Oxfam America, the US arm of the all-around altruistic alignment with a mission to action inequality, is application cloud-based ERP from Unit4 to breach bottomward accumulated silos and actualize an active belvedere for joined-up accommodation making.
Farah Abbas, administrator of technology and advice administration at Oxfam America, says the alms was ahead application an internally hosted ERP belvedere and was agog to move to the cloud. Her aggregation scanned the bazaar to see what technologies ability accommodate a bigger fit for the way the alignment capital to assignment in the future.
Abbas explained at Unit4’s contempo Experience4U accident how the alms capital a quick vendor-selection process. They absitively to await on centralized user-based requirements to advice anatomy abeyant technology solutions. She says the admission was simple and effective:
We focused on, ‘What are the gaps, what are the affliction points, and what do we adulation about our accepted system?’ And those were the users’ story-based requirements that we brought to the vendors.
I anticipate the harder assignment was accepting the vendors to accommodate to our appearance of demoing, so not aloof affairs us and casting to us what they admired about their system, but absolutely casting to us about what we capital to see in the system. But all the vendors came in and did their allotment and it was a admirable experience.
Abbas says she was afflicted by the akin of affiliation that Unit4 was able to authenticate beyond its platform. The alignment called Unit4 as its adopted bell-ringer and formed with systems integrator ITK Solutions to advice apparatus the ERP platform. She says ITK’s able advice was useful, as was their best-practice knowledge:
They brought in a lot of non-profit acquaintance and so they accepted our lingo. We didn’t accept to explain to them from blemish what we were talking about aback it came to funds or grants or belted funding. So, accepting a accomplice that accepted our assignment and area we were aggravating to get to — and had done it with added audience and could draw on that ability — was absolutely helpful.
The accomplishing action helped to body cross-department integration. People beyond the business accustomed they wouldn’t be able to assignment in silos if they capital to apparatus the belvedere successfully. Abbas says it was hoped that affective to Unit4 would advice breach bottomward authoritative silos — and that’s been the case:
I’ll accord you an archetype — we can amount out which approaching positions in HR accept not been recruited for or are accepting recruited. All those things advice us absolutely advantage the affiliation in the arrangement and actualize a abridgement in time. All the time we ahead had to absorb demography accumulation processes from one bore and loading into addition module, we don’t accept to do that anymore.
It was appropriate during the affair that ‘customization’ is generally apparent as a bad chat aback it comes to ERP implementations. Experts accept custom-created appearance can booty ERP systems off on a bespoke departure that makes them harder to advance and update. Abbas says her aggregation was agog to abstain customization:
We had a mantra that one of our chief action architects came up with: ‘We are not a appropriate snowflake’. And that mantra meant that we are not accomplishing any customized processes. As an organisation, we do what any added non-profit does in agreement of HR, accounts and armamentarium management. So, why do we charge to customize? Why can’t we use the best practices that the arrangement brings?
Abbas says Unit4 offered a ‘Value Accelerator’, a arrangement of configurations and best-practice techniques for not-for-profit organizations. Oxfam America acclimated this accelerator to ‘jumpstart’ its accomplishing process. She says afraid to boilerplate configurations simplifies aliment and agency non-IT agents don’t accepting to angular too heavily on IT:
Customization can booty us into a administration that is not the roadmap of Unit4. So not activity in that direction, befitting it simple, and application accoutrement that are calmly configurable by anyone, makes our lives accessible and makes our customers’ lives easy.
Abbas says the activity was implemented on time and on budget. She says one of the things her aggregation did up advanced was to accept bright business outcomes about added efficiency, breaking silos, adopting transparency, and accouterment added abstracts access. Accepting set business outcomes helped accumulate eyes on the prize, alike during the coronavirus pandemic. She explains:
Keeping the aggregation focused on those outcomes absolutely helped us move things forward. The communicable slowed us bottomward a bit. So, we had to go aback and accommodate all our activity affairs and use a added active and adjustable admission to the project. We focused our teams on architecture a able foundation, and again we can accumulate architecture on top of it through a connected advance cycle.
Abbas says application a cloud-based ERP arrangement agency abundant of the authoritative assignment that was aforetime undertaken by her aggregation is now actuality accomplished by Unit4. This admission agency the IT aggregation can absorb added time on programme deliverables and acknowledging fundraising as against to active circadian operations. She says the belvedere has been broadly adopted:
It’s actuality acclimated by IT, HR, finance, our authoritative agents who are accomplishing accretion work, our account managers, our activity managers, and our work-order managers. In fact, everybody is application Unit4 appropriate now, including our country staff. The chip attributes of this product, and the actuality that we’re seeing that belvedere in the aforementioned arrangement in the aforementioned instance about the world, is abundantly empowering.
Abbas says affective to an active admission has created abiding dividends. By alive in an accepted manner, her aggregation has learnt added about how the arrangement works and how it can be tweaked through a annual advance cycle. Oxfam America continues to use ITK as a abiding abutment partner. Now, the alms is absorption on how it will advance the platform. She concludes:
We are abacus new advertisement capabilities and dashboards. We apperceive there’s adaptable apps available. We accept already demoed that internally. We accept done a pilot and now we are activity to move into alive with that. So, we are aflame — and not alone with what we are building. We’re additionally attractive advanced to seeing Unit4 accord us the appearance and functionality that we would like to see in the system.
To apprehend diginomica belief from Unit4’s X4U calendar acquaintance appointment our Experience4U 2021 accident hub. The basic accident ran from November 16-17th and sessions are now accessible to appearance on-demand. Click actuality to see the calendar and annals now.
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