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Survey shows nearly half would replace systems if they could help manage business-change more effectively

Institutions struggling to meet the high cost of software change post-implementation

UNIT4, the world’s leading provider of business software for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC™), today announced the results of a survey undertaken by Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC), which found that many Higher Education Institutions are not meeting business-change management requirements as a result of rigid enterprise software, that is costing them between $100K and $1 million to make changes after the software is installed.

According to the survey, nearly half of respondents would consider replacing their current ERP software solutions if it would help them manage change more effectively without having to rely on costly external support. The high cost of organizational change management initiatives appears to be the reason for this. Almost 36 percent of respondents report spending over $100K – with seven percent spending upwards of $1 million – to meet post-deployment change management requirements.

Change management initiatives in Higher Education are being driven by a number of internal and external pressures. Respondents identified increased regulatory compliance requirements and internal reorganization and restructuring efforts designed to cut costs and increase efficiency as the top change management drivers. They also indicated that software was a critical part of meeting change management requirements.

“Higher education institutions are suffering from a significant change management burden, and can be vulnerable to a fast-changing business environment,” said Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst. “They are suffering from the high cost of change associated with making changes in their enterprise software post-implementation, and the cost cited in our report likely only reflects direct costs. The top drivers for change affect all levels of the organization, and only by investing in software that easily accommodates changes will they be able to adapt and meet these challenges effectively.”

The same survey identifies a series of software modifications that might be required to meet the key change management requirements, and details how UNIT4’s Agresso Business World ERP software addresses those requirements. The findings are verified by interviews with three customers, and show that almost all modifications can be accomplished at the simplest, Graphical User Interface (GUI) level.

“The change management drivers identified in the report are common across all business sectors, and sadly we continue to see organizations in all these sectors (incl. Higher Education) suffer badly when required to change quickly,” said Ton Dobbe, VP Product Management at UNIT4. “Too many have invested in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology as the backbone of their operations, which cannot support change without significant database-level modifications that take time and require costly external consultants. That’s not something to blame buyers for – it’s a fundamental flaw in the IT industry and in fact, it keeps a whole industry afloat due to the intense service requirements after implementation. Agresso Business World is built on the unique VITA architecture specifically to support post-implementation change independently – at the right time at the right cost.”

TEC collected responses from 216 higher education professionals from a spectrum of roles and institutions, the majority (75%) from universities or colleges with more than 10,000 students. The TEC market report, “Managing Change in the Higher Education Sector”, is available for download at

About Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC)

Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC), the leading advocate for the enterprise software purchaser, helps private- and public-sector organizations choose the best enterprise software solutions for their unique business needs—quickly, impartially, and cost-effectively. TEC delivers an unmatched range of online software evaluation and selection services that minimize the costs, risks, and duration of software selection projects, and bridges the gap between enterprise decision makers and the vendor/value-added reseller (VAR) community.

TEC’s proven approach combines extensive online IT research; a proven software selection methodology; state-of-the-art Web-based software selection technology; and the experience of its analysts and software selection experts.