In June 2003 NMSU formed several ad hoc committees to evaluate NMSU's current information systems in comparison to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
It is recommended that NMSU replace the current advancement, finance, human resources, financial aid and student information systems with the SCT Banner software suite. It is further recommended that this integrated system be augmented with specific third-party software systems as required to support responsive, web-based administrative processing and reporting for students, faculty, staff, administration and external stakeholders of the University.
NMSU reviewed existing administrative systems and compared them to the SCT Banner integrated system. The review included interviews and conversations with staff at other SCT Banner institutions and comparison of written system evaluations performed by other institutions. The consensus position is that replacing the existing systems with SCT Banner is preferred over modifying the existing systems to address current system inadequacies and projected limitations in meeting the NMSU strategic targets.
Although there are several additional vendors of comprehensive administrative software for universities, NMSU believes the recommendation to contract with SCT Banner without a formal Request For Proposal is appropriate because:
- SCT Banner is an industry leader in providing integrated administrative software systems to higher education.
- Migrating to SCT Banner aligns NMSU with the existing contractual relationship between SCT and other four-year institutions in the state. By utilizing the state contract, NMSU is excused from the RFP process under state procurement regulations because of pricing terms previously negotiated between SCT and the State of New Mexico.
- A recent comprehensive Educause (www.educause.edu) study of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems found a common level of institutional satisfaction across all of the primary ERP systems, regardless of the vendor.
- The majority of institutions that implement and ERP with a minimum of modifications to the baseline systems have been shown to succeed, and SCT is considered to be a “best practices” vendor of university administrative software.
It is recognized that implementing new software does not address directly the existing issues with administrative process; therefore, the majority opinion is that an extensive business process analysis be conducted as part of implementing the new system. This will, in many cases, require extensive reworking of historic University practices, but it will result in a closer alignment of NMSU administrative services and procedures with other institutions on a national level. By implementing the integrated software suite without system modification, the following benefits are provided:
- Implementation and ongoing maintenance will remain within projected time and expense budgets.
- The University is positioned to take advantage of the “best practices” imbedded in the software, as well as the currently available widespread 3rd -party software components available when the system is implemented without modification.