Energy Northwest (EN) is an aspirational organization. Formed on the Manhattan Project site, EN has been a fixture in the Tri-Cities region for decades. Over those decades, EN has worked to create a clean energy future. Along the way, it has delivered enormous economic benefits to the region as a major employer that continuously re-invests in local communities.   

For the last decade, Jon Cohen has served as Manager of Enterprise IT Solutions. His role includes management of PeopleSoft HCM, running functions such as time tracking, payroll, recruiting, and PeopleSoft FSCM for accounting and budgeting. The company culture is so strong that there are generations of employees working there. “The culture here is great,” says Cohen.  

Slow updates burdened the internal team

“We were paying a huge fee for PeopleSoft support and the service did not match the price tag,” says Cohen of their experience with Oracle support. When they’d submit support tickets to Oracle, it would take weeks to get a response and their analysts were unhappy with the responses received. With only a ticketing system available, they rarely had an opportunity to talk to a person to explain issues or get guidance. As a result, they had to resort to self-support to troubleshoot and fix their issues – taking time and resources away from strategic priorities.     

A particularly painful point was implementing Oracle PUMs for payroll updates. “PeopleSoft updates are a very labor-intensive process. Oracle often delayed these putting us under the gun, especially if the updates needed to be done by specific dates,” says Cohen. However, no paycheck was ever impacted because his team pulled extra hours – even working on Christmas Day to implement PUMs. “We’ve got talented staff, so we’d make it happen, but it just put more pressure on our internal staff,” says Cohen. 

Support transition drives broader goals

After enduring an Oracle audit, their audit partner, SoftwareOne, recommended Rimini Street. It was perfect timing. Due to the difficulties, they faced with Oracle, they had decided to implement Workday. The move to Workday was part of a larger initiative to move to cloud and software-as-a-service, leverage AI, and implement predictive maintenance. “In a large machine plant, you might have to do about four preventative maintenance things a year on a certain piece of equipment because you don’t want it to break. But if you can start predicting when it’s degrading and then just do it then, you can save a lot of time and money,” says Cohen.  

While they focused on the Workday implementation and the broader cloud transition, they needed a trusted partner to support HCM and FSCM. EN briefly looked at other providers but were impressed by Rimini Street’s leadership position and no-nonsense sales approach. During the onboarding process, they were also impressed with Rimini Street’s ability to meet the layers of compliance and governance required to become a provider for a highly regulated power company.   

The first big change that they experienced? “Going from Oracle, where you put in a ticket and get assigned a random person that you’ve probably never talked to before to Rimini Street where we have dedicated people to get in touch with who are familiar with our environment,” says Cohen.  

New support model frees up time

Despite some skepticism at the idea of moving away from Oracle support, “I hear nothing but good things about Rimini Street. The response time is great,” says Cohen. Replacing Oracle PUMs with Rimini Street’s Tax, Legal, and Regulatory updates was initially daunting. But after Rimini Street took the team through the process, they liked it better. “The actual work to do the tax updates is easier than Oracle’s PUM process. Our analysts now save 40-60 hours on each quarterly update,” says Cohen. That’s up to 240 hours annually – approximately six business weeks – that can now be reallocated to their strategic initiatives.  

“We now have the ability to say, ‘hey we have this, and we’d like to talk to somebody,’ and actually get to talk to somebody. That’s a different kind of support,” says Cohen describing the Rimini Street support model. He cites a specific situation where they identified a WebLogic vulnerability. Instead of putting in a ticket and waiting a week or two for a response, they were able to reach out and schedule a meeting with their dedicated team at Rimini Street to resolve the situation faster. “To put a ticket in and have a meeting scheduled the same week is outstanding,” Cohen says. Going forward, Cohen is exploring Rimini Street for Oracle database support and AMS. “We definitely feel like Rimini Street did what they said they could do, and I have no doubt that they can do the same for our other applications,” says Cohen.  

Client Profile
A joint operating agency formed by the Washington State Legislature in 1957, Energy Northwest is a consortium of 27 public power member utilities. It operates a diverse mix of electricity-generating resources, including hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear.
Industry
Geography
Washington, USA
Applications
PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) 9.2, 8.54.36; PeopleSoft Financial & Supply Chain Management (FSCM) 9.1, 8.54.15
Benefits
  • 240 hours estimated annual time savings
  • ↓ energy prices for residents

“We now have the ability to say, ‘hey we have this, and we’d like to talk to somebody,’ and actually get to talk to somebody. That’s a different kind of support.”

Jon Cohen, Manager of Enterprise IT Solutions