ERP: A Software Upgrade
It is time for Brandon University to overhaul some of our legacy software systems, especially in student records and administration.
Many of these custom-built or licensed programs are outdated, and they do not work well together. Not only is this frustrating for students and for everyone who uses these tools as part of their jobs, it also means that BU is not as effective as we should be, and we are inefficient when compared to other universities.
We want Brandon University to be a leading university of choice for students, faculty, and staff among its peer post-secondary institutions. Improving the student experience is one of the University’s primary goals as we seek new ways of providing better service.
Moving to an ERP would be a complex process that would affect most of the University. Here are some answers to common questions.
Share your ideas
We need your help to make sure we find the right fit for BU. Tell us your thoughts on BU’s future software systems.
What are we doing?
We are exploring the move to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system: a very large software package that can manage most of BU’s administration and records. This means we would use the same, modern tools as other universities do to:
- Recruit, admit and register students in classes
- Input and track student grades, marks and degree pathways
- Process tuition payments
- Manage our accounting and budgeting processes
- Maintain alumni and donor connections
- Administer payroll and benefits
- And more
An ERP would mean a technical upgrade with built-in support for mobile devices and web applications and would replace BU’s custom-built software, some of which is rooted in the 1970s. Staff who originally programmed that software and who have maintained it since then are among those strongly encouraging BU to look at moving to a modern replacement.
A fully integrated ERP will bring BU up to current industry standard for post-secondary education, meeting the expectations of today’s students, faculty and staff. It will also ensure that our systems remain current for years into the future. An ERP can also help us eliminate many of our inefficiencies and workarounds that have built up here over the years. In all likelihood, an ERP will involve changes to at least some work, information and records processes for people right across campus, but it will also provide many service improvements for both students and employees.
This is a big job. We partnered with CampusWorks, an exclusively higher ed consulting and services firm with nearly 20 years’ experience throughout Canada and the US. They have helped more than 100 post-secondary institutions evaluate, select and implement an ERP system.
Our focus right now is evaluating proposals.Following extensive Process Reimagine and Redesign workshops, we obtained detailed process map that informed an RFP, issued in Summer 2019. A total of seven ERP vendors indicated an initial expression of interest. Of these, three submitted a formal bid.
These vendors will be coming to Brandon University later this month, to conduct demonstrations of their systems for us. You are invited to attend a community demonstration from each vendor.
- Vendor A — Wednesday, Oct. 23
- Vendor B — Monday, Oct. 28
- Vendor C — Wednesday, Oct. 30
Each of these vendors’ products was included in the sample software packages that were shared with campus in February. These remain available online at BrandonU.ca/ERP/ERP-research
Times and locations for each session will be finalized soon, and details will be posted to this website.
Later this winter, we expect to present one or more options to the BU Board of Governors, which will decide how to proceed. A full transition to an ERP would be done with care over a period of several years.
- March 25, 2019 – Brandon Needs Assessment Final Presentation
- Feb 13, 2019 — Future Forward: Brandon ERP Modernization — Needs Assessment First Look presentation
- Feb. 12, 2019 — Trends in Post-Secondary Education Administrative Systems video
See previous updates and related resources here.