Prior to implementing OneCommunity, QCEC was operating from two main systems - one for financials and payroll and the other for grant management, capital, and school transport - with no integration between the two.
In addition, the grant management system was a bespoke system that had been developed by one person over 20 years ago, and was now aging and heavily reliant on the developer to operate.
“The system was aging, had to be patched, and wasn’t an easy system to use internally,” said QCEC’s Executive Director, Doctor Lee-Anne Perry.
“It was reliant on one person. It was a big, big risk for the organisation so we decided we needed to replace it, and we wanted to replace it with an integrated solution.”
QCEC’s Chief Financial Officer, Steven Jeffery, added: “It outgrew its lifespan. The functionality it had was pretty rudimentary, in the end. We were forced to play catch-up, because we were stuck in a 20-year-old system.”
QCEC went live with TechnologyOne’s OneCommunity SaaS in January 2017. OneCommunity has provided a secure, sustainable and cost-effective solution for QCEC’s unique needs, enabling the transfer of millions of dollars of government grants through a safe, flexible, user-friendly platform.
“We’re an unusual organisation in that we handle quite a significant amount of money. We wanted an integrated solution that suited our purposes and was sustainable,” said Dr Perry.
“We now have a cost-effective solution, both in terms of its delivery and the actual setting up of it. It’s been relatively easily adopted by staff, who engage with it across every level of the organisation.
“OneCommunity has the sort of features and functionalities you would expect in a contemporary software package. While it’s not a bespoke program, it’s an off-the-shelf program that provides sufficient flexibility to be responsive to our organisation’s needs.
“We’ve now addressed a really important risk factor, moving from outdated, on premise systems to an integrated SaaS solution.
We’ve now addressed a really important risk factor, moving from outdated, on premise systems to an integrated SaaS solution.
QCEC plays an important strategic role in the coordination and advancement of Catholic education in Queensland, and its operations rely heavily on robust, secure, and efficient operating systems.
The organisation had reached a critical point where there was concern its operating systems could ‘fall over’ at any time, there was no safety net, and it understood that failure to act could lead to major operational issues.
“We knew we had to spend money. We knew what we were spending before, managing our old system. And TechnologyOne’s solution was cheaper in the long run. We knew we had to act,” said Mr Jeffery.
QCEC went out to tender in December 2015, looking for a replacement Finance and Human Resources and Payroll system as an integrated ERP in the Cloud to replace its incumbent systems.
The Commission signed a contract for TechnologyOne’s OneCommunity solution in March 2016 and the project started shortly afterwards. Implementation took place over a 12 month period, with the project running on time and on budget.
Of the project, Dr Perry said: “I’ve been involved in various projects in many organisations over a long period of time, and this was one of the few where at the end of it, I was able to say it was on time and on budget”.
“It speaks very highly of the process. We were happy with the way the implementation happened.”
Mr Jeffery added that the implementation occurred seamlessly enough that customers did not experience disruption of any kind.
“We’ve got to pay out grants within three days of receiving them, so as long as our customers get their money within three days, away they go. Throughout the project, our customers didn’t notice a difference, so we were set. From our perspective, the project implementation worked as well as I’ve ever seen.”
Since going live, QCEC has experienced benefits such as being able to operate from any location, at any time, which has led to greater efficiencies. QCEC employees have also enjoyed a better user experience with OneCommunity.
“It’s integrated, so I’ve now got my grants, my financials, and my payroll, all in one system. For us, that’s a big thing. We don’t have to worry about multiple interfaces, so that’s a big headache out of the whole equation,” said Mr Jeffery.
“For us, TechnologyOne delivered on everything they said they would, right from the word go, right to the end.”
In the face of a global digital revolution, QCEC understands the importance of being tech-savvy and embracing cloud and mobile technology.
“We had been a server-based, on premise operation, and we made the decision to go to the cloud,” said Dr Perry.
“Implementing TechnologyOne’s SaaS solution is part of our transformation journey to be entirely cloud-based. Going to the cloud is more efficient and it mitigates our risks. For example, it enables us to avoid the costs having servers and challenges of both on premise and in various offsite locations.”
Implementing Financials and Human Resources and Payroll in the cloud has allowed QCEC employees to enjoy the benefits of self service, rather than rely on manual, time-consuming internal processes. Moving to the cloud has also enabled greater mobility and flexibility when interacting with internal and external stakeholders across the state.
“Because we are a Queensland-wide organisation, we have partners in all parts of the state, and one of our main goals in distributing funding is to facilitate coordination and collaboration amongst our school authorities. So, we want to facilitate more online meetings in lieu of face-to-face meetings, to enable greater efficiencies,” said Dr Perry.
Mr Jeffery added: “We moved to the cloud because we wanted easy online access. My advice when we started looking for a replacement system was: ‘Whatever we buy needs to be on the cloud, we’re not building anything.’”
Thanks to a forward-thinking mentality, QCEC has moved from operating on outdated and disparate systems to leading the way with TechnologyOne’s SaaS, capitalising on the latest cloud technology and reaping the benefits.
About Queensland Catholic Education Commission
Located in Brisbane, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) is a 16 member body representing the interests of Catholic Education in Queensland. With a total of 43 staff, QCEC is responsible for processing and distributing over $1.6 billion in government funds annually to 302 Catholic schools and 22 Catholic schools across the state..
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