An Evaluation Framework for Higher Education ERP Systems by qyd44618

VIEWS: 210 PAGES: 10

									                                                               Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                            Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

       An Evaluation Framework for Higher Education ERP Systems
                                     TRAIAN SURCEL
                           Department of Informatics in Economy
   Faculty of Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics, Academy of Economic Studies
                                 Bucharest, P-ta. Romana 6

Abstract: - A Higher Education ERP system can be used as a solution to integrate and increase the efficiency of
the Romanian university processes. This paper examines the application of ERP software in Romanian
Universities. We made an SWOT analysis for implementing an ERP system in Romanian Universities. Also,
we proposed a comparison framework of ERP solutions for higher education management using as starting
point the requirements of a Romanian University. The framework was applied to four of the top Higher
Education management solutions. The process of evaluating an ERP system for use in higher education requires
that a university compare the existing ERP software available to their current processes and see which ERP
solution will best fit the existing procedures.

Key-Words: - Higher Education, University Management, ERP Systems, Integration, Quality Services,
Evaluation Framework

1 Introduction                                                         processes, showing the data and analysis
In order to deal with the wide range of challenges                     necessary for strategic planning and control.
introduced by the Bologna Process, Romanian                            Service evolution. A strong development
universities will have to equip themselves with                        area for universities is represented by the
integrated information systems strongly oriented                       delivery of services for students, teachers
towards governance of the processes, and yet be                        and researchers. These services should be a
flexible in regard to configuration of the same                        major priority with a university integrated
processes.                                                             information system implemented within the
    A university integrated information system must                    university. These services should also be
provide:                                                               accessed by different devices.
        Integration. Integration is a necessary                   Up until today Romanian universities have been
        condition for the creation of quality                 choosing information systems based on the need to
        services, quality services measured in terms          satisfy different requests in a short time. Our
        of ease of access, complete coverage of all           universities have been forced to use in house
        needs and availability of information. The            developed information systems or to buy software
        integration will not be limited to the inner          solutions from small vendors having no experience
        applications of the university, but will be           in the field because of budget restrictions. These
        extended to the national and international            information systems have a low integration level
        processes typical of the university domain.           and they are not based on homogeneous framework
        Flexibility. The context in which the                 standards. They increase the proliferation of
        universities are operating nowadays is                heterogeneous systems, complicating the integration
        complex and subject to change. It is                  among the various applications. Each application
        therefore fundamental that the university             has its data and functions separated from the other
        information systems able to match the                 applications already existing in the organization.
        continuous evolutions of their organization.          These applications don’t provide an integrated view
        Support in decision making. A university              of all activities in a university [2].
        integrated information system must provide                There is also a need for stronger performance
        the instruments to support the governance             metrics and indicators to support strategic decision

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                    1790                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                 Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                              Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

