Kalyani B.

Application Architect — ISC Application & Information Services
Kalyani B. portrait photo

ISC service(s) or programs/projects: Primarily BEN Financials, Workday rollout and support, along with PennCares COVID response and migration of Penn’s on-premises Oracle Data Warehouse to the Snowflake data cloud.

Length of time in ISC:  Since March 2001!

Previous work experience:  Worked in Buffalo, New York on Oracle Financials at Columbus McKinnon for four years; prior to that for the Indian firm Kumaran Software for two years, building automated tools for converting Oracle forms from one version to the next.

Tell us about a challenge at Penn that made you proud to be part of ISC.

It’s been a privilege to work on the PennCares project. We were challenged to rapidly develop a software solution for scheduling COVID tests and preparing samples for the lab to process. The software also had to issue and clear PennOpen red passes based on compliance with testing mandates.We were able to deliver it all on time — within a month! As things change with the pandemic, we have to constantly change the software, since compliance guidance changes. I developed most of the integrations in Snowflake, and I’m proud to be part of ISC’s contribution to Penn’s pandemic response.

What’s an interesting technical or business problem you’ve faced with ISC?

PennCares instituted a requirement to select random samples of staff to be tested at intervals when they returned to campus in the fall of 2021. It was challenging, given that randomizing had to take into account variations in unit size to make up the total percentage required across the staff population. Our team had to find some SQL functions in Snowflake that would allow us to do this. But it worked! Again, we had to do it in a very short time, including automating an ad‑hoc email to each batch of test subjects to inform them of their selection.

What do you like best about working with clients?

I work with the Division of Finance for BEN, and with Workday clients. I get to learn the business functions — I’m more on the technical side, so I love learning the business aspects on the other side. The best part is when the clients are happy with what you deliver.

How has the pandemic changed the way you approach your role?

Since the pandemic, I now get to see people on videoconferencing that I’d never met before! We used to just talk on the phone. I find working remotely to be productive. Because of the flexible work option, I’ve been able to balance work and family life really well.

What are you passionate about in your free time?

Of late, I have more free time now that my daughter’s in college. So I now volunteer in religious and cultural activities, and prepare sandwiches for a local shelter. I like to knit, so I knit scarves to donate to Goodwill. I finally have time to do these things since my daughter is grown up.