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Edge Delivers Business Systems Modernization Success

Institutions are realizing the need to modernize their business processes and technologies, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Student Information Systems and Constituent Relationship Management software, to improve performance and results in the digital economy. In service to its members, Edge has created a Business Modernization Success Program to unpack the process of digital transformation and business systems modernization, and meet institutions’ strategic goals at an affordable price. By bringing together best practices, the Edge team’s experience, expertise and industry leading vendors, this program aims to increase the likelihood of success in transformative business systems modernization projects.

ERP and related systems have evolved to be the heart of an institution’s enterprise information systems architecture. Modern business systems rely on data centricity to deliver a suite of applications to serve accounting, student information, constituent relationship management, human resources, student recruitment and enrollment, career placement, and alumni management. Mass amounts of data can now present trends, patterns, and behaviors that are of strategic value in solving problems of recruitment, attrition, and graduation rates.

The use of legacy business systems through the years has resulted in a reality where functional areas rely on siloed data, with reports generated within silos telling different stories and creating confusion about the actual state of the business. A change is needed – but when facing a reality where 55 to 75 percent of system upgrades fail because of a combination of delays and cost overruns – how can institutions successfully execute complex projects to move from legacy applications to modern systems? The Edge Business Systems Modernization Program aims to answer this question with a three-phased approach.

Research indicates many ERP implementation programs fail on their first attempt, mainly
as a result of lack of preparation. Phase 1 helps institutions overcome that challenge by executing a thorough assessment combined with a reengineering of business processes to reorient the institution towards successful business practices.

Armed with deliverables from Phase 1 – a properly defined scope, vetted data model, data mapping and migration plan, transformation ready workforce, detailed project plan and redefined business processes – the transition to new ERP software can commence. In Phase 2, Edge-approved vendors will work in concert to manage the project plan as well as support the institution’s project governance committee to affect an efficient implementation, with built-in checkpoints to ensure expected progress is maintained throughout the project lifecycle.

With business systems implementations, the end-user community will inevitably have an adjustment period, and rollouts are often derailed by failure to contemplate the needs of the faculty, staff, and other end-users who are accessing these systems for the first time. In Phase 3, this risk can be mitigated by providing dedicated customer care for the new system, with highly available and well-trained professionals who can problem solve, assist in orientation and training, provide assistance to end users, and otherwise ensure a successful “go-live” period for the critical first 90- to 120-day, post-implementation period.