Kentucky moves 173 school districts to cloud-based ERP
- By Rutrell Yasin
- Apr 05, 2013
Kentucky has completed a two-year, statewide initiative to move 173 school districts onto a cloud-based enterprise resource planning system, currently making the state’s education system one of the largest in the country to deploy a financial management system in the cloud.
The state moved the school districts from traditional on-premise deployments of Tyler Technologies’ Munis ERP system to a hosted Munis solution, according to a release. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has been a Munis client for 18 years. KDE recommended its school districts migrate to a hosted Munis solution for numerous benefits, state officials said.
“Kentucky is a national P-12 leader in cloud computing and has already successfully transitioned many services to the cloud, including statewide e-mail, and we believe that migrating to a hosted Munis solution is the best investment of state dollars for the long term,” David Couch, associate commissioner for the Office of Knowledge, Information and Data Services, said in a statement.
The on-premise infrastructure had gotten old, requiring significant investment to keep it up and running. Moving to Munis’ cloud-based model will increase reliability and capabilities for Kentucky’s school districts, while taking a lot of work off the IT staff, Couch said.
“Cost reductions are a benefit of cloud-computing, but for Kentucky schools, our primary driver was increasing the reliability of services beyond what our aging on-premise infrastructure could provide,” he said.
A hosted solution also gives the school districts more efficient disaster-recovery services than an on-premise solution. And a cloud-based solution ensures the districts will have the most current version of Munis without disruption of business or relicensing costs, officials said.
Kentucky and Tyler officials transitioned approximately 10 districts per month in less than two years, and completed the project on time and on budget, said Richard Peterson, president of Tyler’s ERP & School Division.
Tyler provides cloud-based ERP services to several municipalities and on-premise ERP to dozens of cities. The town of Mount Desert, Maine, recently signed a 10-year agreement to access Munis via Tyler’s software as a service platform. The company has offered cloud-based ERP services to Boulder City, Nev. since September 2012.
Two years ago, former federal CIO Vivek Kundra predicted that financial management systems would be the next step in the cloud for government agencies. The difficulty of wrestling with large internal financial systems would prompt agencies to move those systems to the cloud, he said at the time.
Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.