making. Current information systems have not been                       improve internal communications;
developed for strategic analysis and don’t store                        reduce or eliminate manual processes;
historical data about students, courses and                             enhance strategic decision making and
personnel. It is therefore impossible to develop a                      planning capabilities;
complex analysis that provides real time reports and                    establish a self-service environment for
useful indicators to the university management.                         employees;
    Our universities may choose the following
                                                                        improve self-service environment for
methods of integration:
                                                                        students and faculty;
         in-house development of IT integration
                                                                        enable      higher    availability   of
         plan, and primary use of in-house resources;
         development of an ERP solution;
                                                                        administrative systems;
         adoption of a service-oriented architecture
                                                                        support sophisticated data analyses for
         (SOA).                                                         use in decision-making;
    Each of these has numerous project phases with                      integrated workflow, industry best practices,
different levels of complexity and cost. Many                           and reduced dependence on paper;
factors can influence each approach and each phase
of the planning, design and implementation                         Technology benefits:
processes.                                                              reduce or eliminate the need for backup
    Taking into consideration that most Romanian                        or shadow systems;
universities are public universities, a possible                        platform for re-engineering             business
solution would be to develop a custom (in-house)                        practices   and  continued               process
integration plan. This solution has as its primary                      improvements;
benefits: the lower initial costs, greater use of                       develop and maintain consistent data
existing resources, and typically lower consultant                      definitions;
fees. However, as the university grows, the cost of                     provide      accessible,     user-friendly
maintenance and future software changes will                            administrative and student support
always remain high, due to the custom programming                       services;
and integration work that must be done for each
                                                                        increase data integrity, validity and
    The combination of in-house solutions (typically                    reliability;
used in the didactic and in the research area) and                      assure system wide security and
ERP (often adopted for Accounting and Human                             protection of confidential information;
Resources) solutions is another solution for                            create a more seamless integration
Romanian universities. This combination often leads                     between technology and education
to an integration problem of the information systems                    delivery by providing a single platform
in the university with an increase cost of                              based on new technologies;
management.                                                             access to data in real time.
    The paper presents the results of the second                   Such a system should also provide complete
phase of the national research project “Integrated              management of the main functional areas of the
Information Solutions for Competitive Management                university:
in Romanian Universities”.                                              Planning and controlling (planning and
                                                                        budgeting, research analytics, academic
                                                                        analytics, student analytics, accounting
2 Problem Formulation                                                   analytics, HR analytics, HR forecast);
Development and Deployment of an Enterprise                             Accounting (payments, incomes, fixed
Resource Planning Initiative is a challenge for                         assets, general ledger, etc);
Romanian universities. An ERP system can be used                        Research (project management, research
as a solution to integrate and increase the efficiency                  assets management);
of the university processes. Such a system provides                     Student and learning (course planning,
many benefits for our universities:                                     student services, resources management,
                                                                        community, e-learning);
   Business benefits:                                                   Human          Resources       (organization
       campus wide integration on a common                              management, career, skills management,
       system;                                                          training, payroll);

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                      1791                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                 Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                              Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

       a portal.                                                than technological aspects. For instance, Gargeya
  We made an SWOT analysis for implementing an                  [8] identified that organizational culture and project
ERP system in Romanian universities (table 1).                  management as the most important factors
                                                                contributing to success of ERP implementation in
                     Table 1. SWOT analysis                     companies.
 S (STRENGHTS)                 W (WEAKNESSES)                       One of the most extensive reviews of critical
 - campus wide integration - lack of Romanian                   success factors in ERP implementations is Somers
 on a common system;           language support;                paper [26]. This paper describes and ranks 22
 - improve self-service        - very expensive;                critical success factors for ERP implementations
 environment for students      - proprietary                    according to the stages of implementation. Somers
 and employees;                framework/                       identified that top management support, change
 - business best practices;    lack of open source;             management, project champion role and usage of
 - enhance strategic                                            external consultants as the important critical factors.
 decision making and                                                We have highlighted the specific aspects of
 planning capabilities;                                         Romanian universities to be considered in the
 - support sophisticated                                        analysis of these factors. We have identified some
 data analyses for use in                                       important differences regarding: organizational
 decision-making;                                               culture, top management support, team composition,
 - improve internal                                             inter-department communication, user training and
 communications;                                                external consultants [21].
 - reduce or eliminate                                              The table 2 presents only the particularities
 manual processes;                                              related to: top management support, organizational
 - increase data integrity,                                     communication, competences of the teams involved
 validity and reliability;                                      in the ERP project and organizational culture.
 O (OPPORTUNITIES)             T (THREATS)                           Table 2. The specific aspects of Romanian
 - platform for continued      - reducing the                                       universities
 process improvements;         managing autonomy                     Critical                Specific aspects
 - complex knowledge           of the system from the                factors
 base;                         university side;                  Top management       complex structure of executive
                               - issues of integration           support              committee
                               with the existing                                      organizational structure is
                               applications;                     Organizational       complex and dual (exist in
                               - academic culture;               culture              parallel, an administrative
                                                                                      hierarchy and an academic
    Many factors can also influence the success or                                    hierarchy)
failure of any ERP implementation. The first                                          a high resistance to process re-
research task of the second phase of our project was                                  engineering
to identify the critical success factors for ERP                                      complex strategic plans,
implementation in a university [3] [21].                                              concerning multiple aspects,
    Over the past few years, a considerable amount                                    but not very precisely defined
of research has been conducted in critical success                                    responsibilities overlapping,
factors (CSF) for implementing ERP systems in                                         gaps
companies ([6], [24], [26]). Esteves [6] proposed a                                   description of responsibilities
unified success factors model. This model divided                                     is more vague than in the
the critical factors in four perspectives: strategic,                                 companies
tactic, organisational and technological. The
                                                                                      diverse, often informal control
organizational perspective focuses on organizational
structure and culture and business processes. The
                                                                                      flexible work style, with
technological perspective focuses on technical
                                                                                      greater emphasis on individual
aspects like hardware and software requirements for
configuring an ERP system. The tactical perspective
                                                                 Organizational       large number of diverse
includes communication and interdepartmental
                                                                 communication        groups, difficult
cooperation. The analysis of ERP literature shows
that the organisational aspects are more important

