Keeping pace with change is one of the biggest challenges for higher education institutions today. No area is more dynamic than modern information technology. Specialized and rapidly-outdated technologies stress not only budgets but also IT and operations staff. Yet, the IT department at Texarkana College is quick to adopt new technology and stay ahead of the curve. How do they mitigate the risks and maximize the rewards associated with changing technology?
“At Texarkana College, even with budget constraints, we are able to continue to improve our services and lower costs through selective choices on software and equipment,” said Michael Dumdei, Vice President of Information Technology. “Open source solutions and converting to the Jenzabar EX ERP led to two of our biggest spending cuts over the last few years. Jenzabar EX’s foundation on Microsoft SQL server has allowed us to bring the ERP hosting in-house without hiring additional IT staff. We found all components of Jenzabar EX easier to manage and more flexible than our previous system. Personnel requirements in the functional areas were eased due to Jenzabar EX’s highly intuitive user interface. Without question, the overall experience is a significant improvement, and the College realized a substantial savings with an annual reduction in costs approaching $1 million.”
“It is hard to say enough good things about the Jenzabar product development team.”
Vice President of Information Technology
Implementing a new ERP is not an easy decision. For Texarkana College, keeping their previous ERP proved to be the costlier option. The cost of the software is an obvious consideration, but almost every academic and administrative process is impacted by an ERP implementation. User training, system maintenance, and IT support all affect the bottom line. One of the most important cost/benefit calculations Texarkana College evaluated during their extensive search was the ERP’s ability to support change. “Our previous ERP was an expensive, hosted system that required significant IT resources to manage and maintain,” said Dumdei. “While the software had capabilities we needed, the user interface was difficult to master, making it hard for departmental users to learn the system. Our contract with the other company was expiring and we had to either renew for another year at substantial cost or find another option.”