The broken model
These systems require steep licensing and maintenance fees, not to mention implementation fees.
"The whole ERP licensing model in general is broken, so we've kind of started to stick our toe in the water trying to evaluate what tools are out there," said
The open-source response
By looking at open source alternatives, the
Both the IT and human resources departments drink tea every week and talk about changes to paper forms, including software request, and accident and tuition reimbursement forms that travel around campus. By moving to the digital realm, the college will have a better audit trail, eliminate the paper shuffle around campus and get signatures on forms much quicker.
It's also made the IT department rethink its approval process and who actually needs to sign off on software requests.
"Why is that there? The real reason it's on there is because that's the way it's always been done," Brooks said.
Along with workflow automation, the college is starting work on how to make the grant writing and reporting process go more smoothly. Until now, researchers would spend six hours writing reports and two hours actually writing grants. With new software, they could turn that around and write grants for six hours a day while only spending a few hours on reports.
For grant writers, "it was love at first sight," Brooks said, "there's no other way to describe it."
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