The Brooke

In 2002 The Brooke had a step-change in income, growing significantly, which in turn drove expansion plans. Until then a Sage solution had been used, but a more comprehensive financial accounting package was required, hence the move to SunSystems from Sapphire.

At a glance - The Brooke

Objective

The aim of the upgrade and roll-out was to get a better handle on financial information around the world and to get more analysis functionality – for example multi currency analysis.

Solution

Infor SunSystems

Key wins

- Capturing and holding more information within the system

- Customised forms that are more user friendly

- Visually appealing screens

- Creating longer analysis codes

Background to the case

In 2002 The Brooke had a step-change in income, growing significantly, which in turn drove expansion plans. Until then a Sage solution had been used, but a more comprehensive financial accounting package was required, hence the move to SunSystems from Sapphire.

The Brooke aims to have two million working horses, donkeys and mules by 2016 and has set up a 'Building for Growth' project with four strands, one of which is to improve the finance systems worldwide. This mean that the charity needs to target bigger donors who will need sophisticated financial reporting from The Brooke.

SunSystems was originally set up in the UK and the first global roll-out plans set up in 2011 covered Egypt and India.

The requirement

Initially the plan was to roll-out SunSystems v4.3. Himali Fernando, Financial Controller at The Brooke, attended a Sapphire SunSystems User Day where she found out about the latest developments in the new web-based version of SunSystems. The IT Manager, Parit Shah, attended an Infor Roadshow event and they both agreed an upgrade to Infor SunSystems fitted in well with the business needs and plans.

The aim of the upgrade and roll-out was to get a better handle on financial information around the world and to get more analysis functionality – for example multi currency analysis.

Benefits of Infor SunSystems 

"We were very happy with SunSystems 4.3, but with Infor SunSystems we are pleased to have multiple analysis capabilities and the volume of analysis categories is great – up to 10 dimensions which is very useful" said Himali

Multi currency is also "very handy" as The Brooke operates internationally. "Not all our Business Units have sterling as the base currency and SunSystems is able to accommodate that". Other beneficial functionality includes:

  • Capturing and holding more information within the system
  • Monitoring grants better
  • Working in a more streamlined way – customised forms that are more user friendly
  • Visually appealing screens
  • Creating longer analysis codes – not limited by the number of characters.

The upgrade went live on 1st April 2012 as planned and is working as expected, with Himali saying "The New Screens are more visually appealing. We're still getting used to a few things, and are finding the new functionality very useful. I am used to Sun Accounts so find it pretty easy to use. When it comes to new users we have all our procedures written down so everything is clear, we find that Q&A really helps with ease of reporting."

Working with Sapphire

"We have a very good relationship with our Account Manager, who is always very helpful. During our initial thoughts on upgrading he was open and honest with us; he helped us make the decision not to use the web-enabled version to begin with, but rather start using it a bit further down the line as our requirements progress" said Himali. "We were comforted that he wasn't selling us something we didn't need just for the sake of it, but was ensuring we had the best solution to meet our needs at each stage of growth."

During the upgrade the Project Management provided by Sapphire was described as "really good – very flexible" by Himali. "Sapphire's Project Manager and Consultant did a very good job and were able to cover all our questions and accommodate changes: on one occasion they only had one day to incorporate a change and they did it; they were very helpful."

She went on to say "The implementation was all taken care of by Sapphire, which helped as I already have a full-time job and was able to get on with that."

Himali and the team were also impressed by the comprehensive and clear documentation completed by Sapphire. "The documentation once we got the initial server upgrade done was great. Our IT Manager was able to get a lot of subsequent work done confidently himself thanks to such good information handover in the documentation. The Project Management,d ocumentation and flexible support would be key reasons for me to recommend Sapphire."

Himali finds that Sapphire's Support provision works well; every time she has called Sapphire's Support Hotline "they have had an answer that works".

What's next?

The Brooke had five licenses in use in the UK, purchasing more for the planned roll-out in Egypt, Pakistan and India.

Conclusion

Himali finished by saying of Sapphire "Everyone we have come in contact with from Sapphire has been professional and friendly, we find them very easy to work with," she concluded "I wouldn't want to use any solution but SunSystems. It fits in well with the needs of our organisation now, and will continue to do so as we grow."

About Sapphire