Today we're announcing the next big step in our plan to modernize our software systems and our business processes. If you are a Middlebury employee at the College or Monterey, this will be important for you.
On March 15th we will go live with our new human resources software, which is called Oracle HCM, Human Capital Management. This is how we will all get paid, which is a pretty good reason to give us your attention.
But HCM is much more than just a way to do our time sheets and get paid. It's how we will manage your benefits and your time off, and it's how you will access your tax information throughout the year. HCM will eventually replace the human resources work we currently do in our legacy system known as Banner.
HCM is our third major software upgrade over the past year. Last year, we launched Blackbaud for advancement and fundraising. Then Oracle Finance. We're doing this work in collaboration with Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, which includes Middlebury, Saint Michael's College, and Champlain College.
Each of the three colleges have been running older software systems that are now three, four decades old. By working together, we are saving significantly over the costs of going it alone and implementing by ourselves. Last year, for example, Middlebury saved and avoided costs of nearly $4 million by working with our Consortium partners. The savings helped secure our financial health and our road to financial sustainability, and it allows us to invest in the real work of Middlebury College, providing a world-class education for our students.
Yes, there has been a lot of change for all of us in a short period of time, and we greatly appreciate all of your willingness to learn the new ways of doing things. But we also have to acknowledge that change can be frustrating at times. The Oracle Finance rollout has been challenging, and so will HCM. And there's still kinks to work out. Fortunately, the number of help tickets going through the Help Desk around Oracle Finance have dropped off significantly in the last few months, and we are committed to addressing the remaining few issues.
As we approach the launch of HCM, there are some important dates to keep in mind.
First, on February 26, we will freeze HR in Banner for all the HR components. This means any hires that you're currently working on have to be completed before that date, or you should hold out and stop, pause and wait 'til after we go live for any new hires.
Second, we will start training sessions the week of March 3rd. It's important that everyone receives training on the new system. So you keep an eye out for those announcements if you want to get paid after March 15th.
Third, we will go live on March 15th. The first pay periods for our HCM will begin March 16th for employees in Monterey and March 23rd for employees here in Middlebury.
In the coming weeks we will update you regularly on the progress and let everyone know when and where to get training. Lastly, I want to thank our staff colleagues who are working tirelessly on this major transition, both here at the College and at the Consortium headquarters in Shelburne. I'd also want to recognize and thank our Change Facilitators Network, which is a group of about 60 of our colleagues and coworkers in Vermont and in Monterey who have committed their time to helping all of us navigate these changes and this transition.
Keep an eye out for the future updates and many thanks for your dedication to Middlebury and this transition.