Dearest Sisters,

As many of you know, the launch for our second year of electronic annual reports did not go as well as we had hoped. Despite 12 months of hard work to add enhancements and time-saving measures, not to mention undergoing extensive testing, we are challenged once again with server access issues during peak times. Although it may seem nothing has changed from last year, much HAS changed.

Enhancements allowing local chapter treasurers to easily mark the status of each member significantly reduced processing time. Better exporting and report printing options were added at the request of last year’s officers. Reduced scrolling makes it easier to navigate. We moved to a cloud-based server. A team of IT experts and P.E.O. Executive Office staff were involved and excited to showcase the improvements. So what happened?

All websites face slowness and capacity issues when large volumes of people are trying to log in at the same time. For us, this is compounded not only by the addition of single sign-on (SSO) for our new website, but is also due to the number of officers who had not previously established their own SSO credentials. This security measure adds stress to the servers as our database works to confirm the identity of the person trying to gain access. Even after many attempts to encourage and notify our officers of the need to establish their login credentials prior to annual reports, approximately 4,500 did not do so prior to March 1. The additional strain on human and technology resources to assist these officers has significantly slowed our server capacity.

You are probably wondering why P.E.O. migrated to a new website right before annual reports. The website project began in 2022. While we hoped the vendor would be ready by December 2023, February 5, 2024 is the earliest we were able to go live. P.E.O. needed to move to SSO as soon as possible due to the lack of security on our old website that used one username and password. It is no secret that P.E.O. had a major cyberattack in 2023. That attack, as well as other unauthorized use of our website, increased the urgency. Protecting the personal information of our members from fraudsters and unauthorized circularization is our top priority.

The ten-day timing for annual reports is required by our Constitution. Many have asked for an extended time and a scheduled rollout, similar to 2023. That was a one-time exception granted by our International Chapter Executive Board, using the Constitution’s emergency authority provision. An annual report functionality issue last year forced this action. There is good news for 2024—once you gain access, the program is currently working well. As of Sunday afternoon, March 3, 46% of local chapter treasurers have completed the first step. This first step causes the biggest strain on the server, which means as more finish, there is more room for other officers to gain access.

We hear you. We know you are frustrated. While many companies have deep pockets for these issues, P.E.O. has limited funds that we budget very carefully. Right now, almost the entire staff at the P.E.O. Executive Office is engaged and working hard to support the annual report process. These are devoted people, who are taking it very personally.

Our Facebook posts are not meant to be glib or to minimize the issues. It is our intention to stay positive in the face of challenge and criticism. We will continue to review and improve the process to the best of our ability, to support our officers and to express a loving concern for each sister.

When we work together, we showcase the Art of Sisterhood.

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