With Bull’s help, in the space of just two years the French Navy has implemented an innovative Human Resources (HR) information system, in the forefront of efforts to streamline government.
Following the introduction of the French framework law on finance acts (LOLF), the wave of modernization audits that it has engendered and the establishment of the general public policy reform (RGPP) program, the French public sector has been modernizing the way it manages human resources, which includes a fundamental reworking of HR information systems.
Since 2005, the Directorate General for Government Administration and the Civil Service (DGAFP) and the State Modernization Agency (DGME) have defined a core software framework known as the NCI, which is designed to harmonize HR policies, to make them easier to manage and to share technical resources. The various ministries are adapting their HR information systems to align with the architecture defined by the NCI.
In the Ministry of Defense, as part of the convergence between the different fighting forces and under the scope of the NCI, the Navy has developed RH@psodie. The new system has been implemented by Bull in an unprecedented timescale of just two years.
An innovative approach to computerizing business processes
The key challenge on this project was to harmonize processes around the NCI, using the SAP ECC6 software package as a basis. An initial update of business processes enabled HR processing sequences to be rationalized, ensuring that data is only input once and reducing the overall number of HR and payroll applications from 46 to just 11. This rationalization involved an innovative approach to computerization, ensuring close integration of a document management portal with the NCI as well as an electronic strong-box for legal archiving. Having been computerized and stored in a secure environment, supporting documents can easily be consulted electronically by managers and administrative staff, transmitted to the paymaster general and audited by the supervisory authorities.
The first ever instance of total computerized public sector payroll system, RH@psodie improves exchanges and traceability, while also generating significant savings (for example on postal charges and storage). In addition, HR managers benefit from expert business functions such as workforce payroll analysis and career management. As for the sailors themselves, a personalized access portal makes it easy for them to use the system and speeds up the inclusion of their information.
A robust, modular and scalable infrastructure
Given the sensitive nature of this kind of application, Bull has designed and implemented an infrastructure capable of delivering very high levels of performance, availability and security. The modular architecture, which is also scalable and SAP-compliant, takes into account the unique organizational and geographic characteristics of the Navy. For example, servers are housed on board ships and, thanks to a mechanism that synchronizes them with the central system, RH@psodie can be used in mobile mode, even when out at sea. To meet the optimum conditions for security and robustness, Bull has also developed a business recovery architecture and disaster recovery plan which makes use of a supplementary site.
Change management: a key success factor
Nevertheless, the success of this ambitious project depended heavily on the implementation of a new HR organization and user acceptance of the new tools and processes. As the prime contractor delivering an end-to-end solution, Bull contributed to the necessary change management and training, most notably supporting the technical and functional handover of RH@psodie to the Navy’s HR professionals.
Now successfully up and running, RH@psodie covers the entire career of a sailor in the Navy, from the time they first enlist to their return to civilian life. This means the system administers almost a million files relating to training, career management, performance evaluation and pay. “It only took us two years to design and implement an innovative and efficient HR information system, that is closer to employees,” says Captain Pierre-Jean Rémy, RH@psodie Project Director at the French Navy, with obvious satisfaction. Having partnered this successful project, Bull is now providing third-party application and operational maintenance services for RH@psodie.
The French Navy
42,000 active sailors
900,000 former sailors
146 buildings (35 covered by RH@psodie)
Bull novascale servers
Bull StoreWay storage bay, featuring EMC CX3 technology
Windows Server 2003
Microsoft components: MSCS, SQL Server, AD, IIS, NLB, WSUS
Software packages: ERP SAP/ECC6, SAP portal, Noesys (electronic document management), Cecurity.com (archiving)
Administration: VTOM, TINA, BSM (Nagios)