When Wits University’s version of the Oracle module used for payroll was reaching end of support, they discussed their options for upgrading with Dimension Data. Together, we decided to upgrade their Oracle E-Business Suite to the latest version to ensure that employees are paid correctly and on time, and to prepare for cloud migration in future.

Technologies leveraged included Oracle E-Business Suite to Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), OCI Security, Oracle Linux and Oracle Database.

Client profile

The University of the Witwatersrand, affectionately known as “Wits”, is a public university that is internationally distinguished for its research, high academic standards, commitment to social justice and the advancement of the public good. Wits is home to about 1,500 academics, 6,000 employees, 2,500 joint staff and 41,000 students. Wits has 100 years of proud academic history and remains one of South Africa’s leading universities, and amongst the top 1.5% in the world.

Business need
Business need

To equip their approximately 41,000 students with the knowledge and high-level skills that they need to pursue their goals, Wits employs 1,500 academics, 2,500 joint staff and 6,000 supporting employees. The university uses Oracle’s business applications for HR and enterprise resource management (ERP). Their Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) was reaching the end of support, so they needed to upgrade their payroll solution to manage benefits and pay people on time. While they needed to upgrade, Wits also had to consider their long-term strategy of moving more of their applications to the cloud.

“NTT DATA works with us to find the best solutions to our challenges. They don’t just implement solutions; they discuss the solution with you to ensure that it works for both our short-term needs and our long-term goals.”

Luci Carosin
GM Application Delivery and Support Services, University of the Witwatersrand

NTT DATA worked with Wits to decide on the best approach to the upgrade. The university had considered updating only the payroll module, leaving all the other modules on their current version, and then integrating payroll back into the solution. However, this would have been an extremely complex solution, so we discussed other options and how they would fit into the long-term plan to migrate their Oracle solutions to the cloud.

Wits decided to update all their EBS modules to the latest version.

As part of the upgrade, we hosted workshops with their teams before updating all their on-premises Oracle modules for payroll, finance and HR functions to the latest EBS version using the Oracle Unified Methodology. We also updated their database. This readied their systems for a full software update and shift to the Oracle cloud in future.


Updating EBS to the latest version allowed Wits to keep paying their 10,000 employees correctly and on time, while tracking employee benefits and taxes. The change also put Wits in a better position to later migrate their Oracle solutions to the cloud as part of their larger cloud transformation strategy.

The EBS update not only supported the university, but also boosted the user experience for HR and finance professionals who use the system. Each update improves on the previous version’s user interface, making it easier for HR and finance professionals to navigate and use the system effectively.

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