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Susan G. Komen Goes with Fluid User Interface

Quest recently had a conversation with Elizeth (Eli) Fernandez, project manager for the Fluid initiative project at Susan G. Komen. Eli started with Komen in 2006 in various financial management, accounting and reporting roles and transitioned to PeopleSoft functional analyst in 2015.

Key takeaways

  • Fluid increases mobility
  • Fluid increases employee engagement
  • Developing Fluid Navigation Collections and security roles can help ease the transition


About Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen, founded in 1982, is a global breast cancer organization operating in United states and several other countries. It is the only organization that addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives to make the biggest impact against this deadly disease. Since its inception, it has funded more than $956 million in research, over $2.1 billion in medical care, community and provider education and psychosocial support, serving millions in over 60 countries worldwide. Their efforts until now have helped reduce death rates from breast cancer by 39 percent since 1990. It has its bold goal – reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the United States by the year 2026.

Susan G. Komen headquarters converted from Solomon to PeopleSoft FSCM 9.0 in 2008. During 2009, 118 affiliates rolled onto PeopleSoft from their own instances of QuickBooks. Later in 2014, the PeopleSoft application was upgraded to PeopleSoft 9.2. Last March, they made a strategic decision and updated to PeopleSoft Update Image 21 and PeopleTools 8.55.11. This enabled them to implement Fluid technologies.

What were the drivers for you to begin using Fluid User Interface?

Susan G. Komen operates under a federated business model composed of a headquarters and approximately 80 affiliate offices throughout the nation. Each of these operate independently of one another while still working together to achieve one united mission, all while consolidating financial information under one informational tax return. This business model presents Komen with a wide spectrum of individuals from highly tech savvy to those with very basic technology knowledge. Fluid User Interface was the vehicle we needed to increase mobility, allowing our nationwide users to access the financial system from any device at their convenience and eliminating the need to be at a desktop. Additionally, this allowed for time savings and better efficiencies with our financial system and increased employee engagement by making the system easier to use and more intuitive. It also provided easier access to focused financial information that could be delivered with pivot grids based on user security.

Where and how are you using Fluid?

Our user base can be grouped into headquarters users and affiliate users. Our headquarters staff employs Fluid for self-services such as travel and expenses/requisition, Fluid Approvals and pivot grids for reporting. Additionally, Fluid Navigation Collections are used to group all menu items necessary for specific tasks including supplier and voucher access and reporting. The affiliate user group uses Fluid Approvals as well as Fluid Navigation collections for the remaining modules for which their user security grants access.

How are you rolling out Fluid User Interface to your end users (e.g. pilot, phased, big bang, etc.)?

Fluid User Interface was rolled out in a phased approach beginning with the headquarters user group. This was followed by piloting to a small group of affiliate users and finally rolling out to the entire affiliate user group.

What was your experience like deploying Fluid?

The deployment and training for end users went smoothly. The Fluid tiles and functionality are user friendly and were easily adopted by users with a wide spectrum of technical expertise.

What did you learn that other customers could benefit from?

We learned that Fluid User Interface does not only improve mobility but also opens functionality with new features and reporting, including dashboards, pivot grids, etc.

What obstacles, if any, did you encounter while deploying Fluid?

One challenge was finding a way to keep a subset of users on a classic landing page while others on a Fluid landing page as part of our phased approach based on specific permissions with specific users. Our phased approach meant that we would be operating with a blended version of PeopleSoft for a period. With help from our third-party partners, we were able to identify a solution.

Delivered Fluid pages did not always fully meet our needs, i.e. delivered Fluid Procurement functionality only functions for goods, and we use both goods and services. Certain functions such as withdrawing a travel authorization or submitting an expense report on behalf of another user is not available in Fluid pages. Our solution for these types of obstacles is to use Navigation Collections with links to the classic pages that allow our users to perform those specific functions that are not currently available in the delivered Fluid pages.

What concerns, if any, did your company have about deploying Fluid?

Our concern when making changes to technology is always end-user experience and adoption. We wanted to ensure that we thoroughly prepared our users, especially our affiliate network, and provided as much information and training as possible before going live. We successfully planned for training and used all our communication channels and training mediums available to disseminate information.

Are you deploying Fluid as delivered? If not, how customized/modified are you and why?

Our deployment is approximately 20% customized to retrofit with various existing process edits.

Since deploying Fluid what benefits have you seen for you and your company?

The benefits we have seen are faster onboarding of new staff, ease of access to pending approvals and—based on the users’ security roles—the ability to see pertinent information upon sign-on on landing pages.

What services partner did you work with, if any?

We worked with MIPRO Consulting and Smart ERP. Our implementation partners trained us and paved the path allowing Susan G. Komen to transition to Fluid User Interface. They built the framework including two different home pages—one for our headquarters subset of users and another for our affiliate users. Additionally, they guided us in developing Fluid Navigation Collections and security roles to facilitate the phased approach which allowed a subset of users to remain on classic homepages while another group landed on Fluid homepages and tiles.

Where do you want to take your company’s Fluid strategy in the next two to three years?

In the next few years we intend to focus on reporting functionalities making more use of pivot grids as well as reassessing delivered Fluid functionalities in future images.

How involved was your company in utilizing the Quest community, or any other user group, during the upgrade process?

The Quest community has always been a great resource to tap into when we have open questions and our Fluid implementation was no different.

Would you like to share your own story with the Quest community? Contact us and Quest staff will get in touch!