Frontline, Red Rover, and EMPowerSF Updates

Transition to New Enterprise Resource Planning system

SFUSD is taking steps to transition from its current payroll, finance, and human resources systems – including EMPowerSF – to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, called Frontline and a Human Capital Management Suite (HCM) called Red Rover. The target date for fully implementing these new systems is July 2025. 

About Frontline and Red Rover

Frontline CA ERP 

  • An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is software that manages the district's business processes.
  • It’s an integrated tool that helps manage the day-to-day activities and tasks related to SFUSD business.
  • The Frontline ERP will include all finance functions, all payroll and retirement functions, many functions of human resources and an Employee Online Portal. 
  • Frontline ERP is the most used ERP system in California, used by over 55 percent of school districts and County Offices of Education in California. 

Red Rover K-12 HCM Suite

  • A Human Capital Management (HCM) software suite supports a range of Human Resource functions.
  • It’s an integrated tool that includes capabilities to manage the complete employee experience.
  • The Red Rover solution will include Recruiting, Onboarding, Substitute Management, Absence Management and Time Management.
  • Red Rover HCM Suite integrates well with the Frontline CA ERP.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is happening with SFUSD’s transition to a new system for payroll, human resources, budget, finance, accounting, and purchasing?

On March 12, 2024, the Board of Education approved contracts for SFUSD to transition from our current payroll, finance, and human resources systems – including EMPowerSF – to a Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, called Frontline, and a Human Capital Management suite, which is called Red Rover. Since then, we have taken steps to phase out development within EMPowerSF so that we can focus our efforts on successfully implementing our new systems, Frontline and Red Rover.

Will SFUSD continue to respond to help tickets and resolve issues related to EMPowerSF?

Yes. We remain committed to supporting our colleagues as questions and concerns arise. We will continue to ensure employees are paid correctly, that their retirement is reported accurately, and that their benefits are in place. However, we will phase out further development of EMPowerSF as we must be strategic and thoughtful about the time and expense it takes to make one-off changes for a product we are phasing out. Continuing to make one-off changes within EMPowerSF drains the resources that we need to put toward successfully implementing our new systems. 

What if I have a pending ticket or issue in EMPowerSF?

Case managers will remain in place to respond to open tickets.

Our teams are working around the clock to continue processing day-to-day needs while simultaneously implementing the new systems. 

Is there anything different that employees need to do at this time?

No. We will communicate directly with you if there are action steps that you will need to take. If you have an urgent issue, all escalation paths remain open and accessible.

What will happen in the next few weeks and months of this transition?

During the week of April 15th, we are beginning our kick-off meetings for administrators and business managers at school sites and in central office. We will be working towards implementing new workstreams, facilitating trainings for employees, and consulting with other districts that use these systems to learn best practices. We will continue to keep you updated during the implementation of our new systems. Ultimately we will go live with full implementation in July 2025. 

All Updates

The latest public-facing updates on EMPowerSF, including press releases, Board of Education meeting presentations, and announcements.

FAQs about EMPowerSF

Check here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This section will be updated on a rolling basis.

Last update: November 18, 2022

What is an overview of the issues with EMPowerSF?

In January 2022, SFUSD transitioned to a new system for payroll, time and attendance, and other human resources’ functions called EMPowerSF, which replaced a number of workflows and processes that had been in place for 17 years. Despite extensive preparation, shifting from antiquated systems and processes to new workflows has resulted in issues that have affected payments for some employees.

As of fall 2022, SFUSD is working on two critical issues. The first is to fix long-standing structural payroll issues related to legacy systems and processes. The second is to address individual payroll issues as they emerge. Working to address both issues simultaneously is a complex undertaking that requires a substantial investment of resources.

What is SFUSD doing to fix these structural and emergent payroll issues?

Here is an overview of recent updates:

November 2022: The District has dedicated extensive resources to address all EMPowerSF issues. In November 2022, the District declared a payroll state of emergency and reallocated significant resources to fixing underlying and emergent payroll issues.

October 2022: The District launched a call center for affected employees to contact with any new payroll-related issues, or to receive updates on previously-reported issues. 

September 2022: The San Francisco Board of Education approved the District's request to hire consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to help clear the backlog of critical employee payroll issues, stabilize the overall EMPowerSF system, and build the necessary capacity within SFUSD to provide ongoing support.

Where can I get updated information about the District's progress towards fixing these issues?

To enhance understanding of progress, SFUSD and A&M will regularly publish progress towards key goals via a public dashboard.

Status presentations will also be provided at every Board of Education meeting until issues have been stabilized. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings. All recordings and related public documents are available here.

Why did the District declare a payroll state of emergency? And what does it mean?

Through the payroll state of emergency, the Superintendent reallocated significant resources to fix the EMPowerSF issues. This became necessary once new information was provided by consultants A&M, which made clear that the underlying payroll challenges were far more substantial than originally known. In response, the District has developed a Corrective Action Plan, which details the next aggressive phase of the District's response to fix payroll issues.

Why didn't the District declare a payroll state of emergency sooner?

The true scope of the issue was not understood until a recent A&M audit update. This is when it became clear that additional resources would be necessary, which is when the District declared a payroll state of emergency.

The payroll state of emergency includes a corrective action plan. What is in the plan?

The District's corrective action plan includes four key components:

  1. Creating a new Command Center with a 60-person Corrective Action Team. This team includes reassigned SFUSD staff, additional A&M and Infosys staff, and additional contract payroll specialists. The Command Center will focus on clearing the backlog of tickets, and institute long term fixes to our payroll systems to prevent new issues.
  2. Identifying Key Goals, which will include reducing the overall number of help tickets, reducing the number of impacted employees, and closing more tickets than are being opened each month. 
  3. Tracking Progress towards these key goals by monitoring the number of new tickets, whether the overall backlog is increasing or decreasing, how long tickets are open, and the average number of days it takes to resolve tickets.
  4. Creating a Public Dashboard that will be updated frequently with the District's progress towards meeting these goals.

Will the payroll state of emergency impact the Board-approved timeline for fixing these issues?

While the full scale of the emergency is still being determined, SFUSD, with the support of A&M, will continue to investigate the root causes of systems failure and take preventative measures.

What is the progress on closing EMPowerSF tickets?

Please see the dashboard for updates on the current status.

Why haven't the EMPowerSF issues been resolved?

Unfortunately, some of the problems related to payroll processing and posting pay have existed prior to EMPowerSF and were exacerbated by the system transition. The fixes are not simple and will require more time than the District would like given current staffing challenges. The District is working with A&M to institute a Corrective Action Plan to address individual employee cases and to permanently fix the root cause of widespread issues so that all employees are made whole. The District would like to thank the staff who are working diligently to address every support request that comes in as quickly as possible.

How many people are currently experiencing payroll issues?

Please see the dashboard for information about impacted employees.

What kind of support is available to employees who are being impacted by EMPowerSF issues, including for those who are missing paychecks?

Employees can alert the District to any payroll issues by filing an electronic ticket or by reaching out to the Call Center. As soon as an employee ticket is received by the District, SFUSD prioritizes and triages the ticket to ensure those related to non-payment are addressed first. The District has added staffing resources by temporarily re-assigning District staff to ensure these issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.

Staff Resources

SFUSD employees can log in with their credentials to access the full suite of EMPowerSF tools and resources, including training, office hours, live support, employee-only updates, and more.

This page was last updated on May 10, 2024