Whoever said to not put all your eggs in one basket has never used an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system before.
An ERP system is your college’s digital library of information. It stores thousands of files, from students’ personal information, billing and financial information, and employee data.
Many colleges are graduating from their old ERP systems, especially if the old technology has information spread out in different locations, low security features and were not user-friendly.
ERP systems are becoming more popular in compartmentalized forms, and often contain a college’s information in a single database. Colleges, like the Justice Institute of British Columbia, invest in ERP systems that are easy to navigate, equipped with encryptions and other security elements and are customizable to the institution’s needs.
Paul Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationships at Ellucian says that a good ERP system will assist a university with increasing student acquisition, retention and student success.
“I think that’s important because at the end of the day, it’s about the institution growing or being at their enrollment capacity,” he says. “It’s about retaining those students and making sure that they’re successful and that they get everything from the learning environment that they want to get.”
Cunningham also says that a good ERP system will be able to support the multiple segments that make up a college’s framework.
“Some institutions are extremely complex when in terms of their structure,” he says. “Think about an institution that would have a law school, a medical school, a business school. They should make sure the system is capable of supporting multiple segments of the institutional operations.”
Cunningham says colleges that are looking to install a new ERP system should do a complete requirement assessment prior to the installation. That way, colleges can ensure their unique and required capabilities are satisfied by both the vendor and enabling technologies.
“That would include things like making sure the vendor has a complete and thorough understanding of higher education,” he says. “At Ellucian, one of our selling points is that we’re all about education, that’s all we do, that’s all we know, we’ve all come from higher education.”