Qld Government Agency Zaps SAP

Substantial upgrade costs and discomfort with SAP's functionality in respect of their operation prompted a Queensland government agency to replace its mandated SAP financial systems with an Australian developed financial software.

The Corporate Administration Agency (CAA), which falls under the Arts portfolio and provides a range of corporate services to several statutory bodies and agencies across Queensland, anticipates savings of up to $2.5 million over the next five years by migrating to Technology One's Finance One software.

Tim Dunn, executive manager for information management for the CAA, said a compelling case for change arose 12 months ago when the agency was faced with outlaying a substantial amount for a major upgrade of SAP.

"The cost/benefit analysis clearly showed we wouldn't get a positive return on our investment by using SAP," Dunn said.

"Also, we were not totally comfortable with the functionality provided in SAP in the first place.

The new software has been operating in the sport section of the Department of Communication, Information, Local Government, Planning and Sport since July 1 after a fast installation needed for GST reporting purposes.

It is now being implemented across the CAA and its eight agencies including the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum, the Criminal Justice Commission and the Queensland Board of Secondary School Studies. It is scheduled to go live in early November.

Dunn said despite the software being live in one agency, there were still a number of challenges to resolve for the major implementation.

"Sport was a unique beast I guess, because essentially it came from another agency, so there was not a great deal of SAP history. It's a different issue for our existing clients, so we have a number of challenges there in relation to trying to establish some sort of data warehouse facility to store existing SAP transactions and financials."

Despite the Technology One product rating highly, Dunn said for the agency's environment "the product as it stands at the moment is not particularly favourable across WAN (wide area network) connections. So, we need to create an environment to support this connectivity," Dunn said.

"We also need to realign with some of our data comms links, which isn't really a big deal, but it's another issue we have to deal with."

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