Workflow goes to University

Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU), one of the largest Thai private universities, has deployed K2 and SharePoint to automate business processes, increase efficiency and improve governance. 

There are over 20,000 students and 1200 full-time staff at the Bangkok campus of the former college founded in 1968, and upgraded to a university status in 1984. Undergraduate and post- graduate degree programs are offered through the university's 12 faculties.

The DPU International college conducts teaching in English. while the China Asean International college conducts all teaching in Chinese and has just under a thousand Chinese students on campus in 2013. Theses two international colleges offer Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate programs. 

Dr. Darika Lathapipat (pictured at right), DPU Vice President (Finance & Administration), who holds a Doctorate in Information Technology from the University of New South Wales, said, "Before implementation of K2 business processes we had many processes that were very inefficient. It was Very difficult to find information and gain visibility into what stage a process was at, or enforce compliance."

The university has deployed SAP across finance, HR and student management. One of its requirements in researching a workflow tool was the ability to integrate with realtime data from its SAP HR system. It also wanted a solution that reduced business costs, improved operational efficiency and increased employee and student satisfaction.

"Important requirements included the ability to authenticate through our Active Directory ( AD), being able to integrate with Microsoft SharePoint and support mobile devices.

"K2 answered all these needs and looked as if it would really solve our workflow problems. Other solutions were more focussed on document management," said Dr. Darika.

After choosing K2, DPU began initially with automating three business processes. The first was the budget approval process which was manual and laborious requiring 17 different forms and many sub processes. Another process was employee time and attendance management.

"This involves all staff and was cumbersome with eight separate forms and 15 sub processes," said Dr. Darika. 

"We picked this as a way to show staff the efficiency we could achieve with SharePoint and K2."

With a high volume of transactions, using manual, paper-based processes put DPU at risk for bottlenecks and errors. Employees were wasting valuable time working with disparate internal applications, each requiring separate login credentials. With little coding required, the new automated solution was built staff now simply click a link to start the workflow and input new information into the system, which then populates or modifies the database.

Building on this success, DPU is now moving forward with several additional K2 business applications.

When the University was initially deploying K2 it found there was a limited supply of qualified professionals in Thailand.

Dr Darika said, "We found it was very difficult to find people with the right knowledge of SharePoint and K2."

The University has responded by forming an alliance with K2 to equip its IT graduates with the necessary skills to deploy K2 workflow for SharePoint.

"The DPU is very focussed on networking with industry and making sure we design courseware, research programs and academic services that are relevant to industry and relevant to demand," said Dr Darika.

It offers a number of programs in partnership with industry, for example Centara Hotels & Resorts and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand. The DPU is very proud of its current success rate for employment of IT graduates, which is over 97%, and feels the K2 Alliance will assist with maintaining this success.