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                      1792                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                  Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                               Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

 Team                 no enough experience to                            A Web based DSS to assist organizations to
 composition          develop integrated information                     evaluate the success of their ERP
                      systems                                            implementation and measure the benefits
                      no clear transfer knowledge                        obtained is proposed in [29]. The study
                      from consultants                                   proposes a measurement of the ERP
 Adequate ERP         there are not solutions that can                   benefits and a list of productivity indicators.
 Solution             specifically fulfil all the needs                  [23] examine an attempt of incorporating
                      of a Romanian university in                        intangibles into traditional cost-benefit
                      the areas of Student and                           analysis in an ERP project.
                      Research management                                Hedman [11] proposes a practical approach
                      no support for Romanian                            of using narratives as a means of improving
                      language                                           ERP systems as a complement to traditional
                                                                         valuation methods starting from three
    In the case of universities, a special attention                     assumptions: evaluations should make the
should be paid to organizational communication and                       bases for action, narratives can make
human factors, which are significantly different                         evaluation more relevant, and evaluations
from companies. Organizational communication is                          should be made with the purpose of
associated with several critical success factors, such                   improving selection, implementation and
as university community involvement, change                              use of the system;
management and project management, and it has                            Software solutions to assist the selection
been considered one of the most critical success                         process, ([7], [30]), that gather primary data
factors.                                                                 to measure ERP software solutions against
    The adoption and implementation of an ERP                            unique client business and technical needs.
involves high risks, mainly because of the huge                     After a first task, when we identified and
initial investment, the frequent over budget cases               analyzed the critical success factors in implementing
(90%), the low success rate (30%), the missing of                such an integrated solution in universities [3], we
the initially proposed ROI (65-90% of the cases),                stepped on analyzing some really successful
partially achievement of the initially planned                   solutions on the international market of higher
implementation, etc. Also, integration costs are                 education management solutions. In the next
traditionally much higher than a customized                      section, we will define an evaluation framework.
integration plan for the software, hardware, and                 The framework was applied to four of the top
consulting components through the implementation                 Higher Education management solutions.
phase, but maintenance and modification costs post-
implementation are lower.
    The purpose of evaluating ERP solutions is to                3 Evaluation Framework
improve        their      selection,     development,            The preparation for the evaluation framework
implementation and usage. The attempt of                         development consisted of:
evaluating the solutions that exist on the market and                    Analysis of the Higher Education ERP
identifying the best fitted for a Romanian University                    solution market;
was hindered by the impossibility of finding a                           Identification of the main Higher Education
compatible evaluation framework for this type of
                                                                         ERP vendors. For this purpose we used
solution. Of course, there are some evaluation
                                                                         information offered by Gartner Industry
frameworks for industry ERP solutions, although
                                                                         Research [10];
this was a neglected research area. Here are some
                                                                         Direct contacting of some of the vendors.
                                                                         For this purpose our team sent them some
         [27] proposes an evaluation framework of                        Requests for Quotation, and got some
         the key issues involved in the selection                        answers for the specified functional
         process of ERP software and the associated                      requirements;
         costs and benefits. The study underlines the                    Definition of the evaluation framework;
         need of a qualitative and quantitative
                                                                         Evaluation of some ERP solutions using the
         evaluation of ERP systems, taking into
                                                                         elaborated framework.
         consideration its strategic impact on the
                                                                    The information technology consulting group,
         competitive position of an organization.
                                                                 Gartner, periodically reviews the state of ERP
                                                                 vendors in higher education. According to Gartner

