Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bear Trax and why are we moving to Oracle Cloud?

Bear Trax is a web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool that enables SSU human resources, payroll, finance, procurement, student recruiting, marketing and more. This cutting-edge tool is based on modern industry standards and will deliver greater flexibility, better integration for today’s turbulent technology environment and improved insight to help SSU continue to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

Who will be impacted? How will this impact me?

Every SSU employee and every SSU student will be affected by this project. The impact on each individual depends upon how they interact with the current system. All individuals will access information differently and some functional business processes will change.

When will the full system be in place? What are the timelines?

The marketing and recruitment modules were implemented during the summer/fall of 2016. Finance, procurement, budget, human resources, benefits, payroll, and time and labor are scheduled to go live with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2017. Changes to the student information system (registration/records, financial aid, billing, advising/retention) are expected to commence 2018 and beyond. For more details see the full timeline.

How will I know what is going on with the project?

A communication plan for the Bear Trax project is being established with numerous avenues for two-way communication throughout the life of the project. Communication venues include this web page, weekly newsletter articles, campus meetings, press releases, social media status updates, and university email.

Can I get involved?

There will be many opportunities to get involved in the Bear Trax project. You can serve as an ambassador for your area. Department and campus stakeholders may be requested to perform testing, as will others in job functions specific to critical system components.

Will there be training available?

Yes. Training on Bear Trax will be made available to all SSU employees. Training will be customized by employee role/usage and may include demos and road shows, informal knowledge sharing, on-demand training, formal instructor-led training and job aids.

How is the Oracle Cloud better than what we use now?

Oracle, an industry leader in database and technology solutions, remains current with the rapid changes in security, audit, data integrity, and communication standards. The new Bear Trax system will allow us access to more data to support decision making while providing easy access for employee and manager self-service, electronic timesheets, up-to-date leave balances and much more.

What is an ERP system?

An Enterprise Resource Planning system is the core technology system of any institution. It allows organizations to integrate internal and external information in one easy-to-use platform. ERP systems in higher education include records and data for students (registration, grades, credit hours, financial aid, etc.), finance (budget, expenditures, payables, receivables, etc.), employees (pay stubs, benefit statements, etc.) and human resource services (employee information, position changes, etc.). All of the information seen in the MySSU web portal is housed in our current ERP system.

What will happen to our current ERP system?

Jenzabar CX (CARS), SSU’s current ERP system, will continue to serve as our ERP system until we transition our business operations (finance, budgeting, human resources, payroll) to Oracle cloud in July of 2017. After July 2017, Jenzabar CX will continue to serve as our Student Information System (SIS) until we begin the transition to a new cloud solution.

What is Bear Trax?  Is this part of Oracle?

Bear Trax is Shawnee State’s name for the Oracle Recruiting, Human Resources, Payroll, Financial, Procurement, and Budgeting systems.

Where can employees access Bear Trax (i.e. MySSU)?

From a link on the project website (http://www.shawnee.edu/beartrax/) This link will not be available until the system goes live on July 1.

People are asking “when” will campus get products?

Go live is July 1, 2017.  Details will be communicated to all employees via email updates, during training sessions, and on the Bear Trax website.

What exactly is going to change? (Forms, Electronic Signatures); are departments responsible for purchasing electronic signatures? Will we still be stuck with manual processes?

The goal of the University is to be as paperless as possible.  Over the next few years, manual processes will be replaced by technology throughout the University.  Bear Trax will replace many, but not all, manual processes.  Those processes will be candidates for other technologies like the one being piloted on a limited basis in Finance & Administration and the President’s office (Docusign).

Does SSU have a new logo?

Shawnee State’s logos have not changed. The Marketing and Communications team designed a related logo especially for the Bear Trax system.

Are faculty travel forms available in BearTrax?

The travel approval and expense reimbursement processes will be the same for all employee groups. Travel authorizations will be done electronically through the Bear Trax Procurement module.  The estimated cost of travel will even be reflected as a “commitment” in the specified budget line.  Once the travel has been completed, expense reimbursement will be done by the traveler (or a designee) in the Bear Trax expense module.  The expense report will follow an electronic approval workflow.  Payments to employees will be made via direct deposit to the primary bank account on file with Human Resources.

Once an employee changes their personal information in Employee Self Service (ESS) in Bear Trax, do they receive an email notification alerting them to a change of information? 

Employees will not receive a notification alerting them of changes made to their personal information. They will be able to view the updated information once saved. Some changes must be approved by Human Resources before becoming visible.

Can users edit Direct Deposit or will HR staff only?

Not yet. Initially it will still be done by HR to ensure everyone continues to be paid correctly. Once the Time and Labor and Payroll systems are stable, that feature will be reconsidered. 

Will I be able to see my legacy pay history in the BearTrax system?

It will not be visible through the Bear Trax System.  However, the team is exploring alternatives to maintain visibility through some other system for a period of time.

Concern of tracking of employees’ time.

The method of time tracking will not change (that is, the university is not asking employees to clock in and out).  Only the tool for time submission is changing. Time sheets will be submitted and approved electronically, rather than on paper. 

How do I enter my lunch breaks in the new timesheet? How do I manage leave request if time/dates change? Concerns – ease of use.  Concerned about the unknown.  If hourly people don’t learn the new system, they will lose their job.

There will be training for all managers and employees between June 12-28.  More on the specifics of scheduling will be published in the coming weeks. There will also be department coordinators to help people apply what they’ve learned in training until new processes and tools become routine.

All employees, including student employees, must learn to use the system, because this is the only way the affected processes can be completed.

What if a manager is not available to approve my time?  What is the contingency plan? Can I delegate time approval to someone else?

A manager can delegate time approval.  Also, they will be able to review timecards and approve them from any location that has an internet connection.  In case of an emergency, payroll will reach out to the next-level supervisor to get the approval.

If I schedule time off for a doctor's appointment and my appointment is rescheduled, is there a recall function in absence management? 

Employees can update or delete an absence after submission. If an update is made after the pay period has processed, there will be a retroactive adjustment made to the appropriate leave balance once payroll processes again.

Limitation of vacation accrual – are we losing time?

The limit on vacation accruals (2X your annual accrual rate) has not changed in the CWA contract, nor the Administrative Policy.  Bear Trax will provide real time vacation data to all employees and managers

Where can I learn more about Oracle Cloud?

To learn more about the Oracle cloud product visit: cloud.oracle.com/home.

Contact Information

Shawnee State University
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Main: (740) 354-3205

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