Delivering cloud success to Lesotho Revenue Authority
Dimension Data uses technology to help LRA improve its customer service delivery.
The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) Oracle Upgrade Project is at the heart of a major enterprise modernisation programme. It seeks to improve its services to customers through smarter, cutting-edge systems and solutions and to meet world-class standards.
The LRA identified that the implemented ERP solution had limited functionalities augmented by many manual processes and procedures. Several issues were also identified on the existing e-business solution and an upgrade/transition to cloud was determined as the best way to address these issues.
A full analysis was made on the best technologies and operating platforms that could be adopted to address the above-mentioned gap. A decision was made to upgrade the existing e-business payroll to the latest version and move the remaining modules and applications to a cloud-based version referred to as Oracle Fusion.
Objectives of the project
The objectives of the project for the LRA were to:
- Move towards a technologically advanced cloud-based financial, HR and talent management solution and standardise finance, HR and operations processes across the business. Make more informed and data-driven business decisions.
- Adopt leading business practices, requiring the LRA’s existing business processes and practices to be streamlined and updated. These changes were communicated to the LRA community across the operations and processes teams.
- Control the business costs and increase productivity through the use of the Oracle Cloud standard processes as much as possible.
- Eliminate the need for expensive customisations or unnecessary integrations between systems.
- Allow for a common data set and common operating procedures through shared information/data between the financials and human capital management modules within Oracle.
- Deliver an integrated platform for planning and managing the human capital management (HCM) processes.
- Grant employees and managers more control and access to their data through the implementation of employee and manager self-service.
- Adopt leading business practices for supply chain operations, financial control and human capital management.
Lesotho Revenue Authority partnered with Dimension Data to tackle these objectives. The entire engagement with the LRA consisted of implementing a large Oracle footprint – and it was agreed to use a phased approach by implementing the base applications first. This allowed the business to utilise and buy into the new ways of working in Oracle Cloud. This also allowed for the support structures to be fully enabled and entrenched before implementing the remaining applications.
The project was initiated in April 2019 with the first phase going live at the end of June 2020. The onset of COVID-19 brought about several challenges, restrictions on travel being one of them. Although COVID-19 threw a spanner into the works, this did not stop the Dimension Data team from successfully delivering the solution remotely.
The project methodology and approach entailed a hybrid model catering to both the standardised cloud methodology and a more agile method for development, reports and integrations.
Phase one consisted of implementing these Oracle Cloud applications:
- Financials/ERP – General ledger, account payables, account receivables, fixed assets, cash management, procurement and purchasing, including self-service as applicable to the modules.
- HCM – Core HR, profile management and absence, including manager and employee self-service as applicable to the modules.
- Integrations with the tax system.
- Integrations with the Oracle On-Prem Payroll.
Phase two comprised of:
- Upgrading the EBS On-Prem Payroll to a supported version to minimise risk to the business and allow for enhancements to be made and for integrations to be enabled.
- Payroll/cloud integrations automated for HCM and payroll journals to general ledger.
- HCM – Goal and performance management.
- Financials/ERP – Planning and budgeting and fusion expenses.
The Dimension Data and LRA teams invested time in working on the solutions and using standardised processes to make them consistent across the organisation and aligned with Oracle’s best practice processes.
Meanwhile, the LRA team focused on the change management component to optimise user adoption of the new system and processes, lending special focus to the self-service elements.
Overcoming the pandemic disruption
With the onset of COVID-19, a collective decision was made to continue with the project and not allow the pandemic to prevent the go-live of phase one. The approach, especially in terms of training, testing and go-live, had to be changed from an on-site model, where the Dimension Data project team would travel to Lesotho for important sessions. Instead, a virtual and remote model had to be applied.
This was initially quite difficult and posed many challenges. The focus of the project management team was to get everyone involved and comfortable with a new way of working, and ultimately the remote model allowed for the completion of phase one. Although difficult, the project team's commitment was the major factor in its success.
The challenges experienced were mostly related to:
- Using the correct, easy-to-use tool for sessions and communications;
- Scheduling sessions in a way that allowed for as many attendees to join as needed;
- Ensuring full attendance in sessions; and
- Maintaining the momentum and positivity around the project.
With this in mind, the following initiatives were implemented to ensure a smooth and successful completion:
- Virtual tools
It was decided to use less resource-intensive tools for sessions, this allowed for users to attend training, information-sharing and testing sessions from their homes as COVID-19 rules and curfews were imposed.
- LRA champions
Subject matter or module owners were identified and onboarded as champions to own the training and testing and drive adoption within the LRA. WhatsApp groups were created to allow for quick and easy communications and for the LRA champions to reach out when needed. The commitment and support of the LRA champions was outstanding.
- Training materials
The typical training manuals were provided to the LRA team as per the original training strategy. However, short, specific subject-matter videos were also recorded and shared with the teams. A user was able to watch these videos when they required information on a particular topic, such as how to apply for leave.
- Focused training sessions
Additional focused training and knowledge-transfer sessions were held on specific subjects or for specific users, such as the executive team on how to run month-end.
Dimension Data is committed to ensuring that businesses have the correct technology solutions in place to meet the demands of a changing world. To find out more, contact us.