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Baker College 'ERP Expedition' Heads to Jenzabar

A college system in Michigan with 35,000 students, nine campuses, and a large online presence will be implementing a hosted enterprise resource planning system from Jenzabar over the next several years. Baker College set up an ERP event, which it called the "Baker Expedition," in fall 2012 to explore the options for implementing a new administrative system that could serve "all areas, functions, and departments." Currently, Baker is using a legacy system, Oasis, developed in-house.

The initiative used a governance committee of top administrators as well as a sizable team of "super users," each representing an area of expertise within the organization who could "accurately identify and communicate their requirements so that our RFP reflects a comprehensive interpretation of our business needs," according to a Web site about the project.

Baker's ultimate criteria included an emphasis on a product that was available in a hosted or software-as-a-service form. "To host or not to host is no longer a question in today's IT landscape. The future of IT will focus on managing services and providing innovative solutions," said Jacqui Spicer, CIO and vice president for IT and a member of the governance committee.

The college also sought an ERP application that would provide mobility, retention tools, and business intelligence functionality.

The final selection, Jenzabar JX, includes modules for the major aspects of the student lifecycle and staff operations, including: recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registration, student life, advising, alumni development, human resources, payroll, general ledger, accounts receivables and payables, and purchasing.

"The Jenzabar JX product is modern and innovative," Spicer added. "Jenzabar is dedicated to enhancing the product and truly listens to their customer base to deliver products and services that customers truly want."

The transition to Jenzabar JX will take between 24 and 30 months to fully implement. And Spicer predicted it's going to take more than super powers to ensure success. "The super users will continue to be the voice for the various departments, however, it will take the entire organization to ensure that the transition from Oasis to Jenzabar is a success," she said.

Among other Jenzabar customers are Pomona College in California, Emory University in Georgia, and Park University in Missouri.

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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