AMAES Closes Month-End Accounts up to 9x Faster, Enables Students to Check College Administration Information in Real Time
 
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AMAES Closes Month-End Accounts up to 9x Faster, Enables Students to Check College Administration Information in Real Time

AMA Education System (AMAES) runs a number of higher education institutes, including AMA University and Computer Colleges —the largest information and communications technology university in Asia. AMAES employs approximately 5,000 faculty and administrative staff, and teaches more than 150,000 students per year. The institution offers more than 24 undergraduate and master’s courses in arts, education, information and communications technology, and science, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Business Administration (MBA). It also offers shorter maritime, aviation, healthcare, and call-center courses.

In mid-2008, AMAES deployed Oracle E-Business Suite’s Oracle Financials, followed by a variety of Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules in November 2011. The institute can now close month-end accounts 9x faster and has dramatically enhanced the administration services it delivers to students and staff.

 
Rapid Growth Prevents Data Consolidation

A word from AMA Education System

  • “We assessed other software vendors, including SAP and Banner Solutions, but chose Oracle, as its products were best-in-class. Oracle Financials has enabled us to close month-end accounts up to 9x faster, while PeopleSoft has dramatically enhanced the administration services we deliver to our students and staff.” – Edwin Santos, Head of IT Department, AMA Education System

Founded in Manila in 1980, AMAES has developed from a single-campus institution with 13 students and 13 computers to an international network of higher education institutes with 200 campuses and affiliate colleges (known as branches). The institute has grown particularly rapidly in the past 30 years, from around 50 branches to 200 branches. This resulted in a number of disparate servers and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across its dispersed locations.

It took up to three months for AMAES to consolidate information, such as month-end financial data, from four different financial applications used at the national and international branches. Accounting and ad-hoc financial reports, detailing information, such as power and other utility costs, could take up to several weeks to create from information provided by the different branches. It cost approximately US$10,600 (PHP 450,000) per year to courier documents that were too large to e-mail from branches to managers at the Manila head office. AMAES was also spending a lot of time, effort, and money on maintaining its disparate infrastructure and systems.

In addition, AMAES wished to provide a better service to current and potential students, their parents, and staff, faculty, and alumni. It needed to give them real-time, online access to important information about tuition fees, enrollment, current curricula, and grades.

Under the legacy system, students had to visit their university or college to discuss fees and payments with the accounts staff. They could also only access end-of-semester grades using campus computers a week before next semester’s enrollment started. Internally, it took at least four or five days for branches to provide managers at the head office with requested student related reports, such as enrollment numbers for each course.

Without consolidated, standardized financial and student administration systems, AMAES struggled to implement new rules and processes—such as how tuition fee payments were recorded—deploy and coordinate software, and train staff across 200 branches. The institute needed to implement stable, flexible, accessible, Web-based, multicurrency and multicountry applications, to integrate financial information and better manage student administration processes, including admissions, financial aid, student records, and tuition fees.

 
Closed Month-End Accounts up to 9x Faster

 
Ad-Hoc Reports Generated up to 4x Faster

 
Accounting Staff Requirements Reduced by 40%

 
Information for Students Available in Real Time

 
Student Reports Created Significantly Faster

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Replace a large number of disparate servers and systems at multiple branches with an integrated financial and student administration application
  • Implement stable, flexible, accessible, Web-based, multicurrency, and multicountry applications to better manage student administration information and processes
  • Accelerate the time it takes to consolidate financial data about students and courses, and close month-end accounts
  • Generate accounting and ad-hoc financial reports faster for each college branch with details, such as costs for power and water
  • Cut system and server maintenance costs, and eliminate the expense of couriers
  • Provide better service to current and potential students, college staff, faculty, and alumni, by enabling real-time, online access to important student information
  • Decrease the time it takes to provide managers with requested student-related reports, such as enrollment numbers for each course
  • More easily implement new system rules or processes (such as how tuition payments are recorded); deploy and coordinate software; and train staff

Solutions

  • Closed month-end accounts 9x faster—in 10 days rather than 60 to 90 days—by enabling staff at 104 nonfranchised branches to enter financial information directly into the integrated system
  • Shortened the time taken to generate ad-hoc financial reports, from four or more days, to one to two days
  • Reduced courier costs by 15% by enabling managers at the head office to immediately see and approve financial and student administration workflow documents online
  • Cut the accounting team’s manpower requirements by 40%, by enabling staff at each branch to use the integrated system and redeploying additional employees at the head office
  • Slashed the number of servers storing financial data that the institute needed to failover in the event of an emergency, from 60 dispersed servers to 24 servers held in one location
  • Allowed senior managers to quickly receive accurate student-related reports, rather than taking four or more days to manually consolidate them from different spreadsheets
  • Lowered the costs and training required for IT staff to maintain servers and systems for each college branch
  • Enabled managers at head office to make better informed and timelier decisions about overhead and overall branch expenditure
  • Provided students and staff with online, real-time student administration data, rather than requiring them to visit branches to access end-of-semester grades and using campus computers a week before enrollment
  • Created analytical reports that weren’t available previously, such as profitability data for each university course
  • Improved student satisfaction and anticipated more enrollment to support business growth in the future
  • Expected to install system updates and implement new rules for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions once, rather than visiting 170-plus branches where the solution will be deployed

Why Oracle

AMAES assessed a number of other software vendors, including SAP and Banner Solutions, but it chose Oracle, as the institute felt Oracle products were best-in-class and would best meet its needs.

“Our Chairman, Dr. Amable Aguiluz V, and President, Dr. Amable Aguiluz IX, were both aware of Oracle’s reputation and were highly instrumental in bringing Oracle solutions to the table,” said Santos. “They believed that Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions were more responsive and robust than their competitors and were very competitively priced. They were both deeply involved in the project, to the level of working on implementation details.”

According to Santos, Oracle also has a strong reputation in the higher education industry and already incorporates best practice industry standards. “We believe that PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and its Higher Education User Group will allow us to learn from the best practices of the world’s top educational institutions,” he said. “PeopleSoft Campus Solutions will also teach us how we can grow our business in the future.”

Implementation Process

AMAES chose Oracle Financials in 2007 and began the implementation in August 2008. The application went live in November 2008 and is currently deployed at 104 branches.

AMAES began implementing the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules in February 2011. The application was rolled out to the institute’s 11 trimestral campuses in November 2011 and another 30 branches in the Philippines in early 2012.

“A crucial component of the implementation was the really high degree of involvement of AMAES’s chairman, president and other senior officers,” said Santos.

AMAES plans to deploy PeopleSoft Campus Solutions across its international branches soon. It will eventually go live at more than 170 franchised and nonfranchised branches.

Partner

AMAES engaged Oracle Partner Active Business Solutions, Inc. (ABS) to implement its Oracle Financials application. ABS is well-versed in Oracle E-Business Suite applications and took time to understand AMAES’s business and processes.

“ABS worked with us proactively to help us get the best out of the features Oracle Financials had to offer,” said Santos.

AMAES engaged Oracle Specialized Partner HP (Philippines) and Oracle Partner Techlogix to help implement the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules.

HP provided AMAES with hardware-related advice and support, as well as training the institute’s IT technicians. Techlogix helped AMAES implement and customize the PeopleSoft application, and provided onsite training to an AMAES team, so it could train other members of the institutes.

“Techlogix is still providing onsite and offsite support during our first year using PeopleSoft,” said Santos.