The Client has a large workforce that is spread across multiple faculties, campuses and domains. With no dedicated Human Capital Management (HCM) System, it meant employee data was fragmented and HR processes were inconsistent across the organisation.
The Client embarked on a HCM transformation program to improve employee experience, enhance the quality and completeness of data and streamline HR processes. They selected a modern best of breed solution, Workday HCM, as their core HR system with domain-specific capabilities including workforce planning, administration, talent management and performance management.
Implementing a SaaS solution like Workday would enable the University to standardise and simplify many HR processes to align with industry standards and increase efficiency. A key part of this implementation involved the integration of the existing payroll system Aurion with the new Workday HCM solution. No connector existed on the market to link these systems, so a custom integration solution needed to be built to achieve the level of efficiency that the client required for their payroll processes.
Due to our strong history with Aurion integration and our existing relationship with the Client, Intelligent Pathways was engaged to provide the solution architecture and develop the custom integration solution between Workday and Aurion. It was essential the client was paired with a partner who understood both their organisational structure and integrated HR system capabilities to bring all employee cohorts into one place.
Intelligent Pathways first investigated multiple approaches to the Workday-Aurion integration solution. To best serve the Client’s needs, Intelligent Pathways designed and built the solution using a microservices architecture on AWS. This was due to the flexibility a cloud ecosystem offered in meeting broader reporting and analytics needs, the many existing AWS solutions in their environment, and the scalability of cloud vendor integration tools. Because payroll is a cyclic, once-a-month or once-a-week function, the integration needed to sustainably handle large peaks and troughs in data flow – a feature that is well enabled by the pay-as-you-need pricing model and near-infinite scalability of AWS services.
The architecture of the integration itself needed to accommodate some constraints of the existing Aurion platform, including not being able to call most of the APIs concurrently leading to throughput constraints, and not using the database for update operations, only read operations.
Key architectural features were:
There were also three key architecture requirements that needed to be addressed to ensure the success of the solution:
The integration solution had to cater for a number of scenarios that require high scalability and availability including:
During project delivery, the development team required multiple deployments across AWS components to support the development and release cycle. After go-live, the development team needed to deploy fixes inline with the Client’s pay period schedules. Both stages required the ability to manage automated deployment efficiently. Optimal use of a number of different types tools and technologies were used to develop and support the solution.
Example Use Cases
Below is a subsection of key use cases the integration needed to manage, including technologies used to support it and the size of the integration task.
The Aurion Connector was a highly complex but successful solution, delivered within the expected time frame, within budget, and presented no issues beyond small adjustments post the go-live. Intelligent Pathways directly consulted with Aurion to ensure the approach and design was best practice. Therefore, not every use case was selected to be automated, just those necessary based on complexity, value and volume.
During automating HR to payroll processes, the primary focus was streamlining employee experience in Workday so that all facets of an employee lifecycle were located in one place, and ensuring the HCM system can be embedded into the Client’s existing payroll network.
Without this custom integration solution between Workday and Aurion, payroll integration would have been conducted manually, which can lead to other challenges such as not achieving business efficiency, data problems and risk. It has reduced double handling of data, increased audit compliance and saved staff time on monotonous admin tasks. Both the business and stakeholders benefit from improved synergy and functionality between the Client’s numerous faculties.
Intelligent pathways have a pedigree of ERP integration, deep expertise in integrating SaaS systems with on premise legacy systems, and knowledge of systems not widely known such as Aurion and Chris21. This prior experience within Workday integrations with various payroll systems alongside the familiarity of higher education organisational structures accelerated the Client’s HR integration process. Due to Intelligent Pathways’ integration proficiency and system flexibility, a number of options were able to be tested before selecting the fit-for-purpose custom built solution.
Intelligent Pathways proudly continue to work closely with the Client as they move into further phases of their HCMS and Customer Experience transformations, and grow our longstanding trusted relationship from previous integration and process automation efforts.