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Realizing ROI on a New ERP

Getting the most out of the investment for the institution
University Business, December 2016

Given the current environment in higher ed, the pressure to contain costs and the need to justify expenses, it is more critical than ever that any technology investment not only meet the needs of staff, students and the institution, but also provide a clear return on investment. When it comes to the significant investment involved with implementing an ERP, there are strategies and approaches that any institution can take to reduce total cost of ownership, as well as realize ROI in the least amount of time possible.

In this web seminar, an executive leader from Texarkana College described how the school decided to transition to a new ERP and realized a total ROI within one year, and outlined some of the key strategies learned through the process that can be applied at any institution.

Vice President of Marketing

Colleges and universities find themselves in a time of dramatic change, with increased competition for the right applications and rising concern over the cost of tuition. We find ourselves under pressure to offer more services to students, faculty and staff, while maintaining or dramatically lowering operating expenses.

Realizing a return on a technology investment is not simply a matter of selecting a reasonably priced solution. According to industry experts and analysts, institutions need to do four things:

  1. Develop strong relationships with a small number of vendors.
  2. Participate in product advisory groups.
  3. Fully leverage the service and support offerings from those vendors.
  4. Enhance end-user knowledge and engagement through training.

A recent study found that Jenzabar clients enjoy a 30 to 40 percent lower total cost of ownership than those of our competitors. We help our customers get the maximum possible value from their solutions, and at the same time help them avoid any extraneous costs.

For example, Texarkana saved $1 million in a very short amount of time when they switched from their previous ERP to Jenzabar EX. That’s the reason why schools have selected Jenzabar student information systems more than any other vendor in the market over the past five years.

Texarkana is an amazing partner. They moved to our solution and realized an immediate ROI, while at the same time gaining benefits and functionality. It’s an amazing story that many of our clients echo. Our more than 1,300 clients worldwide, of all different types and sizes, not only see a financial return, but they also see immediate benefits with an improved user experience and functionality.

Vice President of
Information Technology
Texarkana College

For the coming fiscal year, we’re projecting $42 million in revenue and $42 million in expenses. If you have any experience with budgets in higher ed, you know you have to make every dollar count. In 2011-12, we found ourselves in a really severe financial crisis that had been building up for around two years.

We began to do an investigation of possible ERP solutions, and we selected Jenzabar EX. That decision was based on the cost, the ease of use and the ability to manage the software with our existing staff.

Our annual ERP expense prior to our conversion was $1.3 million. With Jenzabar EX, we were able to reduce those expenses to $300,000. Part of the reason why this was successful was because of the reduced level of support required to maintain an EX system.
In addition to the savings, we also recognized an improvement in the ability of users to accomplish their work. And another thing that I like about Jenzabar—and so do the rest of us here at Texarkana—is that the company is innovative. Their software is getting even more easy to use.

Senior Solutions Consultant

In Jenzabar EX, students can log in to a mobile experience and see their targeted announcements that are role- and permission-based—the things they need to see on a daily basis. They have the ability to use interactive campus directories to get to their particular classes using campus maps, the ability to go into social groups and get to activities that they are involved in, and to see upcoming activities that are going on with their particular courses. There’s also a course feed for activities and blog entries that come from their faculty members.

An advisor can log in and see course approvals, student questions, upcoming tasks and recent messages, and use a calendar system that is fully interactive with Google and Outlook calendars. The advisor can design a course curriculum across multiple semesters and years for a particular student, and can access things such as an advising roster.

Jenzabar is committed to helping to drive institutional success, as well as student success.

Michael Dumdei: In IT we like to write some code occasionally, and one thing that I like about the Jenzabar implementation of SQL Server is when it’s time for an upgrade, they have a process called DSU/DDU that doesn’t destroy your own tables or modifications. They are cognizant of the fact that you’ve made some changes, and those are preserved during updates.

Another good feature of the database is it has several fields that are called UDEFs, or “user-defineds,” which allow you to customize some of your screens. You can actually map those UDEF parameters to screens within EX, and then you can use those for your own specific tasks.

Chris Townley: One of my favorite features is that the state reporting centralizes the reports. It makes it so that your institutional research department has a one-stop shop to go to for all the reports for the college. At the same time, it has its own security component wherein report owners have access to only their reports, and to see only those reports that they need to see.

It’s a great engine. I appreciate that you can run the same report multiple times, and save the data in multiple snapshots so that you can compare between them. We had a lot of trouble with IPEDs in the past, in that they would present only the data that you needed, and that was it. But with Jenzabar, it also gives you how it came up with that data, and you can go in and validate your report so that you’re right the first time, rather than creating multiple iterations of the same report cycle.

Mike Weaver: We’ve given you just a glimpse of some of the reasons why Texarkana chose Jenzabar EX, with the easy-to-use interface and many of the other functions. Our integrated and innovative solutions meet the needs of many academic and administrative offices—through a complete student lifecycle, from recruitment to advancement—and serve the needs of your entire constituency.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, visit 

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