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Brown U Adds Performance Management to ERP Cloud Apps

Brown University has integrated the use of cloud-based financial planning and metrics applications with its cloud-based enterprise resource planning system to give users the data they need for decision-making. About two months ago, the Providence, RI-based university adopted TideMark from a company of the same name, to extend the functionality of its Workday human resources, payroll, and finance systems.

Specifically, the university is working with Tidemark on high-level revenue and expense planning and to develop line-item budgets and staffing plans. Brown will then feed detailed financial and staffing budgets to Workday for management and control. TideMark has found adoption in the corporate world by companies as well known as Chuck E. Cheese, Hostess Brands, and Pabst.

"Tidemark's strong partnership with Workday, its cloud-based application, and its focus on collaboration as part of financial planning were key factors in our selection process," said Susan Howitt, associate vice president for budget and planning.

In 2012 the university implemented Workday to replace aging computer systems there were becoming "more costly and increasingly difficult to support," according to a project page. A major selling point with that adoption was how the software-as-a-service applications provided self-service functionality to the Brown community. For example, employees, including student workers, could fill out their work hours online.

In a recent online interview with Tidemark, the university's Workday Project Director Roberta Gordon explained, "By giving people the tools they need to influence change, we have created a value-add environment, where employees are encouraged to engage, and can feel a sense of ownership. Time is no longer spent managing static spreadsheets. Instead, team members across the organization are empowered to interact with data, suggest improvements, and initiate change. It is a culture shift that we expect to spread as we continue working with Tidemark and Workday."

Added Howitt, "The cloud and mobile aspects also allow every employee to have important data at their fingertips. This leads to better, data-driven decisions and, in turn, more strategic use of resources."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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