La Trobe University realising ‘Future Ready Strategic Plan’ in world’s first go-live of SAP S/4HANA in the cloud

La Trobe increasing operational efficiency with SAP’s next-generation business suite

SydneySAP Australia today announced that La Trobe University is the first organisation globally to go live with SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. Running the SAP Simple Finance cloud application, La Trobe University expects to achieve an increase in efficiency of more than 20 per cent across its business units.

In completing the implementation, La Trobe University has moved multiple legacy systems onto one, drastically simplifying its IT landscape and data footprint. And by running applications built fully for SAP’s in-memory platform, SAP HANA, La Trobe University is now able to execute business processes significantly more efficiently than before.

With the SAP S/4HANA deployment completed, La Trobe University continues to deliver on its Future Ready Strategic Plan as it aims to focus on delivering brilliant basics, enhancing the student experience and advance to the top 500 institutions worldwide by 2017.

As uncertainty in the education sector continues, an increase in the competitiveness of Australian universities follows. Peter Nikoletatos, Executive Director and CIO of La Trobe University commented on how the university has chosen a disruptive approach, selecting technology as a cornerstone to help it push the boundaries of the student experience and organisational efficiency.

“Technology underpins everything we do at La Trobe,” Mr. Nikoletatos says. “It’s fundamental in the student experience, it helps our researchers deliver their outcomes and it’s also pertinent in every lecture theatre.

“We have big ambitions. We want to be student-centric, but we don’t want to be just like every other institution. We want to change the way students engage and make that experience unique to La Trobe. With SAP S/4HANA, we are essentially creating time for our staff – simplifying our processes and giving much more capacity back to the business to focus on providing that unique La Trobe experience to our students.”

Mr. Nikoletatos estimates that with SAP S/4HANA fully deployed, La Trobe University can deliver up to one day back per week to key users across its operations to focus on more student-centric activity and supporting the Future Ready Strategic Plan.

As La Trobe University CFO Gary Seach explains, “We’re focused on innovation across the board, and we’re looking at how we can do things a lot better and simpler. Higher education is rapidly moving into a highly competitive environment, and we need to deliver as many competitive edges as we can. Technology is helping us differentiate.”

Prior to running SAP Simple Finance, part of the SAP S/4HANA suite, it took weeks to complete month-end finance reports. La Trobe University’s expectation is that the timeframe should reduce to a few days instead of over a week. “We’re really looking to enable staff to manage the business on a day-to-day rather than a month-by-month basis,” Mr. Seach says.

Additionally, with the simplified user experience of SAP S/4HANA, based on SAP Fiori, end users are more inclined to interact with the financial system. “With the SAP Simple Finance component of SAP S/4HANA, we’re intending to empower our end users to use the SAP tools to drive their own data requirements and report in real time,” Mr. Seach adds.

The SAP S/4HANA deployment marks the most recent innovation in La Trobe University’s IT transformation. The organisation runs cloud-based HR solutions from SuccessFactors to support its people strategy and soon plans to move its SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence suite, components of the SAP Student Lifecycle Management and SAP Governance Risk and Compliance applications to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Andrew Barkla, President and Managing Director of SAP Australia and New Zealand, said, “Our relationship with La Trobe has been one of true partnership. We share its vision of delivering value to customers, and this value is inherent in moving to the cloud and powering applications with the real-time capabilities of SAP HANA. This is our vision to help organisations not only run better, but run simple.”

SAP S/4HANA is a new product fully built on the advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and is designed on the most modern design principles with the SAP Fiori user experience (UX) for mobile devices. SAP S/4HANA brings unprecedented innovations and simplifications to customers, combined with more than 40 years of experience across industries, in a completely reimagined business suite only possible with SAP HANA.

About SAP
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Media contacts:
Simon Gomes, SAP ANZ, +61 400 422 069, Simon.Gomes@sap.com, AEST
Tim Mitchell, La Trobe, +61 3 9479 5246, T.Mitchell@latrobe.edu.au, AEST
Ewen Doddrell, Howorth Communications +61 416 753 240, SAP@howorth.com.au, AEST

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