Engineers Australia Improves and Automates Business Processes and Completes Engineer Enrollments up to 90% Faster with Middleware Platform
 
Oracle 1-800-633-0738
Find an Oracle Specialized Partner
Oracle Customer Programs
 
 

Engineers Australia Improves and Automates Business Processes and Completes Engineer Enrollments up to 90% Faster with Middleware Platform

Established in 1919, Engineers Australia is the national forum in Australia to advance engineering and the professional development of its members. With more than 100,000 members, spanning all engineering disciplines, Engineers Australia is the largest and most diverse professional body for engineers in Australia. The organization offers its Australian and international members a range of services and seeks to advance the science and practice of engineering, cultivate lifelong learning by its members, promote the contribution of the profession as widely as possible, champion professional and ethical conduct, and take the lead in advocacy of the profession.

Engineers Australia needed to replace its aging legacy IT infrastructure, redefine its business processes, and develop new online and customer relationship management (CRM) functions to improve the services it provides to engineers.

The organization’s system, which it calls eChartered, went live in November 2012. It provides new online self-service capabilities that improves the user experience for Engineers Australia members and replaces many cumbersome manual processes. In 2012, the organization implemented Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g and Oracle SOA Suite 11g, running on Oracle WebLogic Suite 11g, to support the development of its eChartered system.

Engineers Australia moved from paper-based to online processes, improved monitoring, management, and visibility of its chartered engineer processes, and ensured seamless integration for eChartered, thereby reducing the time and effort required to manage members’ enrollments, assessments, and registrations. It now completes the enrollment processes 90% faster, while staff can generate assessment reports in seconds rather than taking 45 minutes, as was the case previously. The organization also has cut the time to develop new system modules by three to four weeks.

 
Business Transformation Requires New IT Infrastructure

A word from Engineers Australia

  • “Oracle offered a more comprehensive, cost-effective, and long-term solution than other vendors. By implementing Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g and Oracle SOA Suite 11g, we have redefined business processes, ensured seamless integration for our eChartered system. We’ve cut the time to complete engineers’ enrollments by up to 90% by moving from paper-based to online processes.” – Richard Holmes, Management Information System (MIS) Renewal Program Manager, Engineers Australia

As the country’s largest and most diverse professional body for engineers, it is vital that Engineers Australia monitors and manages its engineers’ enrollment, registration, renewal, and training as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. In 2009, the company began to evaluate its legacy IT platform with an eye toward improving the quality and efficiency of its membership enrollment and chartered status certification program. It also wanted to ensure that the fee for a chartered assessment is cost neutral for the organization.

Engineers Australia was managing an aging application system that a small IT vendor developed specifically for the organization. The system’s functionality was clunky and outdated, and many processes—such as recording engineers’ enrollments and assessing their competency and training submissions—were managed manually. The legacy system was not designed to be an interface that engineers used to complete chartered assessments. Rather, it was designed for administrative staff to track and record key milestones, such as Engineers Australia membership, chartered status, and revenue streams for chartered status.

External consultants reviewed Engineers Australia’s legacy application systems and IT infrastructure. They identified a number of issues, including a lack of support for end-of-life products, insufficient functionality for engineers engaging with the organization through the internet, and the high cost and effort of maintaining and developing new services for the specialized infrastructure. The consultants recommended that Engineers Australia enhance the services it offers to engineers by re-engineering its business processes, moving its membership accounting processes from the legacy system onto Oracle E-Business Suite, and incorporating CRM functionality.

In 2010, Engineers Australia launched a management information system (MIS) renewal program to improve the value of the member experience by re-engineering its main business processes and encapsulating them in new applications.

“We wanted to develop better web-based, self-service processes for our engineers,” said Richard Holmes, MIS renewal program manager, Engineers Australia. “We needed to replace the legacy system with commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) applications and powerful middleware products to cut the cost and effort of IT development and maintenance and ensure seamless system integration.”

