Skip to Content
A group of university students standing side by side

Penn State: Enabling data-driven decision-making to support the university community

Explore Penn State’s journey with SAP

To optimize its finance operations and enable data-driven decision-making, Penn State teamed up with partner InvenioLSI to replace its homegrown mainframe-based business information system with SAP S/4HANA. Pivoting to a remote implementation, the team leaned on SAP Enterprise Support offerings to support a successful transformation.

25

%

faster and more meaningful analytics.

30

%

reduction in days to close annual books.

45

%

reduction in data footprint.

SAP S/4HANA is one of the best systems that I have seen in my career. Our partnership with SAP Enterprise Support and InvenioLSI was critical to the success of this project, which will streamline the way we run our university.

Julie M. Bressler
SAP Business Intelligence Group Manager, Penn State IT Enterprise Systems and Services SIMBA
The Pennsylvania State University

The Challenge

Optimizing processes and enabling better, more-informed decisions

Consistently ranked among the top universities, Penn State has been Pennsylvania’s largest source of baccalaureate degrees since the 1930s, awarding more than half a million total degrees. As a multicampus, land-grant, and public research university, Penn State educates students from around the world and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.

 

Operating its finance operations on a slow, disparate legacy landscape from the 1980s, the university was ready to replace its homegrown mainframe-based business information system with modern technology.

 

Wanting to support people throughout the university community with data-driven decision-making and optimized business processes, the finance operations team at Penn State sought intelligent software with embedded analytics functionality.

Thanks to the efficiency of SIMBA, our research administration offices no longer need to maintain their own spreadsheets and use more than one system to conduct most of their business. This improved efficiency is being realized quickly by our end users.

Corry Bullock
Penn State IT Enterprise Systems and Services Grants Management Lead, SIMBA
The Pennsylvania State University

The Solution

Rethinking business processes on a proven industry solution

To realize the university’s vision for data-driven insights while optimizing business processes and managing resources in the most effective way, Penn State made the decision to implement SAP S/4HANA.

 

In tandem with improved business processes and an empowered workforce, SAP S/4HANA helped address data latency and redundancy in the legacy landscape. Advanced technologies and a next-generation user interface also modernized the user experience.

 

Needing to pivot to a remote implementation during the time of COVID-19, Penn State accessed the empowerment services and best practices required for a successful transformation by drawing on SAP Enterprise Support services. The university used SAP Enterprise Support value maps for SAP Analytics solutions, SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP S/4HANA, continuous quality checks, and initiatives from SAP Enterprise Support Advisory Council.

The Result

Transforming operations to better support the university community

Running its operations on SAP S/4HANA and other advanced technologies, Penn State is able to understand change as it happens so it can quickly adapt to and manage almost any situation.

 

Through embedded analytics and reports, employees can view transactional data to answer ad hoc questions and gain insights into the university community.

 

The project also improved data collection, quality control, and access by bringing transactions and analytics together in a single source of truth – without the need to access other tools or jump between screens. This move reduced business and operations analytics and reporting costs by 10%.

 

Embedded analytics offers staff the ability to engage in collaborative activities with partners worldwide, as well as make informed decisions with greater accountability. Staff members not only gain new insights from data, but they can also foster creativity and innovation for the benefit of the community, society, and the environment.

SAP helps Penn State run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Enabled data-driven decisions that add value to the university community, resulting in a significant ROI
  • Consolidated its landscape from 32 legacy systems to SIMBA (SAP S/4HANA to enable integrated management, budgeting, and accounting) with the SAP Fiori user experience
  • Created transparency and control across finance operations, including treasury, procurement, and accounts payable and receivable
  • Reduced university risk with advanced data security
  • Delivered sustainable technology that helps improve institutional performance and reduce costs

Featured solutions and services

  • SAP S/4HANA provides a future-ready ERP system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics.
  • SAP Enterprise Support provides proactive, mission-critical support, empowerment, best practices, continuous improvements and value, and application lifecycle management.

About Penn State

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) consistently ranks among top universities and has been Pennsylvania’s largest source of baccalaureate degrees since the 1930s, awarding more than half a million total degrees. As a multicampus, land-grant, and public research university, it educates students from around the world and offers integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.

Industry Region Company Size Partner
Higher education and research State College, Pennsylvania 33,545 employees InvenioLSI
Featured partner

InvenioLSI is an international award-winning consultancy that uses technology to solve complex and strategic business challenges. Recognized for leading implementations of SAP S/4HANA and creating industry-specific solutions, InvenioLSI helps transform organizations into intelligent enterprises across public and private sectors.

Back to top