Success Story Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Full focus on scheduling – Since the previous scheduling system of the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences was no longer being further developed and thus the proper execution of the entire scheduling process was in jeopardy, the Austrian university and Simovative jointly developed a completely new solution with a focus on scheduling. Within a few months, the university's problem was solved with the help of the academyFIVE planning tool.
Imagine the following scenario: you are working on the timetable for the coming semester, but are simply not making any progress. Numerous challenges stand in your way: on the one hand, you have to balance a large number of appointments, courses, and rooms with students and lecturers in a meaningful way. On the other hand, your programme fails to maintain control over both planning groups and individual participants. Conflicts are not recognised in time and you are regularly faced with the problem of making costly changes at short notice. In addition, there are many other areas of tension, such as incoming students, individual classes, and the ever-increasing effort required for resource planning, as all offerings and processes become more heterogeneous and the various options more diverse.
The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences also struggled with its scheduling. The Austrian university had previously relied on a system for its scheduling that provided a very complex input tool and that did not invest in any new development, which ultimately caused the university to break ties with the provider. The entire scheduling process could not be implemented as desired. Many steps had to be completed at the last minute. On top of that, appointments that had already been created were deleted from the system without any apparent reason or prior notice. Due to a lack of support, waiting for help either took a very long time or never even happened. The problem with scheduling was compounded by the urgency of finding a suitable and efficient system as quickly as possible.
The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences committed to shaping the future more than 27 years ago. Today, the approximately 3,200 students at four locations can choose from 18 bachelor's and 12 master's degree programmes in four disciplines.
For several years, the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences used a foreign provider for its timetabling, but the tool was no longer being developed and was at risk of falling apart. When the complete system was about to end, it became really urgent. In the search for a suitable replacement, the university initially faced the challenge that it wanted a pure scheduling software, but most providers – like Simovative with academyFIVE at that time – only offered complete systems. The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences then even entered the proof-of-concept phase with one company. It became apparent that there was no interface for automated data import and export, and that support took far too long to process requests.
Again, Simovative was asked – also on the recommendation of the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences – whether only the scheduling module could be used. Simovative and the Salzburg University worked together to make it happen.
This situation demanded a pure timetabling software that needed to be as easy and fast to use as possible. The customer also desired a reliable support system to get quick answers in case of problems; and it had to be fast – very fast.
While academyFIVE had only been available as a complete package at that time, the focus was now on scheduling. The basic master data system was implemented as a foundation to fully automate the data import and export, as requested by the university. In addition, the CampusWEB was integrated to make the students' schedules available online. But the focus was and still is on planning. For the Salzburg university, the possibility of control on planning group level as well as on participant level was enormously important because it allowed them to plan with participants as early as possible and thus recognise and solve potential conflicts in advance. Since there are many flexible students at the university, some of whom cannot be assigned to a group, this dual track at participant level and planning group level, which only a few systems can offer, came at just the right time.
After only four months of the implementation phase, the entire planning process of the Salzburg University is now running properly and stress-free with the help of academyFIVE.
The customer's conclusion
After successful implementation, Judith Willert, project manager and employee of the study organisation of the Salzburg University, reviews the entire transaction:
‘I've been in project management for a very long time, and I have to say that of all the implemented projects I've worked on, the one with academyFIVE was one of the best ever.’
Especially the criterion of getting quick help when you need it is worth a lot of praise for Judith Willert:
‘A decisive point that spoke for Simovative and academyFIVE was their support. You can always count on a quick response, which is incredibly important to us, because we work with many systems and a quick response is of very high importance.’
Torsten Fürbringer, Managing Director of Simovative, is also enthusiastic about the collaboration:
‘Normally, we only offer the whole package with academyFIVE and have never done it differently up to this point. For the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, however, we reconsidered our previous offer and really concentrated only on scheduling, which ultimately worked out wonderfully. In the end, there were two beneficiaries: The Salzburg University is satisfied because it finally has its scheduling under control again, and Simovative can now offer higher education institutions a solution apart from the complete campus management system.’
Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Salzburg - Austria