Oracle Customer Success — Abu Dhabi University

Abu Dhabi University

Abu Dhabi University Reduces Budgeting and Reporting Cycles by More Than 60%

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In the higher education sector it is not easy to support the operational and financial planning process. With Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, we can change assumptions on the spot and see the implications on our five-year forecasts within a matter of minutes. This is exactly what I was looking for.

— Sherif Mousa, Director of Finance, Abu Dhabi University

Abu Dhabi University Meets the Goals of Its Five-Year Strategic Plan with Sophisticated Forecasting Accuracy and Optimized Budget Execution

Abu Dhabi University (ADU) was established in 2003 to provide undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a wide range of studies. ADU follows five-year strategic plans with the goal of providing quality education and applied research that drive economic and social development in the region. The mission is to produce high quality career-oriented graduates aligned with regional and global needs through excellence in teaching, operational excellence, and financial growth.

However, until recently, ADU had no integrated system for budget analysis and execution, relying exclusively on Excel sheets. In 2014 it began looking for an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solution to improve the core process of planning and forecasting. The requirement was to implement an end-to-end system capable of handling higher education budgeting focused on revenue, human capital, scholarship, operating expenses, capital expenditure, and budget execution.

 
Challenges
  • Improve budget execution, which was lacking data integrity and analytical tools, so that budget consumption can be matched constantly with the university’s financial forecasts
  • Make it easier to align budgeting and planning with ADU’s five-year strategic goals of operational excellence, financial growth, and excellence in teaching
     
  • Eliminate time-consuming, error-prone spreadsheets where a missing formula or a mistaken data assumption could require days to re-run budget calculations
  • Develop reporting and analysis that integrates with the university’s operational systems for variance analysis, narrative reporting, and budget report generation
  • Integrate budgeting and forecasting with enterprise resource planning processes—financials, procurement, human capital management, and student information system
Results
  • Increased forecasting efficiency by automating and centralizing budgeting and planning workflows and security models, and improved accuracy and reliability by migrating from disconnected spreadsheets to Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service
  • Gained the ability to match budget consumption continuously with financial forecasts, avoid budget overruns, and better monitor the university’s financial health
  • Streamlined internal and external reporting processes, combining data plus narrative in a single, secure, and collaborative environment so that financial and non-financial staff can produce meaningful reports
  • Strengthened decision-making capabilities with sophisticated modelling and predictive analytical capabilities, such as what-if scenarios based on the university’s key business drivers
  • Increased mid- and long-term forecasting accuracy by rolling the university’s forecasting horizon forward with the passage of time, enabled by Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service’s easy-to-use rolling forecast wizard
  • Increased financial data security and integrity, and integrated the solution seamlessly with ADU’s financials, procurement, human capital management, and student information system based on Oracle’s PeopleSoft Suite
  • Reduced infrastructure complexity using the Oracle Cloud, substantially decreasing capital expenditure and maintenance costs as compared to the legacy solution
  • Leveraged the reliability of Oracle Cloud deployments to help the organization meet the goals of its five-year strategic plan of operational excellence, financial growth, and excellence in teaching

 

We selected Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud for its deep planning functionality, flexibility, and fit to the educational sector. The beauty of the system is that it is configurable and easy to use by both financial and non-financial staff, simplifying user adoption and delivering 100% of the expected results.

— Sherif Mousa, Director of Finance, Abu Dhabi University

Execution

The solution went live in August 2016, four months after purchase. As of April 2017 around 45 budget managers, college deans, and requesters are working on the next budget cycle, integrated to Oracle PeopleSoft for financials, procurement, human capital management, and student information system. Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service is also being used to test assumptions for the Dubai campus opening in 2017.

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud is ADU’s first exposure to the Oracle Cloud and, given its proven efficiency, the organization is considering shifting operational systems.


About Abu Dhabi University

Headquarters

 
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Employees

 
450

Abu Dhabi University is an internationally recognized university for quality education and applied research that drives economic and social development in the region and beyond. The mission of Abu Dhabi University is to produce highly qualified career-oriented graduates in alignment with regional and global needs through excellence in teaching, student learning, faculty scholarship, and engagement in community development.

Partners

ADU selected Oracle Partner Azdan Business Analytics for implementation, based on methodology, cost, and proven experience with installing Oracle EPM Cloud solutions in the Middle East. Azdan trained the university’s users and implemented the solution after reviewing the as-is processes and understanding the needs of all concerned in the areas of budgeting, planning, and reporting. The solution went live on time and within budget.
 

Published:  May 09, 2017