Analysis of University ERP Project Development
Preface of Working:
It is has been targeted that we will complete the ERP Phase-I in coming one year. The legends of ERP-I has been already shared with all the concerns at University and well discussed at Head Office CEO Office in presence of potential solution providers and consulting experts as well.
The flashback of ERP Project
I as System Analyst cum IT Architect along with a programmer [as Senior Application Developer] Started working on ERP Project in Oct’2013, before that we explored all the possibilities of IT Environment, Platform and Existing & Required setup. A compete structure and available ERP Solutions has been analysed and finally we worked out to made a road map for providing a complete ERP Solution to SGT University with required and available pattern of working.
Challenges during last one year of development:
In last one year of project development we faced several challenges in grabbing the adequate set of knowledge and inputs from University and Web. Pity to say the most negative hindrance we feel that NO Body is having the actual sense at University about the exact ERP requirements which is supposed to be made with miracles in just few months. Yes, people do have sufficient sense about the nullifying the developed project. It made the development process more complicated and puzzled. Notable, the Chairman Sir already raised this doubt in advance that nobody at University will be able to share the exact knowledgebase but I initiated my working on the basis of IT Pattern of development because ERP is necessary for University and will not be dependent on any interpersonal skill and knowledge.
How we approach to develop an application:
Most likely, as the simple theory of development says -we use to adopt the analysis phase of requirement of any particular application to begin with. All available applications drummed to get a proper evaluation during this process and thus we made a conclusion that what maximum features can be developed for a beta launch and up to what extent it can be absorbed at our organization. After completing the analysis phase, we move to develop a SOA and SRS and finally coding begins. With certain level of Testing, programming gets finished and the Application becomes ready for a Beta Launch.
Where we stand today:
Starting from Admission Registration process in Offline [Admission office] and Online Mode along with the Student ID Card Windows Application we developed multiple single and multiple UK based interface up to Mark sheet Printing. A complete list of Developed Application can be shared separately on demand any time. We also developed Lead Management System, Procurement Record Keeping Application and Performance Evaluation System which was outside the scope of ERP but was necessary to automate the Group working system. In addition, we also integrated some open source in which WP Blog for University, the Grievance Addressal System and Discussion Forum is having considerable impression.
What emerges from above write-up?
Needless to say we need a smartly developed user friendly ERP solution for our University. But at this point of time we have to decide the advantages and disadvantages of Development and implementation process;
A SWOT Analysis on In-house developed and Outsourced Project:
In-house Development: It simply defines the Development of our choice and need. There is no limit of customization except some wastage of developed work. It can automate the existing manual system of working on a computer screen and users get simple to use interface of their handwritten manual version to keyboard cum mouse version. It always remains cost effective in all respects. All dice and moulding work can be done in this mode.
Outsourced Solution: If proper solution found and requirement analysis is done properly, it comes with a well-tested and patched solution according to user feedbacks. Timelines of implementation process makes sense to work within time and phase wise adoptions remains easy as one application is followed by another without any delay.
In-house Development: Research and Design work takes much time then actually desired. Needs a very sensible technical team work and ultimate level of co-operation from all point of contact. Any failure makes the particular application dump and sometimes the complete development work goes in vain. Extent of acceptance always remains a big and tedious challenge.
Outsourced Solution: Actual ground work is not known in this case and a system loop hole does not comes in light at initial stage of implementation and testing. It comes with a risk of May Be-May Not Be. It is something like a Packed Branded Shirt in a Box where design is visible but Fabric, Shape and Actual Size and even full-half sleeve is not sure at the time of purchase. The same can be purchased only keeping in view that it is a Branded Shirt.
In-house Development: Whatever is required, that can be developed with central database connection without any doubt. Endless experiments can be done.
Outsourced Solution: It depends on the potential of service provider and capability in team to take new challenges as development goal. Large number of developers and team work can always bring new technology and solution and patch work keeps going in such development firms.
In-house Development: Direct dependency on few developers makes the system less static and staff retention becomes an integral part. Analyst and Developers use to hide the actual factual status and project remains on kick.
Outsourced Solution: Development firm covers all the risk in SLA.
What is the final decision towards ERP implementation?
Being a new University, we can adopt any set of Application without facing many challenges of integration and transition. As seen in last one year of development, the acceptance level is very low. In such consideration, In-house development work may face much valuable and futile hindrance.
We should move to integrate a very Suitable ERP Solution with the match of our Requirement Legends and deploy the same agency with their team of developers to customize and develop the next solutions which are not available with them. Our existing team can work in hand during integration and running process and simultaneously additional application development work can be taken forward in-house.
After following multiple meetings with almost all potential vendors we finally reach on conclusion that we can integrate the ERP System at our University in a time span of Seven to Eight months and cost involvement would be around 37-40 Lakh in complete process.