Bringing an Educational Institution into the Digital World

Organisation: Distance Learning University
Country: Switzerland
Industry: Education
Implementation Partners: Pesol, Brain-tec (salaryApp)
Odoo Account Manager: Carlos Weishäupl
Apps Implemented: Contact Management, Mass Mailing, Leaves, Timesheet, Accounting & Finance, Assets, Project -Ticketing-, Survey, Employee Directory, Contracts, Expenses
Company Size: 486 (Employees + Teachers)
Number of Users: 2440 (97 Employees + 1954 students + 389 Teachers)
Implementation Type: On-Premise

About Distance Learning University

The Distance Learning University Institute is the only institute recognised as a distance learning university in Switzerland and offers an extensive range of distance learning courses. The structure of the courses is in line with the Bologna Directives and the degrees are equivalent to those of traditional Swiss universities. The success story behind the Swiss Distance University Institute began over 20 years ago. Since 1992, they have been offering distance degree programmes at a university level all over Switzerland. Over 1,900 students from Switzerland and abroad are currently registered in degree programmes taught in German, French or English. 

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A Scattered Landscape

Prior to using Odoo, the University used multiple software applications for resource and people management. Sage was used for accounting activities, Blue Office for processing leaves and timesheets and Jedox for business intelligence and budget reporting. Microsoft Office tools such as Outlook, Word and Excel were also used by the institution to manage activities such as ticketing and contact management. As different people were responsible for the various courses at the Swiss Distance University, the method in which data was stored in Excel was not uniform and varied from course to course.

Distance Learning University needed a new ERP system that would keep all their data centralised and where information could be easily shared between different applications. Upon research, the institution came across Odoo and found that it was the solution that would meet their needs. With the help of the Odoo partners Pesol and Brain-tec, the University began the implementation journey. 

Life with Odoo 

What Distance Learning University values the most about Odoo are its customisation capabilities. Using standard Odoo applications whilst customising them has been core to the institution's use of Odoo.

Odoo’s framework has enabled the institution to connect with different types of technologies required to run a university. Here are some of the open source and private software it has been able to connect to: Moodle (Open Source), Signal Sign On (Switch - Swiss software) and Mail Server (Microsoft 365). 

The institute has also been able to develop a number of high quality and user-friendly web applications (Frontend/backend) which have met the users needs. Here are some of them: a Registration/Inscription Form App, a Teacher App, a Student App and an Evaluation App (based on Survey). 

“Thanks to Odoo we have entered the digital age. All our study, administrative and financial management processes are available online and worldwide. We have thus been able to optimize the management of our resources and make our working environment more flexible.”
- Stéphane Pannatier, Administrative Director at Distance Learning University Institute

The Odoo partners Pesol, together with Redcor, formed an amazing team to ensure that the needs of the Swiss University Institute were met. 

The community OCA also played a key part within the implementation. They enabled the Swiss Localization for the institution’s accounting and banking interaction, developed a builder to report finance and budget data in a flexible way and tier validations to manage the validation workflows involved in areas such as expenses and invoicing. 

Having a software that is unique to the institution’s needs has enabled the Distance Learning University to work in a communicative way and maintain a uniformed, cross functional practice.

“The main challenge I faced since I started with Distance Learning University (OpenErp 6.1 by that time) was to transform a “Frankenstein-type” project with no clear direction to a unique mind oriented and user-friendly solution. Next quarter we will deliver Odoo 13, which will again offer a starting point and a new opportunity to supervise, extend and improve all the services we supply to our employees, teachers and students thanks to this amazing tool.” 
- Pedro Evaristo Gonzalez Sanchez (Odoo Expert & Software Management Lead)

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