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Umoja: Who is my HR Partner?

With the deployment of Umoja, many human resources administrative functions have been consolidated under the new "HR Partner" role. 

What is the role of an HR Partner?

Colleagues with the role of an HR Partner in Umoja are responsible for the processing of all transactions related to personnel administration and entitlements as well as some aspects of time and travel administration. 

For example, a colleague with the role of an HR Partner can assist you with:

  • Personnel administration such as processing personnel actions for on-boarding, movements, separations, and contract renewals
  • Entitlement processing such as dependency allowances, education grant, rental subsidy
  • Confirming eligibility for HR and entitlement-related travel such as travel on recruitment, home leave and family visit travel
  • Correcting incorrect time balances, such as annual leave and home leave points


Where are colleagues performing the role of HR Partner located?

In Human Resources, the HR Partner role consolidates administrative functions previously undertaken by colleagues of the Executive Offices and HR Services, OHRM. Consequently, staff from these offices have been collocated in the various hubs worldwide to support the deployment and stabilisation of the new system. 


How do I contact my HR Partner?

HR Partners have been assigned to provide support to each department or office. Staff may seek assistance via the following: 

  • Reach out to your LPE(s), ESS / MSS Focal Points, and the local support arrangements at your entity for general queries and troubleshooting, such as how to log on and submit requests via Employee Self-Service (ESS).
  • By email or telephone, consult the following link to look up those performing the HR Partner role by office or department: Who is my HR Partner?
  • By appointment, please contact your designated HR Partner for assistance.


What about other HR issues?

Other functions relating to human resources management continue to be handled by your respective office or department, such as the following:

  • Decisions on renewal of appointment, permanent and temporary movements, and determination of release date
  • Mobility, performance management and career development issues, such as upgrading of skills or training
  • Requests for special leave and issues relating to work schedules, flexible work schedules, overtime and CTO
  • Organizational management, including post or position management


If you require assistance with any of the above issues, your first point of contact remains your Executive Office. In the event the issue relates to personal administration, entitlements, or Umoja-related transactions, please contact a colleague performing the role of HR Partner for your office or department. 

Umoja kicks Off 2016 with a visit from the Secretary-General

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson stopped by the Umoja office at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday 6 January 2016, to greet the team members in-person and to express gratitude for the hard work of the global Umoja team and to acknowledge the significant progress made by the project over the past few years.

2016 marks the last year of the Secretary-General's term. He took the opportunity to thank the team for ensuring that the cornerstone of his plan for UN reform - the implementation of ERP - was accomplished successfully throughout the global Secretariat.

On behalf of UN senior management, we thank all those who contributed to Umoja's success, for your tremendous and tireless commitment and invaluable contribution to a successful implementation of Umoja.

We wish you all a productive and creative 2016!

You can download all the photos below in high-resolution HERE in zip format

Umoja will be unavailable from 31 Dec 2015 - 2 Jan 2016

All Umoja production systems (ECC, SRM/Portal, Employee and Manager Self-Service) will be unavailable from Thursday 31 December 2015 at 10 PM (NY time) until Saturday, 2nd January 2016 at 10 PM (NY time), due to essential system maintenance.

As always, the Umoja team is making every effort to minimize the amount of system downtime and appreciates your patience. 

Please refer to http://status.umoja.un.org for updated information regarding Umoja systems availability.

We will continue to update you on the blackout schedule and any other system availability announcements.

Stay tuned to our website http://umoja.un.org for the latest updates.

Global Ramp Up of Umoja C4 Entities Underway

Once UNHQ and the rest of Umoja Cluster 4 went live on 9 November, we soon entered into Ramp Up – the period of activities immediately following Go-Live to help staff transition to the new system and business processes. Ramp up activities for Cluster 4 are currently being conducted in 6 hubs globally: New York, Geneva, Vienna, Santiago, Addis Ababa, and Beirut.

The global Unite Service Desk, along with the four regional technology centres (Bangkok, Geneva, Nairobi and New York), provides around-the-clock support for key UN applications, including Umoja. While the Cluster 4 go live has been considered a smooth transition, the dedicated Ramp Up team continues to conduct several weekly meetings designed to identify any critical issues and provide integrated solutions. Since go-live, the UN Headquarters Deployment group has furthermore started running an Umoja Support Centre on the 15th floor of the Secretariat building, providing daily support to new Umoja users in New York and giving them access to in-house functional experts to get them further acquainted to the self-service and transactional user features and capabilities of Umoja.

Other global hubs are also well into their ramp up period and Umoja is being well received by staff. At the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) in Beirut, ESS/MSS and Travel Clinics were established and provided training for ESCWA’s 14 different divisions including more than 400 staff. Newly appointed Director of Administrative Services Division, Mr. Pontus Molin is pleased with how the ramp up is going: “So far, ESCWA has successfully completed over 90% of its ramp up activities. The team has completed activities including education grants, travel claims, shopping carts, advance payments and more. I am very pleased to have arrived to find such a dedicated and committed group of people working so diligently to ensure that Umoja’s implementation in ESCWA is a success. Our dedicated Ramp Up Team is working hard with staff members in different areas to ensure that ESCWA’s operations will be up and running smoothly in Umoja as quickly as possible.”

