Buy or Build (or customize or outsource)?

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Buy or Build (or customize or outsource)?

  1. 1. Buy or Build (or customize or outsource)? The answer is yes! Marianne Colgrove – Reed College Dave Smallen – Hamilton College
  2. 2. The resource question: Do we? Buy Build Outsource A B C
  3. 3. Déjà vu all over again?
  4. 4. Dave’s oversimplified characteristics of web and ERP applications Process automation Process elimination Proprietary Universal interface Non-redundancy Single institutional image Data integrity/ security Integration Transaction processing Presentation (reporting) Function Form ERP Web
  5. 5. Key Decision Factors Strategic Value Market Maturity Functionality relative to need Low High Low High Buy/ Outsource Build Buy and don’t modify or Build (resource issue) ?? Other factors
  6. 6. Other Decision Factors <ul><li>Resource requirements ($$ and personnel) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of integration (ERP, LDAP) </li></ul><ul><li>Time pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional standards (e.g. LDAP, SQL) </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel talent </li></ul><ul><li>Level of risk </li></ul><ul><li>Technical complexity (e.g. modular vs. integrative) </li></ul><ul><li>Uniqueness of policies & practices </li></ul>
  7. 7. Drivers 1974 – 2004… 1974 1990 HR/Payroll Outsource Buy Build -Efficiency -Lack of time pressure -Automation -Maturity of technology Other Info Systems 2000 2004 (Datatel) Alumni Community Process elimination Integration Functionality Strategic direction Time pressure Competition Predictable costs/ delivery? ?? -Functionality -Time pressure -Resources -Process improvement -Predictable costs/ Delivery?? CMS (Blackboard) Web site (external focus) Portal Resource Scheduling ?? 2001 2002 2003 2005 HR Payroll HR/Payroll
  8. 8. Strategic Efforts Admission Alumni / Development
  9. 9. Portal Demo
  10. 14. Themes 1980 – 2005 1980 1992 Payroll Outsource Buy Build -Computing out of the cellar -Modules from various sources -Customization necessary Admin modules 2000 2004 Banner (finance, student, A/D) Alumni Directory The Web era Getting data out --> interaction Decentralization --> self service -Integration -Standard database Web site (external focus) ?? 2001 2002 2003 2005 Student Information Gateway HR Course Registration Admission search web A/D web & datamart
  11. 15. Reed Examples <ul><li>Build </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Information Gateway & Course Registration (collaboration with Oxy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni Directory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acquire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banner Web for Alumni/Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and A/D Datamart </li></ul></ul>
  12. 16. Student Gateway <ul><li>Faculty & registrar priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Little convergence with Banner products </li></ul><ul><li>No interest in changing practices </li></ul><ul><li>Highly modular </li></ul><ul><li>Grant-funded </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to trade with Oxy </li></ul>
  13. 19. Alumni Directory (ReedLink) <ul><li>Bad experience outsourcing survey </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate data update </li></ul><ul><li>Not about fund-raising </li></ul><ul><li>Highly modular, expandable </li></ul><ul><li>Shares some services with Gateway (e.g. Career Services, email forwarding) </li></ul><ul><li>Now reconsidering some outsourcing </li></ul>
  14. 24. Alumni/Development <ul><li>Executive reporting for development </li></ul><ul><li>Highly ad-hoc queries, on the road </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline - “yesterday” </li></ul><ul><li>Complex table structure </li></ul><ul><li>Highly integrative </li></ul><ul><li>Web for Alumni/Development </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni/Development datamart </li></ul>
  15. 25. Alumni/Development <ul><li>Two-year implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated new staff line </li></ul><ul><li>Server with second Oracle instance </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily faster, but feels better </li></ul><ul><li>Both staff and infrastructure bring other benefits </li></ul>
  16. 26. Build <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Close match with needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise for other projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable to staff changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable to changes in technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed project management </li></ul></ul>
  17. 27. Buy <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community of users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to interface with existing systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big jump in functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty of customizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncertainty of continuing costs (or certainty of increase) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viability of company/product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning still required </li></ul></ul>
  18. 28. Outsource <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused expertise Faster implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictable implementation costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with other systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unpredictable continuing costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative relationship a must </li></ul></ul>
  19. 29. Where are we going? and why are we in this handbasket?
  20. 30. &quot;When you come to a fork in the road....take it ” -- Yogi Berra

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