Victoria University came into being in 1990, when several existing institutions amalgamated to create a world-class tertiary institution supporting a range of academic specialties. The university’s establishment was an advantage for students, who benefited from more flexibility in selecting courses, and a broader range of interstate and overseas study opportunities. However, it created significant challenges for university administrators, who were tasked with overseeing complex processes across numerous campuses.
Managing supply chains, finances and invoice approvals across the multiple campuses of Melbourne’s Victoria University was a headache.
The university experienced rapid growth, coinciding with a surge in the number of orders that university employees were responsible for reviewing and approving. By 2015, it was processing around 10,000 -12,000 orders a year – far more than a paper-based approvals system could handle efficiently.
“We had a very capable team, but they were often burdened by time-consuming bureaucratic responsibilities,” says Director, Strategic Financial Solutions & Processing, Michael Lapolla. “This meant that they were spending less time on initiatives that might really enhance the student experience at Victoria University. We needed that to change.”
Victoria University approached TechnologyOne with the goal of procuring an end-to-end solution that would relieve pressure on university administrators and provide it with increased flexibility.
The university is now using TechnologyOne’s enterprise solution, which includes Financials, Supply Chain, Corporate Performance Management and Asset Management. It implemented the software on TechnologyOne’s Ci Anywhere platform, which allows staff to manage approvals, requisitions and other critical business processes from any device, anywhere and at any time.
Now, university employees manage critical processes on their mobile devices, wherever they are. No longer burdened by its restrictive administrative processes, the university is renowned for its superior student experience.
The rollout of Ci Anywhere was straightforward because it is so intuitive. It’s now easy for executives to approve invoices wherever they are – and working with TechnologyOne is a real pleasure.
TechnologyOne and Victoria University have formed a true partnership, working together to enhance the software and the way the university uses it, to achieve its key objectives of delivering a superior student experience.
“From the outset, working with TechnologyOne was a breeze,” says Mr Lapolla. “They understood our challenges perfectly and presented us with a clear solution that we could adopt with minimal disruption to the university’s day-to-day functioning.
“We were the first to see new features, and the first to provide feedback. Consequently, we ended up with an intuitive, fast and flexible solution that meets our every need.”
Employees at any campus can now share files via the TechnologyOne system, enhancing collaboration and eliminating the need for confusing paper trails. Importantly, it’s now easy to check which suppliers the university has negotiated price agreements with, which has already saved money and time.
Overall, Lapolla is enthusiastic about his ongoing partnership with TechnologyOne, which he sees as key to the efficiency of the university’s financial departments.
“I know we can trust TechnologyOne to provide a first-class solution,” he says. “And it helps that they’re as committed as we are to making things as simple as possible.”
Before implementing TechnologyOne’s software, it was extremely difficult for senior executives at the university to monitor compliance when it came to procurement processes. As a result, employees often placed orders with suboptimal suppliers, leading to budgetary issues and administrative confusion.
“We had more than 10,000 suppliers in our procurement database, but no clear way of knowing which of them best suited our needs,” says Mr Lapolla.
“We knew we needed a better solution or we’d simply be inundated. Our goal went beyond efficiency – we wanted greater transparency too, as well as improved compliance.”
For Victoria University, the most transformative component of adopting the TechnologyOne solution has been Ci Anywhere, for which the university now has 630 users.
Ci Anywhere is a powerful tool that makes the full suite of TechnologyOne enterprise software available anywhere and anytime, on smart mobile devices. Using Ci Anywhere, users can manage approvals, check financials, review supply chains and a whole lot more – all via a single, intuitive interface.
“Many of the executives who approve purchase orders and requisitions are in meetings all day,” Mr Lapolla explains. “But now they can respond quickly to new POs on their mobile devices, which has sped things up considerably.”
About Victoria University
Victoria University was established in 1990 as an amalgamation of several existing institutions, the oldest of which was founded in 1916. With 10 campuses in Australia and several partner institutions overseas, Victoria University enrols approximately 28,000 students each year and employs 2,000 people.
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