How both UNLV and MSU streamlined their budgeting process with TruEd and Anaplan
Prior to becoming the Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at Michigan State University (MSU), Rebecca Barber was in a similar financial planning, budget, and analysis role at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Both Research 1 universities were struggling with the
annual operating budget process, and in both of her roles, Rebecca was brought in to find a solution.
“In each case, we needed an implementation partner that would be a true partner,” said Rebecca. “We wanted a partner that would be with us for the long term to the extent that we needed, but was not going to try to make us dependent upon them to get anything done and who really appreciated
that we needed to be independent as well. So, all of those criteria came together in first the RFP process at UNLV and then at MSU.”
Rebecca first encountered TruEd when she was at UNLV. Then, the university sought a product that could serve the entire Nevada higher education system, which included two Research 1 organizations, community colleges, and a state college.“
Both UNLV and MSU sought an Anaplan implementation partner that understood higher education.
“At UNLV, we wanted a partner who understood enough about higher education that we could focus on teaching them the specifics about our different schools,” said Rebecca. “TruEd really set itself apart by coming into our RFP process with Anaplan and a team that was very focused on and literate in higher education. The other vendors sent us either inexperienced consultants or people who had consulting experience but no actual operational experience to back it up.”
When Rebecca transitioned to MSU, she found it had issues similar to what UNLV experienced. Because she was so impressed with the TruEd team she worked with at UNLV, TruEd was at the top of the vendor list she provided for the RFP.
“At UNLV, we couldn’t continue to perform at our staffing levels without bringing in a solution that could do more for us and require less manual intervention,” said Rebecca. “I felt that if I entrusted my implementation to TruEd, it would get done right the first time.
For Rebecca, TruEd was the obvious partner for both UNLV and MSU. TruEd’s team understands
the difficulties confronting today’s colleges and universities. That’s why it has teamed up with
Anaplan, a collaborative cloud-based platform with real-time capabilities for addressing higher
education institutions’ planning, budgeting, and forecasting needs.
“The TruEd team has worked on a number of templates for UNLV over the last few years to
provide a quick start to new functionality within Anaplan that institutions can use,” said Rebecca.
“They come up with ideas for using the system that I wouldn’t have thought of, but they wind up
being truly transformative opportunities for me to implement within my own organizations. I believe the TruEd team’s breadth of coverage in the industry allows them to see these trends before they actually get to any given campus, and they create templates as starting points for other campuses to begin to implement and take advantage of these new ideas.”
As for MSU, the university is still in the implementation process, but Rebecca said it’s already clear where improvements can be made in terms of responsiveness to senior leadership. “We plan on making the system available to them directly so that they can get answers without having to request them from twenty different people.”
Rebecca is also pleased with the TruEd team’s responsiveness. “They are available, friendly, willing to answer questions and work with my team, and are consistently supportive and helpful,” said Rebecca. “If we need something, they will do everything in their power to get us that answer,
which has been life-saving in certain instances.”
Although Rebecca is happy about using Anaplan, she knows that it is just a tool. “What made
the difference in the success of my Anaplan implementations at both universities has been
having TruEd as an implementation partner,” said Rebecca. “The tool, while necessary as a starting point, was not the differentiating factor.”