• Hold onto your socks, CalPERS new Computer System to Go-LIVE September 19, 2011: Expect some delays…

    August 31st, 2011 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Hold onto your socks, CalPERS new Computer System to Go-LIVE September 19, 2011: Expect some delays and inconvenience during conversion process beginning Friday September 2nd.

    If you are one of the 1.6 million Californians whose pension and health benefits are managed by CalPERS, and you have some pressing business to attend to with the behemoth pension fund, you might want to take care of it before this Friday, September 2. That day will mark the beginning of a 17 day window when the country’s largest pension fund will temporarily suspend some services and business transactions, and completely shut down its Internet portal, the my|CalPERS website (my.calpers.ca.gov) until September 19th.

    Folks should be aware that during this period, CalPERS will also suspend member services that require data entry such as processing personal, health, or retirement information or scheduling appointments. For more information about CalPERS services during this period, click on CalPERS Service Availability During System Conversion.

    The reason for this disruption:

    Our friends at CalPERS will be holding their collective breath as Dale Jablonsky, Assistant Executive Officer and CalPERS CIO, and his legions (there have been reportedly over 600 people [I guess that’s actually a cohort], CalPERS employees and Accenture contractors working on this project, and that doesn’t even count the folks in India) will be endeavoring around the clock to throw the proverbial switch  converting some 49 different legacy computer systems into one integrated system.

    It is anticipated that the new Pension System Resumption (PSR) project will streamline many CalPERS processes as well as decrease dependency on paper documents, and many significant member self-service capabilities will be introduced beginning in 2012.

    I personally contacted Dale to get his perspective on the new launch. Our TechLeader.TV friend and former guest stated that, “All systems are ‘go’ for a September 19 launch of the new PSR System.  The 49 Legacy Systems Data Conversion starts Friday. These humongous legacy transformation projects are never easy, but these CalPERS people are a dedicated and resilient bunch”.

    All of us who have suffered the slings and arrows associated with the implementation of large, complex government computer applications can certainly emphasize at this time, and we all wish him and CalPERS well.

    It has been a sometimes rough and rocky road for the $180 billion CalPERS organization to reach this point. Ed Mendel over at his Calpensions blog did an excellent job last January chronicling the project’s woes, going back to the last century. (The initial project failed in 1995, ergo the “Resumption” in the new project’s name.)  He relates the relentless auto-de-fey which contractor Accenture’s officials were subjected to by CalPERS executives and board members over its oft delayed – two years; and over budgeted contract, estimated to total $280 million earlier this year – $80 million over previous figures. (JTF Note: Frankly, given the state’s record on mission critical projects of this size and complexity, PSR’s numbers are well within my ballpark for reasonable and acceptable escalation margins.)

    In any event, as predicted last January, the “Go-Live” date will be September 19, 2011, and folks will just have to be prepared for (hopefully) only the temporary inconvenience concomitant with the conversion to the new system.

    God Speed, Dale and CalPERS…

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