Posted On: June 30, 2020

Coping with COVID-19 Generated OTL Challenges with AMS

The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to scramble to find new ways to give their employees the flexibility they need to meet both their professional and family commitments.

For many organizations, this is a simple challenge to meet: Companies announce policy changes and flextime rules, and employees accommodate their schedules in conjunction with their managers.

At other organizations, things can be much more complicated.

For example, Oracle E-Business Suite Time and Labor (OTL) users enjoy excellent functionality to manage time cards to meet a full range of “normal” labor scenarios. But what about situations when a user needs to borrow time from future weeks and be able to match used time, or have the ability to overwork one week and be able to balance their time for future weeks?

These types of requirements have emerged in the wake of COVID-19 and unfortunately OTL’s out-of-the-box functionality doesn’t cover these needs.

Pain Points with OTL Out-of-the-Box Functionality

OTL offers robust out-of-the-box functionality. It gives users the ability to deploy fast formulas while implementing complex setups. While this functionality is welcome, OTL only supports basic workflows which do not support complex, custom workflows necessary to set up flextime scenarios driven by “Employee Type,” where hours worked may deviate from standard work hours.

Of course, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Building extensions into OTL to allow for this type of flexibility is possible. However, even a conservative estimate for such a project would range in the neighborhood of 300 hours….

And most Oracle E-Business Suite HRMS and HCM subject matter experts are already stretched to the limit.

Another alternative would be to have HR staff manually pull data from OTL, make manual notations on Excel, and then track and update those on a weekly basis, trying to input relevant data back into the system when possible.

How many HR departments have the bandwidth to take on a project like that in the middle of today’s COVID-19 crisis?

Finally, an Oracle Time and Labor end-user could turn to outside consulting to deploy this type of complex, on-demand, customization. There are many able partners out there. But finding one and building a short list of potential providers takes time. For a consultant to provide a reasonable quote, they’d have to dig in and review setups, scripts and all of the other associated discovery needed just to familiarize themselves with your system. Once that is done, they’ll need to devise a project plan, establish milestones and set a start date.

Only then can work commence, followed by Go-Live and the necessary post-production support to iron out any hiccups.

And remember, even if you can get by contracting only a single consultant, rates for these types of Oracle E-Business Suite subject matter experts typically trend towards $200 an hour and above.

Fortunately, there is a better way.

Customers Use AMS to Tailor OTL to Meet COVID-19 Challenges

Syntax’s Application Managed Services (AMS) is a solution specifically designed to help customers meet needs like the ones outlined above.

In fact, Syntax is already helping clients tailor their Oracle E-Business Suite solutions to meet flextime requirements and to extend functionality to facilitate processing of automatic adjustments. In doing this, we are helping clients maintain holistic control of their HCM systems by ensuring that users get notified when newly configured PA Profiles get auto-approved.

Since Syntax is already supporting these clients, our Apps DBAs and Oracle HRMS/Oracle HCM subject matter experts are already familiar with both their systems and their business requirements.

Taken together, this empowers these Oracle E-Business Suite users with the agility they need to re-configure systems quickly, to meet requirements that are changing rapidly due to COVID-19.

To learn more, visit our AMS web page or contact us today to setup a 1-1 meeting with a specialist.