University of Newcastle: Customer Reference Video

The University of Newcastle has a student body of 17,000, of which 4,000 are postgraduate students. Discover how the university is using SAP solutions to implement a fast-track implementation, streamline the application process, and increase its number of students.

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    • The business process that we were looking at was the entire cycle of inquiries with students applying, filling in application forms, submitting them, passing that information out to academic selectors, processing that, making offers, and then keeping students warm from the time they accept to the time they actually turn up. We had implemented all of the basic SAP systems: Finance, HR, Payroll, and also the Campus Management System. And we had got our basic data right. So we had an ERP university with a basic platform. We believed, because we had such a stable, sound SAP environment, that it was practical to go and develop a fast-track, rapid implementation of a number of SAP modules to improve our business processes. Our recruitment was flat-lining, and we had literally 12 months in which to put in new systems and reengineer all of our business processes for the start of the next academic recruitment cycle. The actual solution was very complex because it required us to involve SAP architects, SAP consultants, and SAP programmers in ICG and India together with our academics, our IT staff, and work in a fast-track methodology to develop and extend the campus management system back to the inquiry application stage. But also to integrate Campus Management with CRM, Business Warehouse, the SAP Portal. We achieved the target of a major set of implementations in 8 months start to finish. Therefore, the results we had were astounding. The support we had from SAP was unstinting. We have some quite astounding results so far. We are now seeing that we are 52% ahead in terms of the number of firm acceptances that we have at this point in time to the first of May last year. In addition, the length of time it used to take for us to make a decision on a postgraduate student's application used to be between 39 and 47 days on average. We now have it down to less than 7 on average in our large schools, and there are instances where we will make a decision within 4 hours of the student actually applying. We retired a large number of spreadsheets, departmental, faculty or other bits and pieces of application systems and a number of schools had their own little databases. We replaced them with a fully integrated set of systems from SAP so that everybody could see the one version of the truth. We have a technique that allows Newcastle to exploit and grow our postgraduate and international student marketplace that is superior to what we can see at our comparator universities. But they will be working like crazy to try and catch up. The power that we have is with an SAP fully integrated system. It means that we don't have the difficulties of having to interface solutions from different providers. So that gives us agility and flexibility.
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