by Byron Connolly

La Trobe University turns on SAP cloud

May 01, 20153 mins
Cloud ComputingEducation Industry

La Trobe University has become the first organisation globally to switch on SAP S/4HANA in the cloud in a move that is expected to boost efficiency across the university’s business units by 20 per cent.

As part of the implementation, La Trobe University has moved multiple legacy systems into one to simplify its IT environment. All are now running in SAP’s public Cloud infrastructure in Sydney.

The university currently operates it’s own data centre on campus that is set to close in 2016 after all its IT infrastructure has been moved to SAP’s data centre.

The deployment is part of the university’s ‘Future Ready Strategic Plan’ to improve the student experience and advance La Trobe to the top 500 institutions worldwide by 2017.

The SAP Simple Finance application will enable the university to save one day per week back to key users across its operations, allowing them to better service students, the university said.

Prior to deployment, it took weeks to complete month-end reports. This is now being reduce to a few days, the university said.

La Trobe University’s executive director and chief information officer, Peter Nikoletatos, said that despite the increased distance the data has to travel, performance has increased.

“We are creating time for our staff – simplifying our processes and giving much more capacity back to the business.”

LaTrobe University is a heavy user of SAP software. In October last year, the university said it was rolling out SAP Student Lifecycle Management to provide a complete view of the student experience – from enquiry, application and registration, through to graduation and alumni service.

It also went live last October with SuccessFactors Employee Central, which records workforce data. This followed the rollout in 2013 of SuccessFactors Performance Management, which supports 3,400 staff.

The university also plans to move its SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence suite – components of the SAP Student Lifecycle Management and SAP Governance Risk and Compliance applications – to the HANA Cloud.

“Technology underpins everything we do,” said Nikoletatos. “It’s fundamental in the student experience, it helps our researchers deliver their outcomes and it’s also pertinent in every lecture theatre.

“We have big ambitions. We want to be student-centric, but we don’t want to be just like every other institution. We want to change the way students engage and make that experience unique to La Trobe,” he said.

Additional reporting by Chris Player.

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