CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It’s time for the big change. On Tuesday, a major computer system switchover happens throughout West Virginia’s state government and it’s no small feat.
“It will affect every state agency in the way they process their back office business functions. We are training in excess of 3,400 state employees to be users of the new system. I think ‘massive’ is an adequate description,” explained Todd Childers with WVOasis, the group handling the project that has five phases.
In this third phase, impacted operations deal with financial procurement and treasury management — the behind-the-scenes functions that keep state government running. Already, the budget development system and major updates to the computer system for the Division of Highways have been made.
It’s all about streamlining. Previously, the state has been using a hodgepodge of different computer systems that didn’t connect. The WVOasis system will be statewide and accessible to every department, in every division.
In order to make this happen, Childers said his team has spent the past year and a half compiling all the information they need into one system.
“It’s not quite a flipping of the switch. There was a lot of information we had to get from old legacy systems converted, get it into the new system, get it ready to use,” stressed Childers. “The prep for this process has been going on well in advance.”
So what will Oasis mean for the average West Virginian? “Quicker, more accurate information to help run state government. That obviously helps all the citizens and taxpayers within the state,” according to Childers.
It also means shorter lines at state offices, quicker responses to questions and concerns and less paperwork when documents need to be filed.
The final phases will take effect next year. They deal with the payroll and more operational management for the DOH.
Despite trying to fix every bug in the system and getting all state workers up to date, Childers admitted, when Tuesday rolls around, they are expecting a few glitches. “We’ve established a well staffed, highly trained help desk to provide assistance to (state workers) if they have issues or questions,” said Childers.
He said it will take state workers a little time to get used to the new system, but once they do, their jobs will be much easier.