by July 4, 2012 0 comments

This small education institute in Nagpur has digitized its entire administrative and academic activities using TCS’s iON cloud based solution to have better control over students & academic activities

Late M D Gandhe Memorial Society’s Centre Point College imparts education in field of commerce, management & IT. Various programs include graduate programs in B.Com, BBA, BCCA, BCA and post graduate programs in MCM and PGDCCA operations. Student strength is over 1500 and the faculty has 34 members. The institute wanted to build a good reputation as a progressive college in Nagpur. They needed an efficient system to track all aspects of student life cycle and reduce manual effort for administrative activities. Plus, various departments —accounts & finance, university compliance, human resource, academics, infrastructure, were working stand-alone without any integration leading to a lot of duplication of work. The transparency in reporting was not there as management had no access to the departmental working. They were exposed to statutory compliance risk as there were repeated errors in reporting.

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The Implementation

The college in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services implemented a full fledged, cloud based, Campus Management Solution comprising of following modules:

– Campus Management Solution: This involves student admission, fee collection, promotion, separation, time-table, examination & grading, lesson planning, feedback, scholarship, etc.

– Payroll: Complete module to process monthly payroll, generate pay-slips, capture internal—external savings, generate Form 16.

– Human Resource Management System:Complete module to facilitate employee recruitment, Employee personal information, Leaves management, separation etc.

– Finance & Accounting: The module is fully integrated with CMS, Payroll, HRMS to maintain books of accounts of the organization .

– SELF Service: Self Service for students, employees, faculties and parents to view and transact.

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Plus, there was a platform called Professional Virtual Community (PVC) for students, faculties, industry experts, academicians, etc to come together and discuss. PVC solution helps organizations foster the exchange and growth of knowledge as every member interacts with other members in a virtual community. Educational institutes can use the solution to create virtual knowledge communities for students using the collaboration enablers like: Blogposts, Bytes, Debates, Q&A, Wiki, Media etc.

How is this IT implementation different from other regular campus mgmt solutions?

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This is a cloud based model. The functionality or modules are not tailor made to suit our specific requirements but are developed according the standard practices of education industry . So we had to align our processes with the functionality and not the otherway. Solution design, development and maintenance including data backup is done by TCS. We only have to configure the solution and implement. This specifically removes the need to hire any IT professional at our end.

What other solutions were you considering before deploying this?

We considered and even started developing software to suit our college specific requirements, but soon we realized that it involved lot of dependency on the developer, hence we abandoned it midway. Developing tailor made solution also required lots of effort on our end to identify the requirements and communicate to the developer.

What challenges did you face to implement this?

Availability & cost of bandwidth to run the systems, understanding the configuration of processes, getting tuned to on-line training, using Webex, raised time taken to close tickets were the major impediments. Plus, resistance from employees to shift to new environment was also a barrier.

What’s the overall benefit of this implementation?

Now all departments share the same database, eliminating redundancy. Even distribution of work through workflow management is very well happening. This avoided collusion of conflicting duties by implementing maker/checker concept, improved statutory compliance and increased transparency as management now has a micro view of all activities. Plus, anytime-anywhere access to all the operation eliminated the need to physically visit the campus. Approvals can be given online on the go, leading to faster turnaround of activities.

How has the users’ feedback been so far?

Users are quite excited about the new solution . Self service for students, staff and parents is quite a unique feature.

The Benefits

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The implementation has helped the institute in reducing manual effort for administrative activities including library management, HR, leave and attendance management, and automated payroll. This has led to standardization of operations across various administrative units and reduction in the overall administrative costs. To summarize, better control over academic activities (eg, student attendance, analysis of student scores etc) and lower cost due to automation of administrative activities are the major benefits.

The USP of this project

The project very specifically removes the need to hire any technically competent professional to design, develop, implement and maintain the solution. We also did not have to invest on any servers etc as TCS offered a cloud based hosted solution. All these activities are being taken care of by TCS, so now we can concentrate on solution usage. Plus, there is no need for us to take any data backups, which is very crucial in any digitization process.

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