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                       1793                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                             Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

Industry Research [10], the most important vendors                    communication        and      correspondence,
of ERP solutions for universities are: Banner,                        transcripts and transfer credit, faculty
Jenzabar, Oracle, Datatel, SAP and CINECA.                            management, define academic programs,
    Datatel, Oracle and Banner continue to be places                  maintain catalog and schedule of classes,
in the Leaders quadrant. Their suites represent                       student academic management, continuing
approximately two-thirds of the institutions running                  education/distance learning, integration with
an integrated administrative suite (HR, Finance and                   other software components, etc);
Student Information System).                                          Financial Management (general accounting,
    Jenzabar (with two solutions, CX and EX) has                      budget development and management,
one of the largest customer bases in the higher                       projects and research grant accounting, etc);
education market.                                                     Human Resources (HR self-service, payroll,
    The European market of ERP solutions for                          etc);
universities has been reduced: Oficina de                             Reporting (operational and ad hoc reporting,
Cooperacion Universiteria solution and Cineca                         analytic and strategic reporting)
solution. Spain's Oficina de Cooperacion                              Technical requirements
Universiteria has experienced continued growth in                 The paper presents only the following aspects:
Spain and Latin America. The solution adopted by
Italian universities Cineca appeared in Gartner                Semester scheduling, course management,
analysis as a result of a large number of                      facility utilization:
implementations, 96 universities in 83 countries.                       course scheduling is manually made and
    Current research shows that the vendor is not the                   there are often problems regarding activity
primary measure of success. The best measure of                         overlaps for a professor;
success is implementing with little or no                               there are often changes in the initial
modification to the ERP system.                                         scheduling after the semester beginning;
    The solutions chosen for analysis are the                           classrooms and laboratories allocation is
                                                                        also manually made and there are often
     1. SAP for Higher Education and Research;
                                                                        overlaps of activities in the same room or
     2. Jenzabar Total Campus Management;
                                                                        the rooms are allocated based on
     3. Banner-Sungard Higher Education;
                                                                        preferences, not on real needs (number of
     4. Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus
                                                                        students, room facilities corresponding to
                                                                        course requirements etc).
    In order to analyze the features of each of those
                                                                  Semester scheduling is an iterative process,
solutions, we used various methods for information
                                                               involving both human and material resources. There
                                                               are a number of compulsory classes for each year a
         Getting information directly from vendors,            study and a number of optional and facultative
         by meeting their sales representatives;               classes for each year of study.
         Gathering online information from vendor                 Course selection is made by manually, by
         sites;                                                completing some forms and then centralizing them.
         Gathering and analysis of some valuable                  The new system should:
         observations made by universities that                         create a central campus calendar to manage
         implemented those software solutions.                          and monitor activities;
    Our analysis adopted a functional perspective,                      enable users to view the usage of a building
taking into consideration the main features offered                     and room calendar activities;
by each solution as this aspect is very important for
                                                                        provide the ability to view all the activities
Romanian universities at this moment.
                                                                        in which a person is involved;
                                                                        search for buildings and rooms, which are
3.1. Analysis categories
                                                                        available for a requested time;
In preparing the Request for Proposal we used as a
                                                                        modify the calendar when facilities,
starting point requirements specific to our
university, resulted from performing a minimal                          buildings, and rooms are booked for
                                                                        activities or events;
business analysis of the existing business processes.
    The functional requirements were grouped into                       list faculty office hours, and/or a faculty-
several categories:                                                     teaching schedule,
        Student system (students self-service,                          provide the ability to create course catalogs;
        faculty self-service, document imaging,

