Stellenbosch University Learns How to Improve Document Processes Through Automation and Understands the Benefits to be Gained

Derby, UK — March 28th, 2019 Esker, a worldwide leader in AI-driven document process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced the benefits that have been realised by Stellenbosch University, a provider of higher tertiary education courses for over 100 years.

With a large proportion of correspondence having to be sent out on hard copy letterhead as a manual process to around 28,000 students, outdated software and newer hardware technologies were causing stagnation in systems, and the costs to replace this forced the University to consider alternatives.

Esker was chosen for its ability to help improve the university's corporate image by adopting the latest technologies whilst also streamlining processes to publish documents in electronic formats, such as via email with attachments in PDF format, without huge re-development costs to redesign existing IT systems.

Esker’s solution also ensured that all documents published would conform to corporate image and standards to produce a standardised ‘look and feel’, following a fresh look at workflow and the manner in which documents were being published.

Thys de Wet, Systems Administrator at the IT Division at Stellenbosch University explained; “Before Esker, all correspondence with prospective and enrolled students was made using an outdated solution produced on hard copy only, with in excess of 120,000 pages (plus various pre-printed documents) printed and mailed annually. Implementing the Esker process for this resulted in an overnight changeover from 0% email and 100% hard copy to 96% email and 4% hard copy. The hard copy portion has now been reduced to less than 1%. As a result, savings in costs, labour and consumables has been extensive. The cost saving on paper alone amounts to ZAR 250,000 annually, and this figure is a conservative estimate”.

Thys de Wet continued, “Mailroom staff have been reallocated to more significant roles within the University, and additional casual staff are no longer required during peak times. All the various letterheads used by the different support and service divisions has been incorporated into one Esker rule, minimising maintenance and development costs. Also, changes to the in-house developed IT systems have been minimal, with no changes to the way that end-user/process staff produce documents”.

The University is currently embarking on a renewal process of the in-house developed systems, and Esker will be pivotal in ensuring that the processes to publish documents will be smooth, whilst retaining the cost savings.

Alistair Nicholas, Managing Director - Northern Europe commented; “We are delighted to be working with such a prestigious academic establishment as Stellenbosch University which has over 100 years of educational excellence. Our partner in South Africa, Software Performance Improvement (SPI) has once again showed their consistent professionalism with the management, implementation and support for the client. It's great to understand the benefits that Stellenbosch University have already achieved and we look forward to helping them gain more in the future”.

Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University (SU) is home to an academic community of 29,000 students (including 4,000 foreign students from 100 countries) as well as 3,000 permanent staff members (including 1,000 academics) on five campuses. The historical oak-lined university town amongst the Boland Mountains in the winelands of the Western Cape creates a unique campus atmosphere, which attracts local and foreign students alike. On the main campus, paved walkways wind between campus buildings – some dating from previous centuries; others just a few years old. Architecture from various eras attests to the sound academic foundation and establishment of an institution of excellence. This, together with the scenic beauty of the area; state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities and technology, as well as visionary thinking about the creation of a sustainable 21st-century institution, makes for the unique character of Stellenbosch University.

About Esker
Esker is a worldwide leader in cloud-based document process automation software, helping financial and customer service departments digitally transform their order-to-cash (O2C) and purchase-to-pay (P2P) cycles. Used by more than 6,000 companies worldwide, Esker’s solutions incorporate technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to drive increased productivity, enhanced visibility, reduced fraud risk, and improved collaboration with customers, suppliers and internally. Esker operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific with global headquarters in Lyon, France, and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information on Esker and its solutions, visit Follow Esker on LinkedIn at Esker – Northern Europe, or on Twitter at @EskerNEurope and join the conversation on the Esker blog.