The implementation of ERP system makes the institutes cost efficient over disjointed traditional systems. An ERP system shall also help organise data better and provide the right MIS to the stakeholders thereby making decision prompt and more accurate, says Shantanu Rooj, CEO, Schoolguru
Why does the education sector need ERP solution?
An ERP Solution automates various processes in an organisation using one integrated solution, thereby bringing interoperability of data. The intended advantage of implementing an ERP is to bring process efficiency across the organisation and reduce chances of error. An educational institute, like any other type of organisation, performs multiple functions like admission management, enquiry management, fees management, timetable management, infrastructure management, human resource management, stores management, library management, accounting, transport management, examination management, student support management etc. To bring in efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy into their operations, it is imperative for the education sector to implement an ERP system.
What are the benefits of deploying ERP solutions in the education system?
Implementing an ERP system is more cost effective over disjointed traditional systems. Basic campus management requires lots of manpower for various functions like admissions, fees etc. Bringing an ERP solution can dramatically cut costs for mundane activities. An ERP system shall also help organise data better and provide the right MIS to the stakeholders thereby making decision prompt and more accurate. Due to the use of various database management systems, the data stored in an ERP system is quite secure. An institute shall be able to provide segmented rights to various types of users ensuring that critical data is protected from misuse.
What are the key pain areas to be focused on while deploying ERP solutions?
Implementing an ERP solution requires a lot of top management commitment. Once implemented, the ERP becomes the backbone of the organisation for performing routine functions. Without proper guidelines and monitoring, an ERP implementation fails due to faulty decision making during the process of implementation. A ready-to-use ERP often requires the organisation to modify or change its existing processes and adapt the standard processes defined in the ERP. This change management becomes one of the crucial factors for the successful implementation of an ERP solution.
While implementing an ERP, the organisation must take the total cost of ownership into consideration. This shall include several associated costs (apart from the cost of the software) like cost of servers, licensed operating systems, databases and antivirus. ERP systems may also necessitate certain changes on the desktop computers and the local LAN. Some ERP systems also require skilled professionals to manage the same on a continuous basis. Last but not the least, it is important to budget the cost of customization of the ERP, in case some of the standard processes are not suitable for the organisation.
How can these solutions improve the education structure?
A proper implementation of an ERP solution can bring in better efficiency and transparency in an institute. Most of the institutes in India are operated and owned by charitable trusts. It is hence important to ensure a transparent system of flow of data which shall boost the process of decision making. For trusts, who manage multiple institutions, an integrated multi-institute ERP shall be a big advantage which shall help them cross-pollinate the institutes by optimally using the available resources. A CRM solution, which front-ends such ERP systems, helps the management keep in touch with the ultimate customer.
What is the market size of these technological solutions?
The ERP market size in India is a multi-billion dollar opportunity. The market comprises of opportunity in the core area of ERP software and supplementary areas like implementation services, customization services, maintenance services, servers and storage, databases and operating systems, associated security solutions etc.
What is the rate of adoption of these solutions in education sector?
Due to the increase in the penetration of the internet, the educational institutes have now started realising the importance of automation. Currently, not even 2 per cent of the institutes in India are automated and less than 0.5 per cent have implemented an ERP solution. However, we believe that in the next few years, as we see more privatization and corporatisation of education taking place, the rate of adoption of such solutions shall improve.
A proper implementation of an ERP solution can bring in better efficiency and transparency in an institute. Most of the institutes in India are operated and owned by charitable trusts
How can institutes keep ERP database protected at all times?
Institutes must use multiple strategies to keep their data safe and available at all times. Use of a proper RDBMS system with well configured access controls shall work as the first ring of defense. Institutes need to protect their data from various attacks like viruses, malware and hacking attempts. It is important to implement a sturdy antivirus system and keep it updated at all times to protect the data in the servers. Needless to say that institutes must have a rugged data back-up and recovery management system to protect their data against any accident or catastrophe.