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Driving social action through integration
Like all the departments in France, the main focus of Seine-Maritime’s (76) is on social action. The region devotes nearly half of its annual budget (€885.9 million in 2021) to the elderly and the disabled, children, the integration of people in need, and fuel poverty. The department’s other priorities are equipment, assistance to municipalities, education, culture and heritage, economic and social development, the environment and tourism. To carry out its various activities, the department relies on nearly 5,500 employees.
In 2007, the Department of Seine-Maritime issued a request for proposals (RFP) to implement a new integrated management solution for its activities, and in particular for its finances. “The specifications stipulated that this budgeting solution had to include an application data bus and a scheduler in order to automate and streamline the processes between finance and human resources (HR) as much as possible,” explains Yannick Ferey, cross-functional project consultant and IS manager at the Seine-Maritime department. Following the RFP, the Seine-Maritime department chose the CGI Grand Angle management solution, combined with Software AG's webMethods Integration Server and BMC Software’s Control-M scheduler.
With this solution in place, the department looked to automate processes--in particular services that were previously performed manually like the initial transmission of checks, bundles of documents and liquidation statements. Between 2008 and 2012, the department focused on using webMethods for its financial and human resources processes. Since 2012, the use of webMethods has been extended to inter-application exchanges for all of the Seine-Maritime department’s information system functions.
Today, webMethods Integration Server also provides the link between its internal business application “Espace Agents” and its HR management solution.
“Our employees can now submit any change in their personal information: changes in bank details, changes in family situation, declaration of children, training requests, travel expenses, contracts, etc.,” explains Yannick Ferey.
This information (or scanned documents) then pass through webMethods and then through a signature pad before being automatically transmitted to the HR management solution.
Previously, many of these documents were printed and brought to the district pay administrator in paper format. Now, payment documents are issued automatically. This simplifies the process of managing employees’ personal files and document searches and makes it easier to identify errors. Managers can access the documents they need for their work in a completely paperless environment.
The digitalization of processes and documents has enabled the department to reduce some of its processing and payment times, as well as its environmental footprint, with fewer printouts and circulation of paper between departments and sites.
In addition, documents are filed and saved in an electronic document management system in compliance with regulations. They can now be better traced and securely archived “From an organizational point of view, we no longer need to physically deposit paper documents in an office, or file them away by a deadline, or store them in cabinets,” continues Yannick Ferey. “The risks of losing documents are limited, confidentiality is maintained and the documents are only visible to authorized agents.”
webMethods allows data to be communicated within the information system, without modifying the core business applications. Whenever the department wants to move documents from one business application to another, it now systematically uses webMethods Integration Server. The implementation of the new process is then managed by our own internal teams. Other projects based on webMethods are currently being deployed in the Seine-Maritime department.
“Currently, webMethods already allows us to use electronic signatures for internal processes such as the authorization of payments or the signing of public contracts,” says Yannick Ferey. “Soon, we will also be able to use it for external processes such as the signing of employment contracts by new candidates.” webMethods will interface between the department’s HR management solution and the candidate. The candidate will receive his or her contract directly on his or her cell phone, which he or she will simply sign electronically and send back to the department for processing.
The department of Seine-Maritime, which is already using webMethods to interface with dozens of business processes, intends to expand its use. Other processes using webMethods are being studied, such as the automated sending of mail or the creation of appointments in the agents’ appointment books via their GRU.