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Trinity College LondonTrinity College London, the international examinations board, offers accredited qualifications in English language and the Performing and Creative Arts. TCL conducts over 500,000 assessments each year worldwide, from graded examinations and certificates to diplomas and higher level vocational qualifications.
Background to the case – why upgrade?
TCL has been using Infor SunSystems from Sapphire since 1994. SunSystems is installed at the UK office, from where all worldwide financial data is managed; TCL conducts examinations in many countries, including India, Singapore and Australia. 15 members of staff access SunSystems and it is typical for 12 to be logged in at any given time.
Last year a global Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project was instigated. Tracy Everett, Project Manager/Systems Accountant, at TCL said "New solutions were introduced in response to the changing pace of a growing business; it was a good opportunity to upgrade and introduce more rigour to finance".
The upgrade to Infor SunSystems 5.4
The upgrade from Infor SunSystems version 4.2.6 to version 5.4 at TCL took 2 months. "We appreciated it was a very tight deadline, but there were minimal issues. Sapphire definitely met all the deadlines and the project came in on time and on budget. We are very pleased with how the upgrade went".
Sapphire's help and advice during the upgrade "was very good. We have great working relationships with Sapphire's consultants, built up over the years that Trinity has been using SunSystems" commented Tracy, adding "Both the technical and applications consultants who worked on the upgrade were knowledgeable, professional and personable – the good working relationship already in place made the upgrade much smoother."
Tracy recommends getting the whole team involved early on with any system upgrade – or indeed new implementation, "Have a detailed project plan and provide full training in an appropriate environment, preferably using your own data. Encourage a two way dialogue with your team and the implementation and training consultants."
Now that the upgrade is complete Tracy says SunSystems is "definitely performing as well as expected and we are very pleased with the functionality in SunSystems 5.4. The upgrade to the new version of Sun financials was a business critical change and it gives us a more powerful way of managing financial information to ensure an improved level of service to the business. The sophisticated reporting tools give us the opportunity to meet the requirements and ambitions of a growing business."
Working with Infor SunSystems
"SunSystems is a great solution and upgrading was the logical decision to make" said Tracy, "Its benefits include the flexibility to tailor the system to our specific requirements, multi-currency capability and the use of Vision Excel for quick and easy reporting. Analysis codes are a key element for us - we use them a lot and find the advanced features invaluable, for example, using analysis codes it is possible for us to report globally from a profit, regional and product perspective." "SunSystems is very easy to use. At first version 5.4 looked a little daunting as it was new to us, but most people were comfortable with it after just 1 day." Tracy Everett Project Manager/Systems Accountant
The benefits that SunSystems brings to Trinity College include improved reporting facilities, and especially dynamic reporting. The finance team is able to meet budget holders' needs in terms of nuance of requirements, "they can ask for anything and the information can be provided" said Tracy, going on to state: "Informed business decisions can be made at a high level thanks to the ability to quickly move form summary to detailed information using the drill down function, available from SunSystems."
TCL uses the SSC (SunSystems Connect) functionality in SunSystems version 5 to integrate SunSystems with the ongoing CRM project – accumulating global company data from around the world, in real time.
Infor SunSystems Training
"SunSystems is very easy to use" says Tracy "At first Sun 5 looked a little daunting as it was new to us, but most people were comfortable with it after just 1 day. The new features such as Favourites and tailoring the new interface are pretty easy to pick up; within a few minutes of it being demonstrated you understand it. It is easy to adapt to Sun 5 due to the ease of navigation around the system; team members can easily find information needed specific to their role".
For users that have not worked with SunSystems before Tracy says "Again, with the right training and open communication, introducing SunSystems is straightforward – a suitable training environment is key".
Working with Sapphire
On the working relationship Tracy said: "It's very easy to deal with Sapphire, they're a very professional organisation and we have good 2-way communication. Everyone we have met has been very knowledgeable, personable and easy to get along with. It is fantastic to be able to pick up the phone to consultants, support or the project manager as required; they listen to your requirements and get to know your business, and the people in the team, to meet those requirements. Open communication has been a real plus point over the years."
Tracy went on to add "We get very good cover from Sapphire's Support Team. It is a really good service, with quick response time – usually immediately. Everyone on the desk is very knowledgeable."
As a result of using SunSystems, and the integration with the new CRM system, the team at TCL can be moved into more productive roles due the ease of automation of day-to-day tasks.
"We have experienced cost savings thanks to the analysis that we have been able to run using SunSystems and subsequent actions taken" added Tracy, "We've also been able to eliminate paper based tasks, which saves money for us and is better from an environmental stand point too.
Potentially TCL will develop SunSystems further in the longer term "We are currently developing our chart of accounts and reporting processes; then we will look at other products."
To others reviewing their back office systems, Tracy advises "Consider SunSystems."
She finished by saying "I would recommend SunSystems for the functionality within the system which is superb, as well as the multi-currency capabilities, customisation and of course the analysis codes! The way it can be customised to a particular organisation and accurately meet your teams' daily processes - which can be developed within the system (done in house if you have the skills), is second to none."
Media contact: Rachel Unicomb +44 (0)20 7648 2008 Rachel.Unicomb@sapphiresystems.coma