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                     1794                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                  Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                               Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

        provide the ability to display course                    separate files by the secretaries. Diplomas are
        offerings, including meeting dates and times             manually filled in a special department.
        and location via the Web;                                   The new system should provide a secure and
        provide      real-time     scheduling      and           instantly accessible repository for documents which
        modification with immediate update, etc.                 authorized staff can access from anywhere on
   Facility utilization refers to university facility            campus.
management: classrooms, labs and equipment used
for didactic activities according to the semester                Fee payments, payment processing, and
schedule.                                                        repayment of exceeding payments
   The new system should:                                        At this moment, scholarship and grant management
        enable the institution to perform a wide                 is hindered by the lack of real time integration
        variety of queries on facilities data to assess          between student management information system
        and analyze the effectiveness of space                   and financial activity management information
        utilization;                                             system.
        provide the ability to assign equipment to                  The staff responsible with scholarship
        specific facilities/rooms;                               management is overwhelmed by the work overhead
        provide the ability to describe every aspect             at the beginning of each semester or at payment
        of the infrastructure of the campus,                     deadlines because of the lack of automate
        including buildings, rooms, equipment                    processing of payments.
        within rooms, and other facilities, etc.
                                                                 Payment processing
Student admitting and registering                                The integrated system should provide accurate real
There are two distinct information systems that are              time information to support billing and payment
not communicating with each other:                               processing.
         an information system for the management
         of undergraduate students;                              Payments for tuition
                                                                 There is an information system managing all the pay
         an information system for the management
                                                                 office payments, but it doesn’t reflect the bank
         of Ph.D. Students.
                                                                 payments, and are not automatically associated with
    There is no information system for managing
                                                                 the student record. All payments data processing
Master’s degree students or the graduating students.
                                                                 and integration are made by IT department.
Student admitting and registering should be
integrated in the new system.
    This integrated system should:                               Reporting, analysis, modeling
                                                                 For adapting the Romanian universities to European
         allow online student registering, reducing
                                                                 standards, it is necessary that decisions must be
         the dependency on the secretary staff
                                                                 determined by quality information, fresh and
         implied by traditional registering;
                                                                 accessible in real time and also on a complex
         offer concrete and complete information
                                                                 analysis of this information.
         about students, starting with their admitting,              Today there is a need for stronger performance
         registering and continuing post-graduation              metrics and indicators to support strategic decision
         (entire student education life-cycle: license           making.
         degree, Master’s degree, Ph.D. Degree and
                                                                     Current information systems have not been
         post doctoral studies).                                 developed for strategic analysis and don’t store
                                                                 historical data about students, courses and staff. It is
Student grades                                                   therefore impossible to develop a complex analysis
The new system should simplify the capture of
                                                                 that provides real time reports and useful indicators
grades, improve delivery of grade information and
                                                                 to the university management.
tracking of grade appeals, assuring data integrity
                                                                     This integrated system should:
and compliance with university graduation policy.
                                                                          permit saving ad hoc query as a permanent
                                                                          report; i.e., adding it to the list of reports;
Transcript evaluation and graduation
                                                                          provide a powerful querying tool with drill
There is no centralized information system that
                                                                          down capabilities to provide different levels
keeps all data related to each student matriculation.
This information is mostly recorded on paper or in                        of information;

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                       1795                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                            Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
     WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                                        Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

        support flexible report development based                 the elaborated framework for the comparison of the
        on the following report types: standardized,              four chosen solutions.
        cross-tab, dashboard;
        provide forecasting capabilities;                                               Table 3. Comparison of ERP solutions for
        support the capability to provide                                                           universities
        management-level information to feed the                                        Functionality     1      2     3       4
        planning process throughout the institution                                     o-online/
                                                                                                          o n o n o n o n
        in all areas: what-if scenarios, statistics, and                                n-offline
        trend analyses, etc.                                                            Student           x      x     x       x
   The analytics should be easy to use for end-                                         enrolment
                                                                                        monitoring and
users. The results of queries should be generated in
user-defined formats, such as charts, graphs, or
                                                                                        Student                  x x         x           x

tables.                                                                                 enrolment
   Users should quickly/easily develop comparative                                      document
reports by selecting data from a current year or other                                  management
period and from a past year or other period.                                            Admission fee        x       x       x       x
   Ad hoc reporting capabilities should be accessed                                     collecting and
via the web.                                                                            monitoring
                                                                                        Admission exam       x       x       x       x
Technical requirements                                                                  management
These requirements are related to security and                                          Automatic            x       x       x       x
administration: encryption techniques, user rights                                      generation of
                                                                                        student groups
and authentication, system scalability, response
                                                                                        Automatic            x       x       x       x
time, e-mail protocols, technical architecture,
                                                                                        generation of
operation system, minimum hardware and software                                         registers based on
requirements, etc.                                                                      some selection
   This integrated system should provide:                                               criteria
         integrated security throughout the product                                     Semester             x       x       x       x
         suite;                                                                         scheduling auto
         administrative tools to monitor unauthorized                                   generation
         access;                                                                        Academic events          x       x       x       x
         login statistics, i.e. last login date/time,                                   management
                                                                  Semester Scheduling

