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					                                               Microsoft Office System
                                               Customer Solution Case Study




                                               Workflows Power New Courses at Vocational
                                               Education Institute



Overview                                       “Staff use Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to
Country or Region: Victoria, Australia
Industry: Education
                                               view the current status of every application. They
                                               always know who to contact to get the accreditation
Customer Profile
The Box Hill Institute is one of Australia‟s
                                               process moving.”
leading further education institutions, and    Simeon Amor, IT Project Manager, Box Hill Institute
a part of the national network of vocation-
focused technical and further education        Box Hill Institute is one of Victoria‟s leading vocational education
(TAFE) colleges.
                                               providers. Located in Melbourne, its four separate campuses teach
Business Situation                             approximately 35,000 students each year. The process for
The process for gaining accredita tion for
new courses wa s complex and protracted,       accrediting new courses with the Victorian Registration and
involving numerous written sign offs from      Qualifications Authority was highly complex and subject to stringent
teaching centres across Box Hill Institute‟s
different campuse s.                           regulation. To complete this process, the institute used hand-
                                               written forms that were forwarded through numerous departments
Solutio n
The institute automa ted the accredita tion    via internal mail. However, this was slow, difficult to track and
process, using Microsoft ® Office              created uncertainty around whether new courses would be
SharePoint® 2007. Forms were redesigned
in electronic format using Infopath and        approved on time. In 2009, the institute deployed Microsoft® Office
routed through the organisation using K2       SharePoint® Server 2007, with electronic forms designed in
blackpearl workflows.
                                               InfoPath ® Form Services directed automatically to staff according to
Benefits                                       predetermined workflows. Since the status of each file is instantly
 Faster course accreditation
 Greater confidence tha t courses will be
                                               visible, managers are in better control of course accreditation, and
  ready for teaching on time                   have greater confidence that courses will be promptly approved
 Ability to accommodate multiple
  processes                                    and available for students on time.
 Assurance tha t regulatory standards are
  being followed
“Staff can easily adapt
“The processes were                         Situation                                          internally by Box Hill Institute staff, who then
                                            Part of the Australian technical and further       seek approval with an Education Quality
complex, butworkflows,
and change the                              education (TAFE) network, Box Hill Institute is    Manager before gaining accreditation.
challenge was to ensure
so they can take                            a leading provider of vocational education in      In other instances a course tha t has already
                                            Victoria. The institute has four camp uses         been accredited and whose teaching material
advantage of new
that courses were                           close to Melbourne‟s central business district     is maintained on the National Training
accredited on to
opportunities time.”                        and provides around 400 full- and part-time        Information System (NTI S) may be updated,
                                            courses to 35,000 students each year.              in which case teaching and administrative
streamline their
Simeon Amor, IT Project Manager, Box Hill                                                      staff need to be updated and only part of the
business processes.”
Institute.                                  Each course taught a t Box Hill Institute has to   usual accreditation process completed.
                                            be audited internally for quality, and then
Brendan Barry, Technical Consultant,        accredited by the Victorian Registration and       “The processes were complex, but the
Dimension Data                              Qualifications Authority, which regulates all      challenge was to ensure tha t courses were
                                            education and training providers in the state.     accredited on time,” says Amor. “A training
                                            This is a complex process involving many           centre might assume tha t it was all set up to
                                            stakeholders across the institute. However,        deliver a course, and even market it, but with
                                            until the accreditation process is fully           very little visibility on the process, the danger
                                            completed, a course cannot be taught a t Box       was tha t students would sign up to course,
                                            Hill Institute.                                    and only then discover that the teaching
                                                                                               centre did not have clearance to teach it.”
                                            This accreditation process wa s frustrating for
                                            the institute‟s 15 teaching centres, which         Solution
                                            were responsible for coordinating the              In 2008, Box Hill Institute began to examine
                                            accreditation, marketing and provisioning of       its course accreditation processes and core
                                            new courses. The process required files            accreditation requirements. The objective
                                            containing hand written forms to transit via       was to eliminate bottlenecks and increase
                                            internal mail between numerous                     transparency.
                                            stakeholders in different departments.
                                                                                               “It took us a long time to build our business
                                            “There were legibility issues,” says Simeon        requirements,” says Amor. “We realised that
                                            Amor, IT Project Manager, Box Hill Institute.      whatever the te chnology we decided to use,
                                            “And if there were any errors in a particular      we would still need to re-engineer the way we
                                            form, then it would have to be returned to be      did things.”
                                            reprocessed because accreditation has to
                                            conform to strict Australian Qualification         Having designed a set o f workflows, the
                                            Framework standards.”                              institute invited a technology company to
                                                                                               build a proof of concept. “The first technology
                                            Because accreditation files spent so much          solution we tried had the side-effect of
                                            time in internal mail, their progress was          making a lot of the processes over-
                                            extremely difficult to track and manage.           complicated, because of the way the
                                            Besides delays caused by errors or illegibility,   technology worked,” says Amor.
                                            a file might be misdirected, or sent to a staff    “Simplicity was very important to us. The
                                            member who was on holiday or extended              teaching centre managers needed to be able
                                            leave.                                             to get information as quickly as possible.
                                                                                               The more complex it was, the less eager they
                                            In addition, the process for accrediting           would be to use the system, and we wouldn‟t
                                            courses varies. Some courses are proposed          accrue the benefits of having a system. ”
“Having validation fields                   In December 2008, staff at Microsoft partner      Benefits
                                            Dimension Data showed Box Hill Institute          By using electronic forms and email
mean that most form-                        managers how workflows in the document            workflows to help automate the accreditation
filling errors are                          management system, Microsoft® Office              process, Box Hill Institute has reduced the
                                            SharePoint® Server 2007, could be used to         administrative workload, given teaching
avoided. So less time is                    control, direct and keep track of files during    centre staff greater control over the
wasted sending the file                     the accreditation process.                        accreditation process, and reduced the time
                                                                                              taken to register new courses.
backwards and forwards                      The managers decided tha t Office SharePoint
through the internal                        Server 2007 me t the institute‟s objectives       Accelerated accreditation