During Ramp Up, staff are requested and encouraged to activate their Unite Identity, go through the Umoja User Guide Checklist, peruse the Umoja Step by Step Guide for login instructions to the various portals, review all relevant Umoja training material and simulations on the Umoja website, and explore “The Hub” Resource Center on Unite Connections to look up more information on Umoja by topic or keyword. The Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) has also issued Ramp Up guidance on using Employee and Manager Self-Service after go live.

All participants had to keep in consideration that:
1. It takes time for people to learn to operate with new processes and systems.
2. It will have to emphasize post-go-live tasks in the ramp-up plan prior to creating transactions.
3. It is better to start slow and succeed than to go at full speed and potentially lose control and then have to redo transaction chains from the beginning.
4. Transactions started in the old system, IMIS, and completed in Umoja can be complex.

Since the Umoja Go Live, around 80% of the Transactional Users - also known as “heavy users”- have logged in the Umoja Production System at least once. This shows the expected adherence to new systems. Daily, around 10% of the total heavy users access SAP ECC, working in Finance, Budget, Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain, Human Resources, Travel and Payroll.

Managers and senior managers at Cluster 4 entities are committed to working with their entity’s Local Process Experts to support staff post-go-live, remove roadblocks, and equip themselves with the training and knowledge to properly address any challenges ahead. To help answer any questions and transition their staff to the new system, each entity has successfully set up local support arrangements and provided further instructions on iSeek at: https://iseek.un.org/departmental_page/local-info-umoja-users. Local Process Experts at each entity are guiding users in entering / processing transactions, ensuring all end users participate, addressing any functional questions, and creating iNeed tickets to escalate technical inquiries from end users regarding the new system. Employee Self Service and Manager Self Service Focal Points have furthermore been identified from the pool of staff at each entity to provide specific support on the self-service portals.

Once Ramp Up is complete, Umoja Process Experts who have guided the entities’ Local Process Experts and facilitated status reports to the Umoja team in New York will then return to UNHQ to support production support tasks and prepare for Umoja Cluster 5.

To echo Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra and USG Department of Management Yukio Takasu’s sentiments during the global go-live event, Cluster 4 deployment was a significant project milestone for the Umoja team and the UN as a whole. Now we should focus on seizing this opportunity to adapt and improve how we work and conduct business.

Message from OICT: Log in to iSeek using Unite Identity starting 15 December

When you log in to iSeek, the UN Intranet, on 15 December, you will use your Unite Identity login and password, instead of the Lotus Notes webmail credentials in use now. When would that apply? Typically, you would need to log into iSeek if you want to post an ad, if you are using the mobile version, or consulting from outside UN premises. But if you are using iSeek at your desk in an office that is within the UN network, then you still won't need to log in to consult iSeek, read the stories or use the directory, for example. 

iSeek is at the forefront of an initiative by the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT)  to unify access to systems known as Unite Identity. Formerly known as the Enterprise Identity Management Service (EIDMS), Unite Identity is an application that allows UN personnel to log in to various systems using a single user ID and password. It complies with ICT security policies, and allows the ability to reset your own password, and to create a global contact directory. Thanks to a close collaboration with OICT/Enterprise Application Center-New York, the UN Intranet will be the first Drupal web application to use Unite Identity in the UN.

Unite Identity is already being used for Umoja, Employee Self Service, Manager Self Service, Unite Self Service (for ICT support), and several applications in the field. This means that all Secretariat staff should already have a Unite Identity. But if you haven’t activated it yet, you are encouraged to do so. Visit the Unite Identity iSeek page for support.   

What are the benefits for iSeek users?

Users who could not log in to iSeek previously because they have Microsoft Exchange rather than Lotus Notes email accounts will be able to log in now. This is the case for a number of staff in Peacekeeping missions.  Staff from UNODC, UNEP, UNHABITAT and UNCTAD, who are part of the Secretariat, will be able to log in with their Unite Identity as well. 

Who won’t benefit right now, but could benefit later?

Staff in Agencies, Funds and Programmes will not be affected on 15 December. These users will continue to have access to iSeek through their own intranets, but won’t be able to log in externally unless they have Unite Identity accounts, or a manual account granted by the iSeek team.

Granting Agencies, Funds, and Programmes login access to iseek.un.org is a longer-term project, but moving to Unite Identity is an important step towards this goal.

What do I need to do?

Unless you have not activated your Unite Identity, users do not need to take any action. All existing iSeek Webmail-based (Global Notes LDAP) accounts will be migrated to Unite Identity automatically, including any associated content, such as ads or editorial access.  If, on 15 December, you have successfully logged in to your Unite Identity account, but are not able to log in to iSeek, please contact iSeek Support (iseek@un.org).

Blog Posts: Umoja Website
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