                                                                                        Curricula                x       x       x       x
         source IP;
         the ability to restrict access by job function;                                Student grades       x       x       x       x
         the ability to restrict access by group, etc;                                  introduction and
   Control should be centralized for all aspects of                                     management
security for the operating system, the database                                         Student academic     x       x       x       x
management system, and the application software.                                        performance
   System data should be protected by appropriate                                       tracking.
security measures, which prohibit access by anyone                                      Student record
to data unless they have specific permission to                                         Student tuition      x       x               x
access it, including reporting access.                                                  and other fee
                                                                                        Student record
3.2. Evaluation Framework                                                               Student and staff    x       x       x       x
When asking for information about ERP systems,                                          notification of
we used a RFP model, with a table form in order to                                      alerts by various
facilitate the filling in and to increase legibility. As                                communication
the questions contained by this RFP were often very                                     methods
detailed, we eventually developed a summarized                                          Calendar             x       x           x x
framework containing the most important aspects                                         automatic
analyzed during our research.                                                           generation
    We studied some of the similar frameworks used
for comparing industry ERP solutions. The
following table summarizes the result of applying

     ISSN: 1109-2750                                       1796                                     Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                                          Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
                  WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                                         Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

                     Multiple              x       x       x       x                                Support for           x       x       x       x
                     calendars:                                                                     definition save
                     Academic                                                                       and reuse of
                     calendar,                                                                      personalized
                     Grant/Project                                                                  queries
                                                                                                    Automatic             x       x       x       x
                     Fiscal (State)
                                                                                                    generation of Ids
                                                                                                    for students or
                     Management of         x       x       x           x                            academic staff
                     all documents
                                                                                                    Multilingual              x       x       x       x

                     required for
                                                                                                    Component for         x       x       x       x
                     Graduation exam       x       x           x       x                            managing
                     Graduation            x       x           x x                                  with students,
                     diploma fee
                                                                                                    staff and
                     Payroll               x           x       x       x                            integrated with all
                                                                                                    system modules
Human Resources

                     Staff recruiting          x       x       x       x                            component for
                     monitoring                                                                     managing
                     Employee and              x x             x       x                            documents at
                     payroll                                                                        university level,
                     management                                                                     including options
                     Payment               x       x       x       x                                for scanning,
                     processing                                                                     localization,
                                                                                  General Aspects

                     Tax and fee           x       x       x       x                                identification,
                     reporting                                                                      archiving,
                     Financial             x       x           x x                                  attaching to
                     accounting                                                                     database records
                     management                                                                     Component for         x       x       x       x
                     Budgeting             x       x           x x                                  content
                     management                                                                     management
                     Compliance with       x       x           x x                                  Support for           x       x       x       x

                     national and                                                                   accreditation at
                     international                                                                  department and
                     standards in the                                                               university
                     field                                                                          Component for             x       x x             x
                     Fixed assets and      x       x           x       x                            internal auditing
                     inventory objects                                                              of the entire
                     management                                                                     academic and
                     Purchasing and        x           x x             x                            nonacademic
                     accounts payable                                                               activity
                     Predefined            x       x       x       x                                Component for         x       x       x       x
                     reports                                                                        project planning
                     Predefined alerts     x       x       x     x                                  and management,
                     Multidimensional      x       x           x x                                  regardless of their
                     analysis tools.                                                                nature:

                     Data marts                                                                     administrative,
                     Advanced                  x       x x             x                            research, etc,
                     reporting tools                                                                integrated with all
                     Dashboard and             x       x       x       x                            the system
                     scorecard                                                                      modules
                     Tools for statistic       x       x       x       x
                     analysis and
                                                                                  4 Conclusion
                                                                                  ERP solutions are very complex software packages.
                                                                                  To improve the chance of success, they must be

