Cloud Technology Empowers A Global Nonprofit to Pivot On A Dime Amid A Pandemic
The Fedcap Group, a global network of nonprofit agencies, swiftly enhanced its cloud-based platform to support and protect more than 313,000 constituents, 23,000 members and 4,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. In under two hours and at no cost, The Fedcap Group configured Oracle’s Workforce Health and Safety module — a mobile-friendly tool that allows employees to self-report COVID-19 illness and invoke federal and employee protections.
When The Fedcap Group (Fedcap) teamed up with Huron to embark on a transformation journey in 2017, its goals were ambitious and its technological barriers steep. “We set some pretty aggressive goals,” recalls President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christine McMahon, “the biggest headwinds being the infrastructure that we had was, in some cases, between 20 and 40 years old.”
Fedcap shared the same challenges faced by many organizations — outdated technology that fostered a siloed and fragmented administrative network fraught with cyber risk, shadow systems and cumbersome, paper-driven processes — yet the unique qualities of its workforce and its mission required careful attention and configuration.
By replacing a complex network of disparate and decades-old systems with a centralized, cloud-based Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) financial and procurement solution, a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, a modernized human capital management (HCM) system and a new enterprise performance management (EPM) solution, The Fedcap Group sought centralized data to enable a state of continuous innovation in the face of disruption.
At that time, Fedcap could not have imagined the profound shifts it would need to make, just three years later, to lead its organization through a global pandemic.
The Fedcap Group is currently midway through its digital transformation, but has already seen significant returns on its cloud investment due to the solid groundwork it built during the ERP, HCM and CRM implementation. At its core, Fedcap’s transformation is built upon a solid platform of interlocking technologies:
- Oracle Cloud ERP, Financials and HCM
- Salesforce CRM
- Oracle EPM
Making sure these core systems correlate and aggregate data, speak to one another, and provide the foundation for continuous innovation — like the Oracle’s Workforce Health and Safety module configuration — hinges on three key tactics:
- Generating top-down support
- Unlocking insights into the unique attributes of the client’s user base
- Investing in a design that advances the institutional vision long after the implementation
Generating Top-Down Support
Driving executive sponsorship early in a cloud ERP technology deployment is critical to successful transformation. Early in the journey to the cloud, Huron cultivated close relationships with The Fedcap Group’s CEO, Christine McMahon, and Chief Information Officer Tammy Mickelson, as well as the chief financial officer (CFO), vice president of human resources (HR), director of human resource information system (HRIS) and director of benefits.
Understanding the vision, challenges and concerns of these important stakeholders did more than inform foundational implementation decisions from the design to go-live; it forged an important connection between the new tools and the role they will play in supporting The Fedcap Group’s vision for growth.
Top-down support will guide the next leg of Fedcap’s ongoing transformation: human capital management (HCM) optimization. Now that The Fedcap Group has implemented a new Oracle Cloud HCM infrastructure, it is rapidly discovering new opportunities to unlock efficiencies, enhance productivity and spark innovation in key areas like payroll, accounting, human resources, benefits enrollment, talent acquisition, talent management, absence management, time and labor, workforce compensation and ongoing learning management.
Unlocking Insights Into The Unique Attributes of The Client Base
For a mission-driven organization like The Fedcap Group, it was paramount that every decision made during implementation not only supports Fedcap’s vision for the future and buttresses the aggressive growth targets it set when mounting its transformation — but that each decision also has a meaningful impact on its constituents.
“They challenged us each step of the way,” recalls President and CEO Christine McMahon, “to make sure that the intention we had behind this was to change people’s lives.” Huron worked closely with Fedcap to understand its constituents’ needs and roles, unique attributes, and barriers to success.
This process led to important discoveries about the data formats and systems its constituents needed to perform their roles effectively.
The implementation team learned, for example, that in 1935, when the Federation of the Crippled and Disabled was established, The Fedcap Group (formerly known as Fedcap Rehabilitation) became the first organization in the U.S. to provide services to — and be run by — people with disabilities. For the systems and technology to advance the mission of the organization, it was critical that the implementation team configure the data structures, formats and business processes to promote accessibility, especially in key areas impacting the workforce, like payroll, time entry, benefits selection and human resources.
Invest in Design That Advances The Organizational Vision
A key driver of a sustainable transformation is the ability to align new technology with the client’s institutional priorities. Infusing the foundational systems with organizational vision as early as the design phase is critical strategy to ensure the benefits of the new technology sustain the organization’s goals long after go-live.
For The Fedcap Group to grow and thrive in an environment of constant disruption, it was essential that the implementation of its cloudbased infrastructure contain the following building blocks for innovation and ongoing transformation:
- Integrated, real-time data across agencies and systems to support the vision for growth, advance the mission and support ongoing modernization amid disruption
- Seamless, enterprisewide workforce data to support strategic growth and talent acquisition goals
- Streamlined processes to support compliance and promote a positive user experience throughout onboarding, benefits and HR policies
- Mobile, user-friendly self-reporting tools carefully configured to serve the unique accessibility needs of its workforce and constituents
Huron’s implementation team carved out ample time in the design phase to ensure that the foundation of the new ERP, HCM and EPM technology systems supported these key capabilities.
The Fedcap Group’s successful ERP and HCM implementation marks the beginning of a historic transformation that will profoundly impact the lives of thousands. As Christine McMahon stated:
The ability for us now to not just have a solid foundation of sustainability but to continue to remain relevant, to continue to innovate, to continue to push the needle forward with realtime data and rapid processing—to harness all of that to make real changes out in the community, in people’s lives—is paramount.
During a global pandemic, where increased barriers to health services and social and economic security are disproportionately impacting disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, the important work The Fedcap Group is doing to improve the lives of thousands in New York City and beyond is profoundly valuable.
According to Carol Khoury, CFO for The Fedcap Group, the transformation has translated to more accurate and timely financial reporting. “With Oracle, we’ve seen about a 25% reduction in time spent generating reports.” With this increase in efficiency and productivity, employees can reallocate valuable time and energy to serving their community and supporting their teams.
For HRIS Director Kimberly Quinonez-Francois, the advantages of eliminated paper processes and real-time data have empowered managers to dedicate their time to their clients and focus on supporting their constituents:
Working in HR and having a solution like Oracle, it really helps our managers. They’re not worried about that paper pushing that they’re used to. Moving to a cloud-based solution allows our managers to do what they do best, and that’s to help our clients and to help our participants.
In President and CEO Christine McMahon’s purview, the keystone to building and achieving The Fedcap Group’s strategic vision is the data it now harnesses. “We made a conscious decision to really focus on solving problems,” she recalls. “That takes data. That takes infrastructure. That takes a commitment to information and analyzing it. We’re seeing the results already and we anticipate enormous results in the future.”
Fedcap’s ability to maximize its impact on the community, support the vulnerable and protect its workforce during a pandemic — launching a new cloud-based module technology in a matter of hours — sends a powerful message to any organization struggling to modernize its infrastructure that innovation is possible under any circumstance.