The legacy of the largely defunct initiative to standardise Australian universities across the one administration specification, called the Core Administrative Specification Management and Computing (CASMAC) system, is still paying dividends, according to Andersen Consulting which has just secured a lucrative deal with Central Queensland University (CQU).
Worth $14 million over three years, the deal will see Andersen Consulting (AC) work closely with PeopleSoft to upgrade the University's administration infrastructure including an integrated software and hardware solution for finance, human resources, payroll and student administration components.
Going to tender in partnership with software vendor PeopleSoft, Simon Porter, associate partner at Andersen Consulting, says this alliance and the maturity of PeopleSoft's product is what sold the University.
"It's a significant investment by the University," said Porter, who claims timely implementation and the number of staff CQU could throw at the project were contributing factors to AC's selection.
With universities holding out for the CASMAC system for nearly 10 years, which eventually fell through, the floodgates have been opened to the university sector, claimed Porter, as major universities look to migrate to new administration systems.
"A lot of the systems are old enough to vote," he said. "The education market at the moment is like wildfire."
Looking to curb staffing costs, CQU's vice chancellor, Professor Lauchlan Chipman, said: "Our primary goal is to reduce the cost of temporary, casual and seasonal staff who are brought in to cope with the inadequacies of the current system."
The system will be rolled out in three stages over three years. Stage one will include student admissions, general ledger, budgets and purchasing and payables modules. Stage two incorporates student records; student financials, billings and receivables modules. Stage three will include inventory, assets and human resources modules.
AC is also working with the University of NSW, Australian National University and the University of Queensland.