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Baptist Health HR department teams up with Cerner AMS Oracle for smoother daily operations

by Baptist Health

Published on 9/30/2020

When the Cerner Application Management Services (AMS) Oracle team took work over from Baptist Health’s third-party Oracle Cloud support service in July 2019, the human resources (HR) department had high expectations. Baptist Health’s HR department had negative experiences with the third party it used to go live on Oracle Cloud’s Core HR offering. Cerner’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Support team focuses on Oracle applications — such as Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and Oracle Cloud.

“Communication wasn’t clear or concise with what we were trying to verbalize and what our previous vendor understood from us,” said Ruth Heard, HR application coordinator. “We tried to address issues, and the vendor wrote them down, but then didn’t address them until later when we were deeply involved in a particular project.”

HR director Allen Kennedy said he didn’t feel comfortable with past processes because properly documenting issues wasn’t part of daily operations.

“We grew accustomed to the former vendor making changes on the fly to fix issues,” Kennedy said. “In retrospect, there was sort of a whack-a-mole approach, and we received an inconsistent product that was sometimes good, and sometimes not.”

“Cerner’s Oracle AMS documents problems, then lets us know what a solution looks like, in writing,” Heard said. “The difference between this new team and our old vendor is that AMS follows through.”

With AMS as an extension of the on-site Cerner ITWorks team, communication with Baptist Health HR became more consistent.

“If I have a question or forget something, I can send AMS a quick email and say, ‘Can we schedule a quick call?’” Heard said. “I can also just call and ask my question. Previously I’d wait several hours and maybe get a phone call or response via email.”

Initially, Baptist Health presented AMS with a list of 15 issues on Oracle Cloud Core HR that carried over from the previous vendor. They also addressed several integrated issues that involved the AMS team, as well as another third party.

In the first year of AMS support, Baptist Health logged 86 service requests with AMS, and the relationship is helping Baptist Health HR to move onto the right path for what’s next in the Oracle Cloud roadmap.

 “Baptist Health leadership asks us for recommendations on each quarterly Oracle Cloud release to help them utilize their system to the fullest, and we’ve been asked to assist with their current installation project to make sure their decisions make sense for their current module.”

“Our partnership with Baptist Health is not really about numbers, as much as it is about the trust and accountability we’ve developed over a 12-month period,” said Brian Schoening, Engagement Owner, Cerner AMS.

When Baptist Health first started implementing Oracle Cloud modules, the system wasn't working as expected.

“We decided to optimize and improve the integrations from our system into the core system. With our previous vendor, they weren't doing the testing to verify their changes worked,” Heard said. “For that reason, we spent almost a year in testing alone. But when we decided to go with AMS, they helped fix all of that.”

There is a higher level of trust between Baptist Health HR staff, Cerner ITWorks and Cerner’s Oracle AMS staff, and the relationship continues to grow.

“I have complete faith in what AMS does in their process,” Heard said. “If the team has questions for us about anything, they will speak up and clarify. They take time to understand our full expectations for a product, and what we want in a process.

“It simply makes me happy, and I can't speak highly enough about their work,” she said.

Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.