Implementing Academic business information system at the University of Ljubljana

Implementing APIS (Akademski poslovno informacijski sistem) at the University of Ljubljana

Opening speech: Prof. dr. Emil Erjavec, President of the governing board
Main presenter: Mag. Aleš Košir, Head of IT department

On Tuesday 14th May, the members of Palsit’s club of IT managers met at the historical palace of University of Ljubljana to hear the facts about impressive digital transformation and merging IT systems of 26 faculties within the university into one Academic business information system. It was done successfully during the period of 3 years and Slovenia has now the modern paperless operating University in the capital.

Previously, 26 faculties and academies were poorly connected and used 6 different business information systems on different technological stacks: Oracle, Microsoft, Linux, etc…

It started with a public tender published in 2016. Six companies responded to public tender. During the process of public tender there were appeals before the National Review Commission by the tender competitors. Public tender process dragged on for 3 years. By the time it ended, some tender competitors did not exist or were not appropriate any more.

Before the project, the digitalization was in early stages. Human resources management records were not even digital. Academic staff kept their business travel information on post-it papers.

The project was hard for professional staff. Digitalization requires academic staff to adapt. During the project 80 people left. Mostly those who were using old outdated system. During the process 100 new people were employed.

Strategic decisions:
Initial idea was to define processes on paper and then create a system according to that. But, since SAP had some ready made solutions and best practices for the business sector, it became obvious that adapting to what the SAP system already has as best practices, is a better idea. Plan was to implement the whole IT solution for the rectorate of  the University first, then sequentially the rest of them in a more and more industrious manner, in total of 10 sequential projects.

The project was following important strategic and operational decisions. The decision for migration of accounting data was, that only open items will be migrated to the new system and with no history, which will remain in legacy systems!

Members (26 faculties) are owners of their data, they remain in their responsibility. They have to confirm the successful migration of their data after testing. Approximately 400 test scenarios were created for verification of correct data migration and process integration, with all processes being tested. 

Important issue: how much to unify and integrate, how much to allow differences for each faculty? Only those, where the lawful reasons or strongly justified reasons exist. 

3 information systems for students already existed and were integrated with SAP together with 10 backend systems. 


The Slovenian public sector is regulated so that it requires special and customized IT business solutions. Indirect budget users must report according to the cash flow and according to the principle of the disclosed business event.

Speciality that UNI LJ has is that one employee can have multiple job positions. It can work for one faculty or multiple faculties.
Employees can present trip costs where they travelled through many countries in one trip, combining different business bases, funding, cost sources and payers, possibly joint with some vacation days in between.

The implementation of Apis brings many advantages. The benefits are:

  • Standard operational procedures were established, with instructions for employees
  • Strengthened and updated ICT infrastructure: servers, personal computers
  • Strengthening personnel competences: formation of qualified groups of professional colleagues who acquired competences in knowledge of business processes, additional skills and knowledge of accounting and personnel professions, communication skills and mutual cooperation. 
  • Established foundations for paperless transactions inside and outside University
  • Established basis for the integration and connectivity of solutions in various areas: human resources, study informatics, document system, project management, workload planning and monitoring, connectivity within accounting areas. 

University reduced the business risks of cooperating with smaller companies that are unable to provide comprehensive and complex business systems and dependency from single personnel. 

It established the foundations of independent business system management – their own team of SAP consultants. The University of Ljubljana joined the club of technologically advanced and most reputable European universities.
University is offering ready made solution to any Slovenian public organisation for adaptation to their needs.

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