                                            and engaged Dimension Data to deploy it.          Using electronic forms with data validation
mail.”                                                                                        fields is expected to reduce accreditation
Simeon Amor, IT Project Manager, Box Hill   “It was quite tricky,” says Brendan Barry,        workload by 20 percent.
Institute.                                  Technical Consulta nt, Dimension Data.
                                            “There were a large number of faculties and       “Paperwork is legible to begin with, so there
                                            departments that needed to be conne cted to       is little need for rework,” says Amor. “Having
                                            the workflows.”                                   validation fields mean that most form-filling
                                                                                              errors are avoided. So less time is wasted
                                            Dimension Data transposed all the course          sending the file backwards and forwards
                                            accreditation forms into electronic format        through the internal mail. This system should
                                            using Microsoft Infopath® Form Services, so       save two to three hours per week for
                                            that they could be emailed between faculties      administration staff.”
                                            and modified at every stage. The forms were
                                            designed with spe cial data validation fields     Office SharePoint Server 2007 also improves
                                            which meant that the form could not be            file processing because the training centre
                                            forwarded unless the requisite information at     managers who sponsor new courses can
                                            every stage was typed in correctly.               determine the progress of each file in the
                                                                                              accreditation process. This means they are
                                            The technology partner also helped define         much more in control.
                                            Box Hill Institute‟s requirements into a series
                                            of processes. These described the steps tha t     “Sta ff use the K2 blackpearl ViewFlow within
                                            needed to be completed for successful             SharePoint to view the current sta tus of every
                                            accreditation, and were used to develop           application,” says Barry. “The system tells
                                            workflows that automa tically route the           them whose „inbox‟ the file is sitting in, and
                                            Infopath forms from one input source or           they can see if no action has been taken for
                                            stakeholder to the next.                          several days. As a result, they always know
                                                                                              who to conta ct to get the accreditation
                                            In addition, Dimension Data introduced the        process moving.
                                            institute to independent software vendor K2,
                                            whose blackpearl platform helps non-              “Furthermore, the K2 blackpearl platform
                                            technically skilled staff to design their own     means that teaching centre sta ff can adap t
                                            workflows without professional assistance.        and change workflows by themselves.
                                                                                              This means they can take advantage of ne w
                                            The new application was rolled out to 50          opportunities to streamline business
                                            users across all teaching centres at the          processes.”
                                            beginning of March 2009.
For More Information                                             Increas ed confidenc e                               cut the overall recruitment process time by at
For more information about Microsoft                             Because the accreditation process is faster          least 50 percent.
products and services in Australia,                              and more predictable, training centre staff
call 13 20 58.                                                   have greater assurance tha t courses will be         “There are two main benefits to doing
                                                                 ready on time. This removes potential                recruitment via SharePoint. First, just as with
For more information about Dimension                             sources of conflict between the marketing            accreditation, training centre mana gement
Data products and services, call                                 and admissions departments.                          have greater visibility, so they are in control
1800 638 457 or visit the Web site at:                                                                                and can be confident that sign-o ffs ca n
www.dimensiondata.com/au                                         “It‟s all about making sure that the right           happen on time.
                                                                 people know when the course is ready,” says
For more information about Box Hill                              Amor. “We have largely removed the danger            “Secondly, the institute as a whole has
Institute products and services, call                            that a student will turn up to take a course         greater assurance tha t no matter how
+61 3 9286 9222 or visit the Web site a t:                       that has been advertised, only to discover           familiar its staff are with recruitment
http://www.bhta fe.edu.au                                        that it is not yet available.                        guidelines, the correct procedures will be
                                                                                                                      followed, and Box Hill Institute will not be at
                                                                 “In addition, staff can be confident that the        risk of failing to comply with sta te
                                                                 course is up to scratch. The accreditation           regulations.”
                                                                 process, as defined in the SharePoint
                                                                 workflows and Infopath, conforms exactly to          Microsoft Office System
                                                                 the Australian Quality Training Framework.           The Microsoft Office system is the business
                                                                 And SharePoint leaves a complete audit trail         world‟s chosen environment for information
                                                                 so we can prove that regulations have been           work, providing the programs, servers, and
                                                                 observed.”                                           services that help you succeed by
                                                                                                                      transforming informa tion into impact.
                                                                 New recruit
                                                                 Office SharePoint Server 2007‟s ability to           For more information about the Microsoft
                                                                 manage complex processes has encoura ged             Office system, go to:
                                                                 Box Hill Institute to use it to mana ge the          http://www.microsoft. com/office
                                                                 recruitment of new staff.

                                                                 “Recruitment is subject to strict internal
                                                                 governance rules,” says Amor. “These are
                                                                 very stringent in Victoria, and we have to
                                                                 meet certain criteria. Because these criteria
                                                                 are configured into Infopath forms and the
                                                                 sign-offs that each form needs, then we
                                                                 ensure that we mee t them. ”

                                                                 Office SharePoint 2007 workflows assist with
                                                                 gaining clearance to hire new staff, arranging
                                                                 contracts and establishing ne w systems
                                                                 accounts for staff. Amor expects it will help


                                                                  Software and Services                           Partner
                                                                   Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007                 Dimension Data
                                                                   Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007

This case study is fo r informational purposes only. MICROSOFT
MAKES NO WAR RANTIES, EXPRES S OR IMP LIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.

Document published August 2009

				
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