Dr. N.K.S. Rajan
Principal Research Scientist, The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
“The strength the team of Mr. Vishwas from M/s Sthira IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd., brings apart from the application / tool, is the in-depth domain knowledge as well as managing the various functional users to adapt to the application.”
In any eGovernance implementation, often focused on the technology, product tool, its interface and other issues which are largely related to systems.
In our view the Technology or the software product should act as an enabler – While software / application implementing, the approach should be on the ‘domain knowledge imparting‘ and its related processes, policies and controls. Because the end-user understand this easily as their day-to-day work revolves around it. The language and grammar they comprehend is also on their work related activities rather than on the technology processes.
If end-user appreciates the domain strength available in the solution and the domain competency of the implementing team, the adoption would be faster and effective.
This approach also helps in more partnerships from the end-user team and it further builds constructive and robust solution…
This Institute specialized in Research and Training in Epidemiology funded by ICMR. They conduct research including interventional studies, disease modelling and health systems, helps to develop/modify statistical methodological issues and conducts epidemiological investigations and clinical trials of traditional remedies. This institute is also involved in significantly contributing to development of human resources for epidemiology in India by conducting Masters Programme in Public Health and Field Epidemiology Training Programme.
Issues before eGovernance Software Tool:
- Islands of Multiple / Duplicate Data
- Scattered processes
- Cash Accounting
- Tedious Payroll Process Cycle
- Spreadsheet dependent Analysis
- Spreadsheet driven UC’s & SoE
- Access to basic information restricted
- Income Tax Calculation – Manual
- No Employee Self-Service
Benefits of “SFACTS”
- Establishment of Standardized Process and user alignment.
- Transparency & Accountability of various transactions
- Reduction of time on data entry and effective usage of time on qualitative analysis.
- Real Time generation of Reports resulting in efficiency, transparency and effective MIS.
- Real Time Integration with Accounts with Automated Financial Postings
- Effective and on time Statutory and Regulatory Compliances.
- Comprehensive Employee Self-Service Portal – On-line Leave Management; Income Tax Declaration; Income Tax Reports; Loan Summary – Every employee with an exclusive log-in
We endeavour to bring the change in the attitude towards the eGovernance in a Public / Govt Setup. The challenges of these changes is largely ‘human behaviour’ than adoption of technology.
We constantly work with various stake holder in an Organization to bring this change – Change for better.
Few pointers for effective change management:
- Hand-hold the end-user and share the perspectives of the solution and its benefits – Explicitly explain “What’s in it for me“!!
- Involve senior management team on regular review and appreciate the effort of the end-user in adopting the solution
- Enable with analytics which helps in better decision making process
- Review constantly and recalibrate the process for improved efficiency
ABOUT THE INSTITUTION:
This University is among the Top 4 Central Universities in India; In South Zone this is rated as No.1 University. The campus is spread over 2300 acres having over 15 schools and functioning through over 50 departments having 400+ faculties imparting curriculum for over 5000+ students in various streams of academics.
Key Statistics of the Institution :
- 500+ Funded Projects
- 400+ Online Users
- 350+ Project Staff processed every month
- Project tenure between 1 day to 5 Years
- Single Project accessed by Multiple PI
Challenges & Issues:
- Islands of data on funded projects
- Accrual Accounting not adopted
- Data output improper as reconciliation of balances was not accurate
- Manual processing of payroll / scholarship for over 350+ project staff, JRF & SRF
- Difficulty in tracking documents in approval
- Delay in responding to queries on past or ongoing projects
Process adopted during the implementation of SFACTS:
- Strong domain experience – Grant management, financial compliances, project management, training.
- Co-ordination with various stakeholders – VC, FO, Deans of Schools, Department Heads, Project Investigators, Dealing Assistants etc.,
- Rigorous training schedule right from the receipt of Grant till the Generation of Utilization Certificates / SoEs
- Short Cycle of master data migration to Go Live
- Trained 300+ users in a short span of 2 months
- Went live in 2 months
- Provided on site help desk for effective adoption
Benefits post implementation of SFACTS:
- Created an on-line approval engine for the stakeholders across the hierarchy, right from submission of bill till its final approval to payment;
- Enhanced visibility of a document under approval through a single solution
- Unified single source of data for reports and analytics
- Achieved 100% process alignment to Accrual Accounting
- Generate Utilization Certificates, Annual Reports, Statement of Expenditure with click of a button.
- 100% Alignment to statute – GFR, IT, PT.
- Real Time project and student analytics.
- Automated mundane day to day processes
Our client is a multidisciplinary Institute for patient care and academic and research pursuit in the frontier area of Neuro Sciences and is among the institutes of National importance standing as one of the fastest growing Research Institutions in India.
- Business processes were not Streamlined / Standardized
- Availability of unreliable data
- Person Dependant Process
- Lack of Fixed Asset management
- Enable the research team to focus less on administrative issues and devote greater time in critical research activities with quicker reporting tools for the funding agencies;
- Enable effective process of finalisation of the financial statement with greater audit compliance
SFACTS Implementation Benefits:
Sthira completed the project with record 5 months, which reflected in a significant increase in the ROI for the client. Other tangible benefits included the following:
- 100+ Project Investigator’s were able to access online their 250+ projects collectively, request cash advance, Item Indent, Generate UC & SOE
- Track Fixed Asset Agency Wise, Division Wise, Department Wise, PI Wise & Project Wise.
- The implementation impacted high visibility of the project operations and financial compliances.
- The user experienced the power of real time and any time report generation.
- Easy access to approval status through our Approval Engine across the Institution – Helped in transparency & accountability of the process
- Track Letter of Credit (LC) for supplies with effective from and to date.
- Manual entries of data has been eliminated, reducing redundancy and clerical errors
- Generation of on-line reports across the application – Budget Summary, Commitments Outstanding, Project Expenditure, Day Book, Income & Expenditure, Balance Sheet etc.,
- It largely helped in:
- Process integration
- Smooth access to data across the organization / institution
- Reductionin process time
- Enhanced efficiency