Carnegie Mellon University
February 21, 2023

Business Applications Development and Support Department Spotlight

What are the key functions and services of Business Applications Development and Support?

Business Applications Development and Support (BADS) configures, maintains and supports a number of finance business systems and software for the university including Oracle Financials (EBS), feeders, Online Forms System, and Excel4apps. Oracle alone encompasses approximately 1,500 users and 500 different responsibilities across 11 modules. The BADS team works closely within the Computing Services division for system maintenance, integrations, patches, upgrades, issue resolution, and enhancements in both production and test environments. We also collaborate with the user community at CMU to identify and propose changes to system functionality or operating business processes for the purpose of enhancing customer service, reduction of cost, implementation of best practices, or compliance with audit or agency guidelines.

What are some ways that BADS contributes to Carnegie Mellon’s success?

The BADS team is instrumental in creating efficiencies through enhanced use of the finance systems. BADS has taken part in the technical development necessary to utilize Oracle Labor Distribution (LD) for the Payroll Distribution Adjustment process removing the necessity of using paper forms and adding workflow to the process increasing transparency, automating the FISERV Credit Card Accounts Receivable process to substantially reduce manual effort, and upgrading Oracle EBS to a version supported by the vendor through the decade.

How does BADS support the Finance Division’s mission “To provide strategic, predictive, data-informed financial service and guidance to address challenges, explore opportunities, and ensure the university's financial sustainability?”

The BADS team ensures that the university’s financial system of record is configured and operating based on the requirements of Finance Division leadership. This allows leadership to have a high level of confidence while using the financial data to make strategic decisions.

What are some ways that BADS contributes to the success of your campus partners/customers?

The BADS team prides itself on customer service and quick turnaround. Our average time to resolve tickets is less than 4 hours, so we are able to get users the help they need quickly so they can get back to work.

How does BADS interact, collaborate, and engage with other departments across campus?

With Oracle EBS being an enterprise-wide system, the BADS team interacts with partners across the Pittsburgh campus and across the world at CMU’s international campuses. We interact through our ticketing system in ServiceNow, Zoom interactions, and Bomgar support sessions.

What is one thing you wish people knew about BADS that they may not know?

Each of member of the BADS group possesses varying skill sets which range from highly functional (e.g., knowledge of business processes, accounting, reporting, data manipulation) to highly technical (e.g., UNIX and SQL coding, database querying tools, web service components) and a combination of both functional and technical. These combined skill sets allow members of the BADS team to work closely with each other, system users, and technical counterparts to support current processes as well as implement system changes or enhancements. BADS team members have the ability to understand business processes and then apply system concepts to allow those processes to be implemented in systems. BADS team members know the strengths of other team members well enough to pool those strengths to accomplish any project deliverables or goals.

Which Finance Division values does BADS most exemplify and how?

  • Unwavering integrity: We will do the right thing, every time, regardless of external pressures
  • Collaborative innovation: We work with you to provide the best solution, not just “a” solution
  • Strength in Execution: We have demonstrated an ability to utilize technology in combination with business process enhancements to reduce manual work and create efficiencies for the university 

What is BADS most proud of accomplishing in the last few years?

Working collaboratively with the Computing Services Database Administrators (DBA) team, we successfully upgraded Oracle EBS without any external resources. We were able to complete the upgrade meeting project deadlines while maintaining support of the current Production environment.