MANAGING EXCELLENCE: Campus Management Offers Another Choice for ERP

A New Beginning

Newer Campus Management customers eagerly are awaiting that kind of ROI. At Southwestern Adventist University (TX), for instance, which rolled out the CampusVue system earlier this month, Charles Lewis, Information Technology Services director, says he’s hoping Campus Management’s ERP will revolutionize course registration for good. Since the mid 1990s, Southwestern Adventist relied upon a competing ERP system that failed to integrate course management data in real time. As a result, every semester began with students waiting in long lines to register for classes. Some years, students would wait for up to three hours, only to find out that their first choice classes were already full. By the beginning of 2004, after escalating complaints and frustration on both sides of the ERP interface, Lewis had had enough.

Almost immediately, Lewis set out to investigate alternate ERP systems. Over a period of six months, he checked out 14 diverse application providers, including larger companies such as Business Objects, Cognos, SAS, and Sungard SCT’s Banner product. By summer, he was ready to make a decision, and he chose CampusVue. Looking back, Lewis says he selected the Campus Management product because of the firm’s commitment to working as a partner throughout the implementation, and because of how flexible the system appeared to be. Another factor was time-to-value; while almost every other vendor promised to build a solution in 12 to 16 months, Campus Management planned to have it operational in six.

In this case, as it turned out, the CampusVue implementation, along with considerable data conversion from the legacy system, took about eight months. In April, Southwestern Adventist launched a handful of CampusVue modules to rave reviews. Specifically, the school implemented modules for Academic Records, Financial Aid, Student Billing and Housing, to name a few. Already, according to Lewis, school officials have seen an increase in productivity: While the previous ERP system was far too complicated for most employees to take advantage of reporting features, the Campus Management system generated “dozens” of reports in the first week alone. This fall, when Campus Management rolls out its first Web interface for CampusVue, Southwestern Adventist plans to offer online Course Enrollment, and use it to erase the nightmare of registration day forever.

“I can’t wait to see how [CampusVue] changes registration,” Lewis says. “If the impact that this system has had elsewhere is any indication of how it will change the way our students sign up for classes, we’re in for something very special.”

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