Macro + Workday + FedRAMP: Bringing a Secure, Cloud-Based Approach to Federal ERP Projects

In late 2021, Macro Solutions became Workday’s first Federal Advisory Partner – it was a significant milestone that we continue to build on.

In this role, we advise customers on the adoption of Workday Government Cloud, which brings together finance, HR, payroll, spend management, and analytics in one cloud-based system to help federal agencies operate more strategically, hire and develop a top-performing workforce, and adapt more quickly to change.

It’s a discipline that Macro knows inside out, and the partnership quickly evolved. In August 2022, we were incredibly proud to be named a Workday Application Managed Services Partner and are one of a very short list of federal partners for the implementation, integration, migration, training, and support services for Workday in the federal government.

The partnership is a testimony to Macro’s position as an established leader in the delivery of strategic IT and management consulting in support of some of the federal government’s largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects, including helping dozens of agencies navigate the complex PeopleSoft end-of-life planning, migration, and transition process.

Then came FedRAMP

In another significant development, in July 2022, Workday announced that it had achieved FedRAMP authorized status at the Moderate security impact level for Workday Government Cloud – demonstrating its commitment to meeting stringent federal cloud security requirements.

FedRAMP Moderate impact level is the standard for cloud computing security for “controlled, unclassified information” (CUI) across federal government agencies. FedRAMP moderate is appropriate for CSPs handling government data, notably Personally Identifiable Information (PII). In comparison to a CSP ranked low, a moderate FedRAMP authorization has a much more stringent set of controls to ensure that government data is secured and protected. Since it was implemented in 2011, only 214 Authorizations to Operate (ATOs) have been granted to SaaS firms and other cloud service providers (CSPs). 

How Macro and Workday can help modernize and streamline federal ERP

There are many reasons that federal agencies are considering moving away from legacy ERP software.

This list is compiled from real discussions we’ve had across the federal sector:

  • Inhibited scale and growth. Server-based ERP packages are not evolving fast enough to meet their demands.
  • Hidden costs. Infrastructure or cloud hosting costs and the support team required make these solutions expensive to support. The complexities of security and risk mitigation add to the expense.
  • Hard to update and modify. Upgrading and patching is too complicated and expensive.
  • Bolt-on customizations. Customizations make it hard to follow best practices and create extra cost. They also require unique skillsets to maintain and complicate collaborations with external entities.
  • Failure to satisfy today’s appetite for a consumer-like user experience: Old technology, customizations, and security concerns limit mobile and work-from-home experiences.
  • The audit burden. Audit trail functionality is not built into original ERP designs resulting in the need for external software, manual controls, and limited or non-existent audit trails.
  • Missed opportunities for innovation. Brittle and outdated ERPs make it hard to connect with other systems and take advantage of powerful integrations and emerging technology like AI, ML, and RPA.
  • Constantly struggling to unlock data. It can days to retrieve and analyze information from legacy ERP. With modern technology, every employee can access actionable insights – wherever they are – in real time.

But while urgent change is needed to address a variety of workforce issues, including lengthy hiring and onboarding cycles – simply “lifting and shifting” aging ERP systems to a hosted data center is not the answer. In most cases, such migration won’t offer the agility, scalability, and security that federal agencies need.

That is why we are championing a different approach. Through our partnership with Workday, we can help federal agencies navigate change and prepare to thrive in the future.

The Macro Difference

Over 23 years, Macro has helped federal agencies like GSA, USDA, HUDnd federal financial regulatory agencies truly transform even the most complex federal ERP systems into flexible, intuitive, self-service solutions that deliver true value, meet data and security requirements, reduce risk, and comply with standards such as the U.S. Standard General Ledger (USSGL).

We can help federal agencies:

  • Determine a forward-thinking strategy with a Workday solution that meets their needs in a way that quickly maximizes business value
  • Guide them through the assessment, planning, program, and change management process
  • Bake security into processes and systems
  • Think through the self-service functionality inherent in and required for successful human capital management
  • Seamlessly integrate data across finance, grants, spend, and HCM with operational, finance, and people data all in one dashboard view.
  • Ensure that Workday financials:
    • Interface with billing and facilities
    • Provide real-time financial reporting with drill-down capabilities by multiple dimensions (resources and spend by project, department, etc.)
    • Deliver insights with scenario and what-if analysis within the system (not spreadsheets)
    • Deliver always-on audit and controls for effective stewardship of public funds
    • Provide for financial sustainability
  • Seamlessly expand their catalog of Workday capabilities when the time comes

To all of this, we apply an agile approach to our advisory services (orchestrated with a DevOps pipeline approach and reusable frameworks), demonstrating then adding functionality with each two-week sprint.

We also have a deep understanding of the tools and techniques employed within the federal security environment that ensure fast, efficient, and risk-reduced ERP modernization.

How can your agency get started?

In my new position as VP of Enterprise Solutions at Macro Solutions, I look forward to working with our federal customers as we help them navigate ERP transformation with our trusted assessment, package selection, solution evaluation, and implementation services.  Many of our customers have already started engaging.

During my more than 30 years’ experience in business transformation and ERP planning working with Oracle’s EBS and PeopleSoft solutions, a notable trend has emerged – agencies are realizing that legacy ERP systems lack the agility, scalability, and security they need and are increasingly looking to cloud-based solutions to address critical workforce needs, better manage finance, and keep pace with regulation.

Macro and Workday are committed to bringing these solutions to the federal government – all available on our convenient and easy-to-use contract vehicles.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your agency achieve a quick and efficient path to simplifying its approach to HCM and finance, automate manual processes, and continuously adapt to change.