The Department of the Navy’s time and attendance system with the most users has a new lease on life.
Instead of retiring at the end of fiscal year 2018 as planned, the Standard Labor Data Collection and Distribution Application (SLDCADA) is being reborn with a mobile-friendly and cloud-based vision for the future.
“We are pleased and gratified the Navy recognized the value and potential of SLDCADA,” said Shannon Seay, the Navy Enterprise Business Solutions Program Office program manager (NAVEBS) for the Navy Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS).
NAVEBS has been managing the project since it was transferred from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in 2015. As part of that transition, the Director of Naval Operations (Fleet Readiness & Logistics) (OPNAV N4) tasked the office to develop a sunset strategy, which included three options for SLDCADA’s future:
- Retire SLDCADA and migrate users to the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) time and attendance capability.
- Retire SLDCADA and migrate users to the Automated, Time, Attendance, and Production System (ATAAPS), the Department of Defense’s time and attendance capability.
- Maintain SLDCADA and Navy ERP as the two official Navy time and attendance systems.
In July 2016, OPNAV N4 and the DON Office of Civilian and Human Resources (OCHR) decided to keep SLDCADA (option 3), in support of OCHR’s Strategic Roadmap. Financial costs would remain the same; however, the opportunity exists to expand SLDCADA’s user base by offering it as a fee-for-service solution to other DoD and federal agencies to help drive down total sustainment costs to the Navy. The Executive Office of the President today pays the Navy fee-for-service to use SLDCADA. Two non-Navy organizations have already expressed interest in using SLDCADA as their time and attendance solution.
“SLDCADA is cost effective and extremely user friendly,” said Tina Greenlee, SLDCADA assistant program manager and E-Business assistant program manager for NAVEBS. “The interface is very intuitive and easy to use. The development team is all about customer service and creating the best product it can for the Navy and their customers. ”
Additionally, SLDCADA includes features inherently automated in the software. For example, a supervisor can review and mass approve the time sheets of their direct reports versus having to look up each person individually. Moreover, SLDCADA has a number of customized audit reports available in the application which are able to trace time entry and approvals with the required diligence to support a successful Navy financial audit in FY17.
In addition to approving the recommendation to maintain the status quo, Navy leadership also recognized a way forward that will increase SLDCADA’s user capabilities and migrate it to the cloud, decisions that are in alignment with the DoD’s push toward mobility and cloud capabilities.
For an application created in 1979, SLDCADA is “light, agile, and cloud-ready,” Greenlee said. “As a government-owned and developed application, SLDCADA has evolved over time and its software engineers ensured it stayed cutting-edge.”
In this age of migrating to the cloud to leverage commercial technology innovations, SLDCADA is an ideal test case for a cloud pilot because of the application’s size and the code is already in HTML and Java, Greenlee said. The entire process of virtualizing and migrating SLDCADA to the cloud will be documented to develop invaluable lessons learned for other Navy enterprise business systems’ move to the cloud, Greenlee said.
SLDCADA already offers two mobile options to enable a mobile workforce. The CBXTERN functionality allows in-field data recording. Utilized by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and the Marine Corps, time is recorded and allocated via hand-held scanners and similar devices. The data is then imported to SLDCADA to generate the timecard, with appropriate charge information.
In 2012, SLDCADA engineers developed a punch-card type functionality that involves swiping a Common Access Card (CAC) over a reader to record an employee’s in/out times for the Bureau of Medicine (BUMED). The punch-card function allows doctors and nurses to record their time on-the-go without having to log onto a computer.
“This is an exciting time for SLDCADA and its users,” Greenlee said. “We have been given an opportunity to rejuvenate the SLDCADA program, while adding value for our customers and improving its capabilities.”