About the Client
Volusia County isn’t alone. Increasingly, districts across the country are turning to cloud solutions to modernize their back-office processes. Cloud solutions can create tremendous efficiencies that free up time, money, infrastructure, and other resources so districts can focus on providing a world-class education to students. Crucial to the success of these back-office transformations is the involvement of a trusted cloud implementation firm like CherryRoad Technologies, an Oracle consulting partner with 38 years of experience in modernizing, optimizing, and managing complex back-office processes and technologies for school districts, higher education institutions, and state and local organizations.
Volusia County Schools in Florida serve 65,000+ K-12 students. Over the years, it has run its legacy data center and back-office applications on-premises, meaning it had to invest in and maintain the data center, upgrade it as needed, manage disaster recovery, and more. When it came time to modernize the back office, the district considered, and then rejected an on-premise solution. Technology had gotten in the way of servicing the users. Instead, the district opted to move to a cloud-based Oracle solution, supported by CherryRoad, that provides a wide range of business capabilities while enabling unified visibility and control.
The district found it could save money overall by transferring data center costs (e.g., personnel, maintenance, power, cooling, and rack and floor space) to the cloud vendor instead of operating infrastructure in-house. Another decisive factor was Oracle’s Platinum Partner CherryRoad and its implementation methodology.
Using this solution, Volusia County School District expected to:
- Secure data access so district leaders and staff can make informed decisions regardless of their location or device
- Support data-driven decision-making
- Implement employee self-service (change contact information in benefits and payroll applications)
- Standardize purchasing and other business processes
- Eliminate duplicate data entry for purchase orders, payroll, and other processes
- Obtain a single, consistent version of the truth
- Streamline workflows for grants, projects, budgets, and other processes that have historically been paper-based
Following best practices had further set up Volusia Schools for success:
- Define business processes. Knowing how and why departments do things will help a district identify opportunities for improvement and lay the groundwork for drafting an RFP.
- Identify staffing needs early. Determine needs for the project (business leads as well as technical leads) and identify their current responsibilities and how their roles will be filled while they are on the project.
- Include business SMEs. Identify subject matter experts (SMEs) in the departments where business processes occur and involve them in the project so they understand what they’re getting and can champion the project with other faculty and staff.
- Seek budgeting help. Modernization requires a long-term financial plan. The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and other organizations can supply guidance on how to sustain projects over time.
- Address data protection. Be prepared to show how sensitive data will be protected and how the district will comply with government regulations related to financial information, health care records, student privacy and more.