United States

University financial system integration spans technology services

From ongoing Microsoft Dynamics support to integrations and monitoring


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Our client is the audio and video technology department for a large public university in the Midwest. The department is an internal service organization and provides the learning and teaching technology, hardware and software for multiple campuses throughout the state. The campuses have approximately 500-600 classrooms, meeting and conference rooms. The equipment includes projector, controller and display equipment, as well as screens and whiteboards and the audio equipment.

Because the department is an internal service organization, it is independently funded through revenue captured from invoicing of costs it incurs to engineer, design, install and maintain the various audio and video projects.   

The department installed Microsoft Dynamics® GP in 2001 with another Dynamics partner. In 2007, the university mandated an integration to the main financial system, and the organization switched its partner of record. The university chose RSM due to specialized knowledge of project accounting and capabilities to support its Dynamics GP implementation and other technology projects.   

The university required that each campus and department integrate with the university's PeopleSoft financial management system, the main repository for all cost data, purchasing, wages and salary - and any other financial transactions. RSM was then engaged for ongoing support of the university's existing Dynamics GP implementation and new projects, including SharePoint integration services to Dynamics GP, application development services and the RSM managed IT services solution.

Part of this project included development of a proprietary platform that integrates Dynamics GP with its legacy costing systems for seamless data transfer, tracking, access and reporting. Today, this platform is known as Technical Service Request (TSR). The TSR system allows for the input and tracking of service request data and is integrated with Dynamics GP project data. Data is also shared with the new purchase request system to enable the automated creation of purchase orders within Dynamics GP.

Dynamics GP project accounting is utilized to track time and materials usage and generate billing and vendor payment invoices, as well as offering the ability to view historical data. The billing and purchase invoice data is uploaded to the university's PeopleSoft system via an automated export.

The RSM managed IT services program is responsible for the Microsoft Windows operating systems for all of the critical applications mentioned earlier, as well as for end-user workstations. It is designed to monitor system stability and reliability in order to ensure dependable application and data access and minimize system downtime.

In addition to proactive monitoring for errors and potential system failures, the solution also provides patch management of all systems to ensure timely protection from emerging security vulnerabilities. Systems are monitored 24/7, and tickets for any issues are automatically created and addressed by the RSM managed IT services staff. This provides a fail-safe process and peace of mind for staff that their systems will be available and continue running smoothly.

Because of RSM's skill and diverse services in technology, the department had the right team to develop a large technology solution specific to their unique needs. Today, it is seeing increases in capacity and efficiency and optimal use of funding.

Other implementation benefits include:

  • Automating labor-intensive procedures, reducing support personnel requirements from five to two
  • More than doubling capacity to produce projects from $1 million to $5 million in revenue with similar staffing levels
  • Reducing administrative costs from 40-50 percent with automation and integrations
  • Increasing capacity to install and manage more projects and avoid costly subcontractor fees that would charge 35-50 percent more
  • Evaluating additional ways to extend the solution to improve efficiencies in the department
  • Saving two dollars in costs for every dollar invested in technology

They said it
"This department was in dire straits on how they were going to deliver on university requirements to integrate into the university financial system in the short amount of time given."

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