IT Spotlight: Building Applications for UC – Donna Yamasaki

Posted by Leah Burns, IT Communications Coordinator, UCOP. Donna Yamasaki and her applications team at UCOP make sure their UCOP business partners can successfully use technology to manage systemwide online web services and benefit systems. “We support applications including At Your Service Online (AYSO), the UC Retirement System, Endowment and Investment Accounting, and the Research Enterprise Management System,” she said.

As senior applications manager, a majority of Yamasaki’s job requires behind-the-scenes strategic planning. “We work with our IT infrastructure, security, and identity management team partners to ensure our production systems are up and running smoothly, because several business partners rely on us, including HR, Finance, and Research Policy Analysis and Coordination,” she said. “There is a ton of technical integration and data exchange involved with the majority of the applications we support.”

Of all the applications Yamasaki has worked on, she said her favorite is AYSO. “I enjoy being able to provide a service to employees and retirees that makes their lives easier. People can go on about their lives and know they can easily access and update information quickly.” Although UCOP employees used UCPath during the open enrollment period to make changes to their benefits, the other UC locations used AYSO. Yamasaki’s team ensured that this would be a seamless process and employees confirmed 47,586 open enrollment changes through AYSO.

Yamasaki’s team also is replacing the thirty-year-old pension system. The current COBOL based mainframe system will be replaced with a commercial framework solution. “This will get the pension system using current web-based technology, business process maps, a sophisticated business rules engine, workflow driven processing and also be more user-friendly, especially for the Retirement Administration Service Center,” she said.

Yamasaki enjoys the challenges and changes that come with her job. Her team has grown since she moved into her current role in 2008 – from four to over twenty. “UC is such a cool organization with a lot of passionate, dedicated, and talented people,” she said.

Aside from ensuring UC applications are running smoothly, Yamasaki keeps busy with water and snow skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and crafting in the Bay area.

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