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24-District Utah Consortium Shifts to Commercial Fiscal Management Suite
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A consortium of school districts in Utah will be adopting Alio, a set of financial and human resources applications from IT services firm Weidenhammer. The consortium, which consists of 24 school districts, formed to do a group purchase after the state announced it would no longer develop or support the free fiscal management software in use by those districts after Dec. 31, 2012.
Weidenhammer's Alio was already in use by other districts in the state, including Utah's Nebo School District, which adopted the company's financial software about six years ago. Nebo, in Spanish Fork, has about 29,000 students in 39 schools and a staff of about 3,700. In 2011 the district won an award from the company for the implementation, which helps manage payroll and accounts payable, purchasing, HR, and budgeting. The software provides portals for employees and applicants, and data reporting tools.
Nebo reportedly chose Alio because end users liked the interface and its drill-down capabilities. Since then the district has also adopted the company's GPS technology, which allows it to do real-time monitoring of school bus speed and location, which are pertinent to calculating bus driver payroll. At the time it received the award, Nebo's Technology Supervisor Dale Bills said, "By using Weidenhammer's products, we have been able to reduce the time it takes to do payroll and other tasks. Doing so has allowed us to handle an increasing workload without increasing the size of our departments."
Nebo School District's finance, human resource, and technology departments have been diligently implementing software relating to payroll and accounts payable, purchasing, human resource services, and budgeting. Some of the new implementations include an employee portal, applicant portal, self-serve employee portal, and a data reporting tool.
Ogden City School District, part of the consortium, told its board that implementation would take place in two phases. The business office applications would be in place by July 1, 2012. The HR components would be set up by the end of the year. That district, which has about 12,600 students, will spend $228,981 for the year of licensing and $41,361 for annual maintenance thereafter.
Millard, a smaller district with about 3,000 students, will follow the same schedule. It will be spending $72,861 for its Alio implementation as well as $14,446 for hardware to host the system. It estimated that subsequent maintenance costs will be $9,173.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.