James Cook University signs major software deal

James Cook University (with major campuses in Townsville and Cairns) has signed an agreement with Technology One to help it pursue strong growth plans over the next five years. The University will implement Technology One’s higher education solution to help it manage its student administration and related operations. 

Following a 12-month competitive tender process involving both Australian and international software companies, the University awarded the contract to Technology One to help it move from an outgrown green screen student administration system to a future-proofed solution that will easily expand with it well into the future. 

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Information Services and Technology, Professor Andrew Vann, said Technology One topped the comprehensive evaluation based on a range of criteria including functionality, company, collaborative approach and future direction of the product. 

"The new student information system is a very important project to us. James Cook University has been using Technology One’s financial management and accounting solution for over 10 years, and we have had a very good relationship. We are confident of the company’s product direction and commitment to support," Professor Vann said. 

"We see the move to the Connected Intelligence versions of Technology One software as a significant advantage to us. Increasingly, we are servicing students in dispersed locations, including offshore, and we need systems which will cope with that market," he said. 

"One of the factors in choosing Technology One was obviously the integration between its financial management and accounting and student administration solutions. Since this can be a very complex area for interfacing, we see a greatly reduced risk in using products from the same vendor." 

Professor Vann said the student system serves all parts of the university – academic staff, administrative and support staff and students, who all need varied levels of access to information. 

"The higher education market is becoming more competitive and students are demanding greater flexibility. James Cook University has a number of models for course structure, delivery and fees, which are rapidly becoming too complex for our existing system. 

"Technology One’s solution will help us to support our flexible learning environment. Key benefits include the ability to manage different teaching patterns rather than the simple two-semester approach and different models for tuition fees. It will also give us the ability to comply with legislative reforms which have been a significant cost to the business in recent times." 

Technology One Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco said this is an important deal for Technology One, which has now won the past two deals that have come out to the market. 

"Technology One has 50% market share in the higher and tertiary education market, with organisations such as Flinders University, Macquarie University and Curtin University of Technology using our higher education solution," he said. 

"Our key differentiator in this market is our ongoing commitment to R&D, and collaborative approach to improving our solutions. 

"Technology One works closely with higher education providers to ensure our software continues to meet their needs, and provides them with the resources to meet legislative changes, such as Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the requirements to integrate with the Government’s Higher Education Information Management System." 

Technology One’s business model of delivering one stop accountability for its software solutions is particularly pertinent in the higher education sector, with the viability of its competitors in this sector continuing to be questioned. 

Mr Di Marco said a key concern going forward in the higher education sector was the viability of the alternative solutions from Callista and Peoplesoft. Callista, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deakin University, recorded a loss of $3.16 million in 2003, and $2.17 million in 2002 (as reported in the Deakin University Annual Report 2003). Peoplesoft has been taken over by Oracle, and the parent company is yet to announce the future of Peoplesoft’s student administration product. Peoplesoft has also been slow off the mark to respond to the HESA/HEIMS modifications required by Australian universities. 

Technology One delivers complete working solutions to its clients. By developing, marketing, implementing and supporting their own solutions, the company takes total responsibility for the success of each and every client’s investment.