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As we have already entered in rough economic times, decision makers are more cautious in selecting a product or solution which is expensive and promises to deliver a lot. It is really hard to envision the value of a solution without implementing it. Indian Universities are also in similar situation while selecting an ERP package such as SAP SLCM.
The basic question which arises in their mind is "Why they should go for SAP SLCM implementation?" One has to understand the question and then answer it carefully. In times of recession few points which are bothering the World of Academia in India are:
SAP SLCM is designed to work with European and US markets and might not Suits the Indian context. Will it be able to cater Indian needs? The answer is a big yes, SAP SLCM is flexible enough to cater the Indian Universities' need. SLCM can handle most of the processes (such as student application data, admissions, registration, examination and grading, progression, degree auditing, degree conferment, alumni etc.) with precision followed by a standard university. We have to give our students a feel of cutting edge technology other then textual knowledge.
As compared to other ERP packages the cost of SAP is quite high. It proves to be one of the main hindrances in deciding whether to go for SAP SLCM or not. There is need for the Board of Universities and decision makers to understand that this is the time to practice what they teaches, on topics such as optimization of operations, purchasing, investing, technology benefits, and latest curriculum.
What lies beneath? Employee fear that adding new technologies at this point of time means Job cut. The implementation might need people to understand the new technologies, which they fear will result in under production and hence leads to job cut. Its not true. Universities will gain external respect by getting into the list of top notch universities, attracting more students and funding. The universities which have implemented SAP SLCM have benefited in optimization of resources and satisfaction across an entire university.
We in India believe in human touch in education and specially teachers are considered as respected ones. People of Academia fears once students realize what they can do with such a superior system they might loose the life long respectability. It's a hard fact but true. Its time to change the ages old education culture to a new techno savvy education culture for better competency, but at the same time we have to retain the essence.
Strategic decision makers should see the benefits beyond short and long-term cost savings. They need to do it for their students; students are the ones who will be battling the worst global recession and rough times. Higher education can better prepare their students to be better techno savvy and have successful careers.
The Indian Education system works on the motto of education for all. For this the Government of India has reserved certain number of seats for students belonging to specific caste or religion. One challenge is to design a solution to distribute the total seats among General Category and other reserved category? SAP SLCM offers usage of VSR functionality for this.
The Regulatory bodies in India i.e. UGC (University Grant Commission) and AICTE (All India Council of Technical education) have a tight noose on Universities for controlling the operations. Universities are getting Funds for operations and at the end of each and every fiscal year they have to submit a brief report. Preparing such reports with precision is a big headache. Reporting of Financials is very easy and simple to prepare using SAP system.
Students prefer those universities who are on the leading edge of technology. Students are willing to pay a higher price to attend a university which have a better infrastructure in place which is more techno friendly .
Why should and University go for SAP SLCM? The operational cost benefits are immediate and long-term benefits grow exponentially. The initial cost savings is what will get decision makers to start thinking.
Decision makers have to understand about the benefits of cost effective information and that there is a need towards investing in technology initiatives. University Boards need to understand how to set benchmarks to see the positive effects by implementing SAP SLCM. To have an edge over others in this competitive worlds, it better to run a full class then half class.