                  ISSN: 1109-2750                                          1797                                 Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                 Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                              Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

carefully evaluated and selected, needing a proper              [3] A. Bologa, M. Muntean, Gh. Sabau, I. Scorta,
evaluation and analysis framework.                              Higher Education ERPs: Implementation Factors
    The comparison of the four solutions revealed               and      Their     Interdependecies,    WSEAS
that all are complex solutions, offering                        TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS, Issue 4, Vol. 8,
approximately      similar    features.   Significant           2009, pp 651-660.
differences can result from price conditions and                [4] S. Campanella, G. Dimauro, A. Ferrante, E-
specific requirements and expectations of each                  learning platforms in the Italian Universities:
institution’s top management. Taking a deeper look              the technological solutions at the University of
at the functionality provided by the four solutions             Bari, WSEAS Transactions on Advances in
and at the detailed answers contained into the                  Engineering Education, issue 1, Vol. 5, 2008,
Request for Proposal document, becomes obvious
                                                                pp 12-19.
that, neither of them fits the present needs of
                                                                [5] G. Dimauro, D. Impedovo, R. Modugno, A LMS
Romanian universities.
                                                                to Support e-Learning Activities in the University
    The analyzed solutions are aligned to
                                                                Environment, WSEAS Transactions on Advances in
international standards, so that implementing one of
                                                                Engineering Education, Issue 5, Vol. 3, 2006, pp.
them would somehow force and accelerate the
alignment to international standards and the re-
                                                                [6] J. Esteves, J. Pastor, Towards the unification of
engineering of the business processes
                                                                critical success factors for ERP implementations,
    After selecting the most appropriate solution, the
                                                                10th Annual BIT conference, 2001, pp 1-9.
adaptation and customization effort would be
                                                                [7] Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Evaluation
significant. Taking into consideration that most
Romanian universities are public universities, the
                                                                [8] V. B. Gargeya, C. Brady, Success and failure
financial effort of such an initiative would be very
                                                                factors of adopting SAP in ERP System
high for any of them. A possible solution, adopted
                                                                implementation, Business Process Management
in other European countries, would be the setting up
                                                                Journal, Vol. 11(5), 2005, pp. 501-516.
of a university consortium to support, promote and
                                                                [9] P. Goldstein, R. Katz, Academic Analytics: The
manage the entire process of buying, localizing and
                                                                uses of Management Information in Higher
implementing the solution into the interested
                                                                Education, Research Study from Educause Center
                                                                for Applied Research, Vol. 8, 2005.
    An ERP implementation will probably be the
                                                                [10] M. Harris, J.M. Lowendahl, M. Zastrocky,
most complex technology project ever undertaken
                                                                Magic      Quadrant      for    Higher     Education
on campus. Therefore, executives at university and
                                                                Administrative Suites, Gartner Industry Research
university community must know as much about
                                                                note G00161549, 2008.
ERP systems and the ERP project as practical.
                                                                [11] J. Hedman, A. Borell, Narratives in ERP
    However, an ERP system in itself does not offer
                                                                Systems Evaluation, Journal of Enterprise
competitive advantage in a University environment.
                                                                Information Management, Vol. 17(3), 2004, pp 20-
Service for students should be a major priority with
an ERP system implemented within the university.
    In the coming years the biggest challenge of our            [12] J. Hedman, A. Borell, The impact of
universities will be the attempt to manage the                  Enterprise Resource Planning Systems on
complexity in one systematic vision through an                  organizational effectiveness: An artifact
information system that can be shaped and up-to-                evaluation. Enterprise Resource Planning:
date with the evolution of technology.                          Global opportunities & challenges Hershey,
                                                                PA: Idea Group Publishing, 2002, pp. 78-96.
References:                                                     [13] S. Impedovo, Information Communication
[1] N. Agarwal, U. Rathod, Defining success for                 Technologies: in Support of Knowledge-Based
software projects: an exploratory revelation,                   Society Development. Some Experiences at the
International Journal of Project Management, Vol.               University of Bari (Italy), WSEAS Transactions on
24, 2006, pp. 358–370.                                          Advances in Engineering Education, Issue 2, Vol. 3,
[2] A. R. Bologa, R. Bologa, Gh. Sabau, M.                      2006, pp. 69-74.
Muntean, Management Information Systems in                      [14] D. Impedovo, M.G. Lucchese, R. Modugno,
Romanian Universities, Proceedings of the                       Dedicated e-Learning Infrastructure in a
International Conference on e-Business (ICE-B                   Metropolitan     Academic      Network,     WSEAS
2008), 2008, pp. 425-428.                                       Transactions. on Advances in Engineering
                                                                Education, Issue 2, Vol. 3, 2006, pp.80-85.

