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ERP for Education - A Sampling of Today's Major ERP Vendors

Oracle has designed the E-Business Suite to be a comprehensive, integrated set of applications for the higher education market that automates and streamlines nearly every facet of campus operations and administration, including financial management, human resources, procurement, recruiting, admissions, financial aid, grants management, project management, regulatory compliance, portal development, and communication (integrated e-mail, voice-mail, fax, scheduling, and calendar). Oracle is the only large ERP vendor to offer a calendaring solution.
Available by modules or as a complete suite, Oracle Applications are intended to help higher education institutions achieve a higher level of operational insight, facilitating more informed management decisions. Oracle also claims that the applications create a collaborative environment for teaching, learning, research, and community service—reducing operating costs by streamlining processes across a common architecture.

Oracle E-Business Suite, which includes the Oracle Student System, is built on a unique single data model, which lessens the overall complexity and improves visibility by consolidating campus-wide information to create a single instance of information for all applications. For example, the model maintains only one record for a person, general ledger account, applicant, alumnus, etc. This capability means a change made to a record in one department will be available immediately to all other system users.

Oracle’s architecture enables higher education institutions to implement and update applications with little or no integration, reduce maintenance costs due to fewer integration points, centralize IT operations to reduce costs and focus resources on mission-critical initiatives, access real-time data across the institution, and improve security by reducing vulnerability points.

Contact: Oracle Corp, Redwood Shores, CA; (650) 506-4051;

PeopleSoft for Higher Education

The PeopleSoft for Higher Education solution includes the following roles-based components: Student Administration, Human Capital Management, Contributor Relations, Customer Relationship Management, Financial Management, Supplier Relationship Management, Grants Management, Asset Management, Real Estate (in development), and Analytics. Within the student administration suite are solutions for creating a campus community, recruiting, admissions, academic advising, student records, financial aid, and student financials. The PeopleSoft portal helps institutions build a virtual campus. On the portal, institutions can integrate PeopleSoft applications, third-party applications, and institution-based applications. Using the PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management system, institutions can break down financial and operational data for better overall efficiency and service.

PeopleSoft claims to have the only “pure Internet” enterprise system, a system that is completely Web-enabled. This facilitates a one-time, one-place installation. It also means administrators can access the system anywhere, anytime. Also, PeopleSoft’s “Total Ownership Experience” promises easier use, easier upgrading, and a more cost-effective solution. T'E features such as the “express installation tool” and a new setup manager tool reduce installation time from weeks to days and a shorter upgrade time.

Contact: PeopleSoft, Pleasanton, CA; (800) 380-SOFT;

SAP Solution for Higher Education and Research

The SAP solution for Higher Education and Research supports an institution’s business operations and provides support for teaching and research. It consists of systems for campus and financial management as well as management of human resources, grants, customer relationships, product life cycle, and supplier relationships.

Campus Management is the SAP Student Information System for managing the student’s “lifecycle” from admissions to graduation. The Grants Management component has an emphasis on post-award management, budgeting, and resource control. Customer Relationship Management includes alumni relationship management, the call center, and Web access. The SAP solution also includes the Learning Solution, a lifelong learning, distance learning, and curriculum management system; Business Intelligence, for reporting, data-mining, and strategic enterprise management; the Enterprise Portal, which comprises the student portal, university portal, and employee portal for access to and integration of data; and Workflow, for seamless integration of business process data and transactional information.

These applications run on the SAP “NetWeaver” platform, which provides a single technical environment for
the integration of SAP and non-SAP applications, and for structured and unstructured data (e-mail, for example). Although broken down into components, the SAP solution is actually a single application an integrated approach. The SAP Campus Management runs on one database.

SAP prides itself on its commitment to R&D, innovation, and user-oriented design. The innovative Campus Management student information system has been built by SAP from the ground up from the student perspective, not that of the administrator. The SAP solutions are designed to be flexible and scalable with no loss of performance or response.

Contact: SAP, Newtown Square, PA; (610) 661-1000;

SAS offers a life-cycle approach to data collection and management. The component-based SAS Intelligence Architecture is an open, extensible framework. By integrating and augmenting current technologies and resources, this flexible framework makes the most of existing operational infrastructures, scales with growing enterprises, and adjusts to meet changing organizational needs and goals. The framework includes SAS’s renowned data integration system, advanced analytics, activity-based management (a complete modeling environment for analyzing and comparing data), and performance management. Also included is a portal that enables collaboration and the sharing of information with appropriate internal and external audiences.

By using SAS Strategic Enrollment Management, organizations can collect data from any source at all contact points, including legacy systems, ERP systems and the Web; perform advanced analysis to predict needs without spending inordinate amounts of time, money or other resources; target audiences for services, campaigns, and information; and offer program performance and reports to appropriate individuals.

With the financial management system, traditional measures, such as income statements and balance sheets, can be combined with intangible assets, such as the lifetime value of alumni. SAS Human Capital Management allows institutions to plan effective human capital strategies by comparing and measuring best practices.

Contact: SAS, Cary, NC; (919) 677-8000;

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