 
Supporting the eChartered Project

 
Completing Enrollments up to 90% Faster

 
Minimized Time Required for Assessments

 
Visibility of Long-Running Chartered Processes

 
Completing Reports 45 Minutes Faster, Reducing IT Costs

 
Streamlined Credit Card Payment Processes

 
Accelerating Module Development Time by Three or Four Weeks

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Replace commercial, off-the-shelf products for an aging application system developed by a small IT vendor to reduce the time and costs for IT development and maintenance
  • Avoid costs for supporting end-of-life products and maintaining and developing new services for a specialized infrastructure
  • Improve services to engineers and existing members by redefining business processes and providing online support, rather than relying on manual processes
  • Enhance visibility into membership services for administration and call center staff 

Solutions

  • Cut time required for enrollment from up to 30 minutes to less than 5 minutes with online rather than mailed enrollment forms
  • Saved administration staff up to 20 minutes to process each engineer’s enrollment, by eliminating human error and the need for manual intervention 
  • Submitted engineering competencies to assessors in a few minutes online, rather than taking more than 20 minutes to post, e-mail, or deliver paperwork by hand
  • Enabled engineers to receive e-mail notifications of approvals immediately, rather than taking weeks by post
  • Minimized risk of assessment errors and time to approve competencies, by enabling two assessors to check documents online rather than one working from hard copy
  • Delivered assessment reports to engineers in a few seconds, rather than 45 minutes, using Oracle BI Publisher to generate reports of approvals or details of why approvals were not granted
  • Cut US$20,000 on paper and postal costs by eliminating printing and posting letters and assessment reports
  • Reduced time to develop pricing by three to four weeks, by reusing processes, services and code from the eChartered project
  • Used a loosely coupled SOA-based architecture to integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite and Salesforce.com’s cloud-based CRM software, ensuring the online credit card payment function remains active even if there is a problem
  • Ensured the chartered engineers process is transparent and managed efficiently throughout the six years that it can take for an engineer to achieve chartered status through Oracle BPM Suite
  • Ensured important documents, such as engineers’ resumes, photos, and statutory declarations are managed efficiently by implementing Oracle WebCenter Content
  • Enhanced members’ satisfaction by enabling call center staff to see the progress of an enrollment or assessment during a call, rather than relying on the IT team

Why Oracle

Engineers Australia wanted to implement best-in-class COTS products and a powerful middleware platform to support its MIS renewal program and develop its new eChartered system.

The organization assessed two top-tier middleware vendors. As an existing Oracle customer, Engineers Australia already had confidence in Oracle’s products. After assessing the other products and reading several product-related reports from technology research firm Gartner, the organization decided Oracle offered the highest performing and most cost-effective solution.

“The Gartner reports made it clear that it was important to work with a primary vendor that had an end-to-end solution—hardware, middleware, and applications—for ease of integration, cost-effectiveness, and support,” Holmes said. “We kept this in mind when evaluating solutions, and it was a key reason in our decision to choose Oracle.”

“Once we engaged with Oracle, it quickly became our preferred vendor. Oracle offered a more comprehensive product footprint and we were very impressed by the extensive toolset in Oracle BPM Suite. We were also confident Oracle offered the best solution in terms of product development to support our long-term plans,” Holmes said.

Implementation Process

Engineers Australia began installing Oracle BPM Suite, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle WebLogic Suite in September 2011. The organization also extended its licensing agreement for Oracle Business Intelligence PublisherOracle WebCenter Content, and Oracle Database .

Engineers Australia upgraded to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1, including Oracle Financials, in January 2012. It went live with the new eChartered system supported by Oracle BPM Suite, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle WebLogic Suite in November 2012.

Engineers Australia has begun its second project, eRenewals, and will use Oracle BPM Suite and Oracle SOA Suite to develop new processes for its membership and migration skills assessment services.

Partner

Engineers Australia engaged Oracle Platinum Partner Red Rock Consulting to implement the Oracle Fusion Middleware products and upgrade Oracle E-Business Suite.

“Red Rock helped us implement the products and build the additional functionality and integration required for the eChartered system,” Holmes said. “Red Rock played a major role in the Oracle E-Business Suite implementation. We grew together as a team as we worked on the middleware, and, as a result, it was a very positive experience.”