ACU renews and expands relationship with TechnologyOne to emerge stronger
19 August 2020 – Australian Catholic University (ACU) has signed a new six-year deal with TechnologyOne, Australia’s leading Software as a Service provider (SaaS), designed to continue its digital transformation and emerge stronger from the challenges of COVID-19.
ACU was founded in 1990 with the amalgamation of four tertiary institutions in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Today the university has almost 35,000 students serviced by four faculties spread across seven campuses along the east coast of Australia, with a new campus to open next year in Sydney and a campus in Rome, Italy.
“ACU is a higher education success story,” says chief financial officer, Scott Jenkins. “We’re a young university, founded on an enduring legacy. We’ve grown to become among the top two percent of all universities worldwide.”
The university has been TechnologyOne customer since 2016 when it replaced a legacy on-premise financial application and moved to a SaaS environment. That initial five-year agreement with TechnologyOne had one year to go when COVID-19 struck earlier this year.
In June, ACU announced a recovery management plan to address the impact of COVID-19 on students, staff and finances. The university forecast a loss of almost $126 million in revenue over three years to 2022, due directly to COVID-19 and the associated decline in student numbers.
“Our academic and professional services staff worked hard to adapt from campus-based delivery so that the majority of ACU’s units are now delivered fully on-line with students studying remotely. We are planning on a staged return to on-campus learning, blended with online delivery, in the second semester,” Mr Jenkins said.
In that environment, signing a new deal with any technology provider was an important decision, particularly as financial management directly affects staff and is core to the university’s operations.
Mr Jenkins says working with TechnologyOne will help the organisation to continue its mission of service, stewardship and financial sustainability by becoming more efficient and effective in its operations and getting better value for money from its technology investments.
“The drivers for digital transformation have not gone away because of COVID-19. Like many large organisations, our IT infrastructure has evolved over time. Reducing complexity and cost are important for building an even more financially sustainable ACU,” Mr Jenkins said.
In November last year, the university announced a new strategic plan designed to shape the institution to 2023. Included in the plan was an increased emphasis on the use of leading-edge technology to improve efficiency, increase resilience and deliver an increasingly better student experience.
Under the new agreement, ACU will gain access to an extensive suite of additional TechnologyOne’s products that sit within the OneEducation suite, TechnologyOne’s solution tailored for higher education. In particular, this includes access to the new Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution suite.
“With nine campuses in Australia and Rome, we have a significant capital works program and asset management is complex. Utilising TechnologyOne’s SaaS based Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tools will allow us to reduce manual process, reduce time to delivery and have access to real-time information.
“Similarly, TechnologyOne’s Business Analytics tools will allow us to better manage and improve our financial operations. The management dashboard will allow us to make more informed decisions with less work and help ACU emerge from this challenging period stronger and more resilient,” Mr Jenkins said.
“We’re pleased to be able to continue to support ACU to achieve its mission,” said TechnologyOne’s chief operating officer, Stuart MacDonald. “OneEducation already supports 60 percent of higher and vocational education institutions across Australia and New Zealand and is used by more than 1.4 million students.”
“ACU’s decision is one we’re seeing play out in a number of places now. COVID-19 is leading them to re-examine their relationships. Where they see value, they’re investing. Where they don’t, they’re consolidating and choosing integrated solutions like ours that allow them to do more with less,” Mr MacDonald said.
“This is a decision designed to set ACU up for success and to align to our strategic plan,” Mr Jenkins said.
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