How to choose the best School, College, Institute or even University Management ERP Software? If you are going through this phase, you are at the best place.
Being into Education Management Business for a while now, I come in touch with many educational establishments. I have come across so many questions those bother institute management team, when it comes to decision making about purchase of a Management Software or a ERP Solution. So, I have chosen this topic for my first blog. Here I will try to discuss all the point I feel are worth knowing, from a educationist point of view while making this critical decision.
Web-base or Stand-alone Installation ERP Solution???
Stand-alone or single computer based ERP solutions. This system looks cheaper option but in real sense it doesn’t help to reduce workload a lot. Institutes adopting such systems do most of the twice or thrice, and hence the efficiency of the team is very low. Thus the cost of operation is still high. under such scene the institutes try to buy multiple packages, one each for a specific task. Say one package for student records management and one staff records management. Thus they invite the trouble of handling multiple packages, vendors, & ultimate multiple issues. Looking at the cost and availability of internet, even in remotest place in India, Standalone system is a BIG NO NO.
Whereas, the web-based ERP system will eliminate these issue. But, a great attention has to be offered, in selecting among the available options. Further lets discuss various required points one-by-one.
Role Based Access Control
Role Based Access Control sounds like a heavy technical word, first let me bring in the meaning of this term. In Manual system the clerk collecting fees has access to receipt book and the register. The clerk taking care of bank transaction has access to cheques or the bank ledger. To sum up, based on the role/duties access to various resource is made available.
Its no fun showing the bank statement to all staff members, right? Therefore the system shall have a role-based access control implemented. The best solution shall be flexible to allow making changes in roles and access to resources.
The ERP solution you pick shall cover all the functionality that you need in day-to-day operation. Plus, it shall have all the features that you think will be needed for your institute in near future. Here are some of the key areas you should look for Administration, Academic Records, Student Info, Staff Info, Parent Info, Document Management, Timetable, Transportation, Assets, Maintenance, Notices & Communication, Staff Activity Management, Accounts & Payroll.
Technologies Used In The Solution
Technology selection for implementing any given software is a critical aspect for the company, right? Then, why should institutes worry about it? Well, the simple answer is company will make you pay for it, in a way or the other.
If they use .net or java, cost occurred in design and development is higher. Not only this, the cost for keeping these solutions running can be on way higher side. Against it, if the software is based on LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySql & PHP), all tools are free and server rent is cheaper. Low development & running cost low bring down the cost institutes have to pay.
If you dont want any fine-prints in your contract now you know what to opt for, right?
Size Of The Organization
Big office, Big organization and Big Brand-name are the labels institutes like to see for any given purchase they are making. But, I differ in opinion here, especially for institutes in developing countries.
We all know India is the software capital of the world. But why is Indian industry lagging in software usage, than developed countries? The reason is that local customers cannot pay on par with western customers, right? Let the giants take care of heavily paying customers, you look for SME or Startup.
How to choose the right SME or Startup? Well, its way simple than choosing between two big corporate companies. You never know which of the two big houses will treat you in what way. For selection between SME or Startups: Talk to the company, ask them their growth plan, their product road-maps, check background of their leader and know their vision. Take a demo of the tool and find out that there is co-relation between all the points you noted in this activity. Thats it.
Bottom line, as the service & cost is important: “Its better to bigger fish in small pond, than being a small fish in bigger pond”
We have already discussed one aspect of cost in one of the above points, right? Is there more to discuss? Yes, i want to bring to your notice the different business models companies use.
Purchasing of such a software is a stupid act and shall be avoided. In this model the institute has to put a big capital investment. Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC) or License Fees will be the major component in operational cost. Then what bloats the operation cost equally is the salary of IT engineer, Server & Tools.
Getting the software developed by outsourcing or by using in house resources will never be cost-effective or feature effective than purchasing the software. This is a devil in disguise not many can see it before coming. Be the judge of you won situation here. Later, don’t say you are not warned.
Simplest model is subscription. Only, Companies with vision and confidence on their products and features will take this route. No hidden charges, no fine prints … simple is the best.
SIMS platform of DigitalEDU is one complete and stable solution. The is vast, configurable and yet simple to use as one of the following School Management Software, College Management Software, Institute Management Software, Coaching-class Management Software or University Management Software.