Education Payroll Limited manages payroll services for New Zealand’s 2,500 schools. To replace complex, time-consuming manual processing for 14,000 submissions every two weeks, the organization created a digital payroll application, called EdPay. Working with local partner Deloitte New Zealand, Education Payroll used Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to create a reliable, scalable foundation for EdPay. An accessible, efficient experience for school administrators and principals, EdPay now supports near real-time status information and zero-downtime updates to enhance available features and capabilities.
- Increased user satisfaction by 30% in quarterly surveys
- Saved weeks of work with streamlined application life-cycle
- Improved collaboration with DevOps and agile approaches
- Eliminated deployment downtime
Modernizing payroll services for the education workforce
Education Payroll Limited operates under contract to the New Zealand Ministry of Education to deliver an efficient, accurate, and sustainable payroll service to the country’s schools. It is responsible for paying approximately NZ$5.6 billion per year to 99,000 teachers and support staff in 2,500 New Zealand schools.
To ensure employees received timely, accurate payments, Education Payroll sought to modernize its processes and supporting technology. Previously, the organization received more than 14,000 handwritten forms from school administrators at its processing center every 2 weeks. These forms were manually entered into the payroll system, following a variety of business rules that created complexity and introduced risk of errors.
“The payroll process was not only time-consuming for our staff, but also frustrating for school administrators,” said Anna Brodie, Head of Technology and Products, Education Payroll. “There was no tracking information or visibility into the status or accuracy of a form until after it was processed and a report was produced. With also having to adjust for leave and allowances, it was difficult for schools to ensure pay was correct.”
To deliver a streamlined, transparent user experience to schools, Education Payroll decided to replace its manual, paper-based system with a new digital application, EdPay.
Adopting a cloud-native service foundation with Red Hat OpenShift
After reviewing multiple open source and enterprise applications, Education Payroll decided to work with local partner Deloitte New Zealand (NZ) to deploy Red Hat OpenShift on premise as the foundation of EdPay.
“Red Hat OpenShift came with enterprise support, provided the kind of stable and security-focused performance we need, and didn’t require a lot of custom work to get started. Even though we are operating on premise, we get cloud-native-like capabilities,” said Anna.
Red Hat OpenShift is a Kubernetes container application platform that includes everything needed to run containers reliably and consistently in production: an enterprise Linux® operating system, container runtime, networking, monitoring, registry, and authentication and authorization solutions. Education Payroll originally deployed Red Hat OpenShift 3 but migrated to Red Hat OpenShift 4 to take advantage of enhanced operational capabilities, such as upgradability, a better Day 2 operations experience, and platform/workload metrics out of the box.
The platform’s automation capabilities are enhanced by Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an agentless IT automation technology that helps teams manage complex deployments and automate repetitive tasks with reusable, human-readable playbooks.
Deloitte NZ and Education Payroll worked closely with future end users—school administrators and principals—to provide feedback on early releases of EdPay before launching to production. Its successful innovation using enterprise open source technology earned Education Payroll recognition as a winner of a 2021 Red Hat Innovation Award.