La Trobe University Brings the Simplicity of SAP® Cloud powered by SAP HANA® to Students and Staff

October 28, 2014 by SAP News 0

Innovative Australian University is the World’s First SAP® Simple Finance Solution Customer

MELBOURNESAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Australia’s La Trobe University has chosen the SAP® Simple Finance solution powered by SAP HANA® and the SAP Student Lifecycle Management application to support its “Future-Ready Strategic Plan.”

The deepened relationship with SAP is in direct support of La Trobe’s five-year plan objectives, including simplifying operations, attracting creative and independent thinkers, supporting a highly skilled and motivated workforce, developing a lively, connected campus, boosting its national and international ranking, and improving sustainability through enhanced intellectual, physical and financial resources.

“To a great extent, our ability to achieve our ‘Future-Ready’ goals is underpinned by technology. It permeates nearly every facet of what we do and how we do it, both at work and at home. Our students live in a technological era and we must provide a consistent environment so that their learning life and their social life can seamlessly blend,” said John Dewar, president and vice chancellor, La Trobe University. “Our teaching staff and researchers must have administrative overhead lifted from them so they can concentrate on their core activities. And we must create nimbleness in our organization through the application of lean principles and insight into information. SAP has helped deliver in all these dimensions so far and we are very much looking forward to our continued strong partnership.”

La Trobe is the first customer to globally deploy SAP Simple Finance in the cloud. SAP Simple Finance will provide its finance department and colleges with instant insight across devices to help the university drive value — leveraging instant planning, analysis, prediction and simulation across financial and operational processes — while significantly simplifying its entire IT landscape and architecture.

This implementation of SAP Student Lifecycle Management, the first of its kind in Australia, is designed to enable La Trobe to better support students and staff by providing an end-to-end view of the student experience — from enquiry, application and registration, through to learning, graduation and alumni services.

The newest innovations from SAP are at the heart of La Trobe’s operations and are designed to enable staff to quickly manage subjects, courses, student records and a multitude of other tasks. The solution also lays the foundation for the university’s mobile strategy, which aims to provide students with direct access — anytime and anywhere — to all their information, such as timetables, meetings, e-mail, financial commitment, test scores and a host of services specific to their academic experience.

“While La Trobe’s technology and applications had served their purpose, it required highly manually intensive processes and significant intervention by our staff to support them, and it was not going to move us forward in catering for our digital requirements and future-ready plan,” said Ged Doyle, executive director and CIO at La Trobe. “Three years ago we embarked on a rationalization, consolidation and risk mitigation program in parallel with a ‘whole of business’ application portfolio and infrastructure modernization program. In a competitive global environment it is critically important that we create an application portfolio that is seamlessly integrated, supports learning and teaching, research and administration, and that provides a very positive student experience.”

Through integration with the existing SAP ERP Human Capital Management solution and other ERP applications from SAP, La Trobe staff now use a single source of the truth and no longer need to recreate data in disparate systems or dump validated data into spreadsheets for reporting. They are also able to monitor the progression of processes through automated workflows and save significant time by no longer reconciling data manually.

“In partnership with SAP, we are delivering on a digital strategy that has allowed us to eliminate in-house legacy systems and countless hours of support effort. More importantly La Trobe is simplifying work for our staff so they can focus on supporting students and alumni while at the same time creating a technology environment to support the ever-increasing digital needs of our students, wherever and whenever they want it,” said Doyle.

SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA to Further Support La Trobe’s Digital Transformation
Mirroring the social and economic environment in which all postsecondary institutions now operate, information technology is woven throughout La Trobe’s roadmap.

La Trobe is scheduled to go live this month with SuccessFactors® Employee Central, a single system of record for workforce data. The solution complements La Trobe’s existing SuccessFactors Performance Management solution, which it rolled out in 2013 to support 3,400 employees.

“Our move to the cloud removes considerable complexity from our environment. But what is really exciting is our ability to have visibility and insight into data that was previously not possible,” Doyle added.

Additionally, La Trobe undertook a pilot project to understand the viability and performance of SAP HANA when applied to the large data sets vital to research programs within its “Future-Ready Strategic Plan.” Through the application of SAP HANA, the initial pilot, which processed massive amounts of data related to vehicle collision detection, reduced report processing time from four weeks to just 3.5 seconds. La Trobe is now exploring extending this platform to five data-intensive Research Focus Areas (RFAs).

“La Trobe is significantly simplifying its business through true digital transformation – for the ultimate benefit of its students,” said Andrew Barkla, president and managing director of SAP Australia and New Zealand. “Through cloud deployment and the in-memory technology in SAP HANA, the university is ahead of the game in Australia and globally in innovating the student experience.”

“La Trobe, through the vision, insight and drive of Ged Doyle, provides a trailblazing example of a recurring theme we see with our most advanced university customers: They want to lay a flexible, open-ended operational foundation for the future while protecting the value in their existing IT investments,” said Malcolm Woodfield, global vice president, Higher Education and Research, SAP. “Beyond operations, La Trobe is alongside some of the world’s leading research institutions in deploying the SAP HANA platform to speed data analysis in advanced research.”

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