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HR efficiencies could bring £140million in benefits for UK higher education

27th January 2011
Payroll and human resources costs account for 50% of an average university’s annual budget. This makes effective HR management and staff development supported by the use of the latest technologies crucial to achieving savings, as universities face budget pressures and strive to maintain teaching and research standards. Using data from more than 4,000 SAP benchmarking participants and its knowledge of the sector, Absoft estimates the combined benefits of implementing SAP HR and Payroll across the 115 universities in the UK higher education sector could amount to at least £140 million. That’s a potential benefit of around £1million per institution. Further savings can be made by choosing to deliver software solutions via shared services, which are already widely used in other areas of the public sector. Although traditionally individual institutions have preferred to build and maintain their own IT and back-office capability, Absoft believes that the Higher Education sector is ideally suited to adopting a shared service approach. "Teaching and research are highly competitive areas of the HE sector and are facing growing financial constraints, however there are numerous similarities in the way in which business processes such as in HR and Payroll are handled," says Ian Mechie, managing director of Absoft. "The same reporting requirements for HESA apply in each case, while institutions need to make returns to both Local Government Pension Schemes and the Universities Superannuation Scheme. "Shared services are therefore an excellent fit for universities. Absoft’s solution provides access to world class SAP HR and Payroll software, with an affordable and predictable monthly cost attached, making it a more viable option in the current financial climate. "The infrastructure for Absoft’s HR and Payroll shared service is based on highly scalable virtualised servers and storage housed at Absoft’s UK data centres. These are extremely energy efficient and help contribute to reducing the university’s carbon footprint. The solution is accessed remotely without compromising on functionality, and each customer retains the freedom to develop their own HR and Payroll processes as the organisation evolves. "Shared services reduce the outlay on campus-based technology and skills as well as energy costs, providing a neat solution to addressing the budget cuts mandated by government without severely impacting the delivery of core services such as teaching and research,” says Ian Mechie. "The customer gets access to the very latest version of SAP at all times and the responsibility of running the system is taken away from them so staff can concentrate on value-adding activities. Absoft maintains the system from a technical and functional perspective and ensures legislative compliance at all times," adds Mr. Mechie. The solution ensures complete data separation and security for each customer " the system is fully backed up 24 /7 and has live business continuity in place at multiple UK locations to ensure uninterrupted service. SAP has already been deployed successfully in a variety of shared service environments, particularly in the public sector. The technology is ideal for this because of its scalability, flexibility and security. Absoft is currently offering a free business case for universities interested in finding out how they could benefit from implementing an SAP HR and Payroll solution. The company will be showcasing its on-site and shared service HR and Payroll solutions at the UCISA (Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association) Annual Management Conference, which takes place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 23 to 25 March 2011. Absoft provides sap solutions for higher education to universities and higher education organisations in the UK.
Category : computers/software/business/
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