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                      1798                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009
                                                                Gheorghe Sabau, Mihaela Munten, Ana-Ramona Bologa,
    WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMPUTERS                             Razvan Bologa, Traian Surcel

[15] P. King, R.B. Kvavik, J. Voloudakis,, Research            Information Systems, Vol. 10, No.4, 2001, pp. 204-
Bulletin: Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in              215.
Higher Education, Vol. 2002, issue 22, Educause                [28] Z. Zhang, M. Lee, P. Huang, L. Zhang, X.
Center for Applied Research, 2002.                             Huang, A framework of ERP systems
[16] T. Klobucar, iCamp Space - an environment for             implementation success in China: An empirical
self-directed learning, collaboration and social               study, International Journal of Production
networking, WSEAS Transactions on Information                  Economics, Vol. 98, Issue 1, 2005, pp 56-80.
Science &Applications, issue 10, Vol. 5, 2008, pp              [29] A.B. Zaitun, Z. Zainol, A Web Based DSS for
1480-1489.                                                     the Evaluation of an ERP System, iiWAS 2008
[17] R. Kvavik, K.Beecher, Research Bulletin: The              workshops: ERPAS: Data mining and agents for
promise and performance of Enterprise Systems for              applications, 2008, pp 698-701.
Higher Education, Vol. 4, Educause Center for                  [30]
Applied Research, 2002.                                        erpsoftwareselection. html.
[18] H. Lin, A framework to evaluate n-tier
architecture ERP Systems, Electronic commerce
Studies, Vol. 3, no.1, 2005, pp 79-96
[19] A. R. Lupu, R. Bologa, Gh. Sabau, M.
Muntean, The Romanian Universities in the Process
of Data and Information System Integration”,
Proceedings of the 7th WSEAS International
Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge
Engineering And Databases (AIKED ‘08),
Cambridge, 2008, pp. 527-532.
[20] A. Lupu, R. Bologa, Gh. Sabău, M. Muntean,
Integrated Information Systems in Higher
Education,      WSEAS        TRANSACTIONS         on
COMPUTERS, Issue 5, Vol. 7, 2008, pp 473-48.
[21] A.R. Lupu, I. Scorta, Gh. Sabau, M. Muntean,
Critical Implementation Factors in Higher
Education ERPs, Proceedings of the 8th WSEAS
International Conference on Artificial Intelligence,
Knowledge Engineering and Databases (AIKED
‘09), Cambridge, 2009, pp 441-446.
[22] M. Al-Mashari, M. Zairi, K. Okazawa,
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation:
a useful road map, International Journal of
Management and Enterprise Development, 3(1/2),
2006, pp. 169-180.
[23] K.E. Murphy, S.J. Simon, Intangible benefits
valuation in ERP projects, Information Systems
Journal, Vol. 12 No.4, 2002, pp. 301-320.
[24] R. Plant, L. Willcocks, Critical success factors
in international ERP implementations: a case
research approach, The Journal of Computer
Information Systems, Vol. 47, Issue 3, 2007, pp. 60-
[25] Dov Te’eni, Socio-technical Aspects of ERP
Implementation:       The     Central     Role     of
Communication, Idea Group, 2005.
[26] T. Somers, K. Nelson, Taxonomy of players
and activities across the ERP project life cycle.
Information & Management, Vol. 41, 2004, pp. 257-
[27] C.J Stefanou, A framework for the ex-ante
evaluation of ERP software, European Journal of

    ISSN: 1109-2750                                     1799                      Issue 11, Volume 8, November 2009

To top