and Queensborough CC to begin working in the Course Catalog module.  The Line Item Budget was

Friday afternoon we granted access to a number of HR professionals at our Vanguard colleges (Hostos and Queensborough CC and York and Queens Colleges) and the Central Office to validate they could log in. 

Over the weekend, our technical teams responded to issues identified on this first day.

Monday – June 22nd

Monday, access was granted to all members of the HR Vanguard community who received training.  In most cases, the HR Directors ensured their staff claimed their accounts and walked through the system to familiarize themselves with screens and processes they learned in training.  CUNYfirst Core HR and Organizational Change team members were on hand at Hostos, Queens, Queensborough and York to assist staff in making the transition from old to new.  We believe that helped alleviate some nervousness about the change.

Tuesday – Thursday – June 23rd – 25th

As time went by, HR teams began working in the new system step by step, attempting processes like creating a new hire, changing an employee’s personnel information or promoting someone.  These small steps are allowing our HR teams to understand the steps needed to do their jobs in the new system and to make the connection between what was done in the past versus how it will work in CUNYfirst.

To assist users, a daily “Office Hours” web/phone conference began Tuesday as a way for users to present issues to their peers and the Core HR team and to understand how to solve them or to gain additional knowledge from their colleagues.  These daily office hours have allowed us to deal with items quickly.  For example, a question of how employee data migrated from CUPS to CUNYfirst led to an excellent presentation by Tawana Williamson from the Office of Human Resources Management that was shared on the call.  A longer version of this information will be recorded next week and made available to the community.

The general impression from a week of work is that users are learning this new environment and are gaining confidence in their new tasks, contacting their help desks when issues arise and processing information. 

We are also receiving information from our campus first Base teams – the individuals who are providing support at our campus and University Offices locations.  Information on the teams and other information can be found under the Support tab on the Project website –

On Thursday, the Second and Third Wave Colleges for the HCM launch were announced to the CUNYfirst Steering Committee.  The colleges self-selected their place in line.  There are plans to meet with the colleges next week and discuss lessons learned so far and also to connect with the Wave One schools to help plan successful launches.

They are:

  • Wave 2 – Launch July 13, 2009
  • John Jay College
  • Hunter College
  • Bronx Community College
  • LaGuardia Community College
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • College of Staten Island
  • The City College
  • Lehman College
  • CUNY Law School
  • BMCC
  • Wave 3 – Launch – July 20, 2009
  • Graduate Center
  • Medgar Evers College
  • Brooklyn College
  • Baruch College


Line Item Budgeting

The Line Item Budgeting module remains in the hands of the University Budget office as they continue to ensure the system is ready for users.  That is likely to be available to campus users early next week.

Next Week

We look forward to gathering more knowledge as the college teams to assist in their transition and to prepare other teams for July 13 and July 20.

HCM Training continues next week.  The Enterprise Learning Management (ELM) system is up and accessible through the CUNYfirst Portal.  The Application Security Liaisons (ASL) will meet Wednesday to share their experience with the launch and gain more knowledge about CUNYfirst.

We thank all our colleagues for their patience, their hard work getting us LIVE and their honesty in providing feedback and knowledge.