cal 20 weeks
time to market
sites 16 sites
deployed simultaneously
users 4300+
users using the system

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Turismo de Portugal centralizes campus and student management for 16 schools, builds completely new School Management System in 20 weeks using OutSystems Platform

The Challenge:

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is the national tourism authority with responsibilities for the promotion, enhancement and sustainability of all tourism activities in the country. It was formed in 2007, resulting from the merger of four individual institutions (Instituto de Turismo de Portugal (ITP), Instituto de Formação Turística (INFTUR), Inspecção Geral de Jogos (IGJ) and Direcção Geral do Turismo (DGT)), that used to handle different aspects of the development, investment, promotion, regulation and education of the Touristic activities in Portugal.

In this context, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is responsible for the 16 Tourism schools across the country. These 16 schools were, at the time, in a “very fragile working state from both an administrative and a finance standpoint, with very different and bureaucratic processes in each of them”, according to Dr. Nuno Santos, Board Member at Turismo de Portugal, I.P. .  Each school had its own isolated, independent support systems, relying on many paper or spreadsheet-based tools, and operating under individualized and specific rules, processes and guidelines. This made it unmanageable from both an IT and an operational perspective: there was neither a centralized system where all the schools’ staff could execute their daily tasks, nor one where the management was able to gather real-time data about all the schools’ operations and to base forward-looking strategic decisions on

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. set out to be a leading organization in terms of e-government, aiming to increase the quality of educational services, students’ satisfaction levels and the demand for tourism and hospitality education in the country. For that, it needed a common management platform for all the schools so that their management, administrative staff, teachers and students would be able to have access to all the schools’ services and relevant information for their tasks.

The main challenge was to create an online platform where fast and effective access to quality information was provided. In addition, the new platform needed to reduce administrative work and provide a wider reach than the current local systems, while optimizing and standardizing the rules, processes and guidelines for all schools to follow. Lastly, the platform needed to support new services that allowed the schools to remain competitive.

 

The Solution:

Turismo de Portugal chose OutSystems Platform to develop this custom-tailored School Management System because it needed to have quality results delivered in a very short and cost effective time frame. Since the system was going to support new functions and keep evolving over time, the underlying technology also needed to support the implementation and delivery of new features in short development cycles and be able to scale to more schools in the future.

The School Management System was fully developed in 20 weeks, with a team of 5 developers. The OutSystems’ Agile approach used for the development of the system allowed for the close involvement of 12 key users whose job was to assure the system  improved on the previous processes and directly supported the current business needs. The system was deployed simultaneously to the 16 schools after 20 weeks of development and was immediately adopted by the staff and students.

The School Management System provides an online solution to support a school’s diverse operations related to the management of the entire student’s life-cycle and of the school itself.  Key features include:

  • User Management, enabling different user profiles that allow for each user to manage and access the right information, depending on their profile (student, teacher, staff, etc.) as well as improved security throughout the system.
  • Reporting of operational, HR and financial data, integrating with Turismo de Portugal’s central financial system – based on the Oracle eBusiness Suite – and HR management systems;
  • Student Management (Absence Justification, School Fees Management, Social Support / refundable expenses Management, Study Plan);
  • Class Management (Class List, Class Modules, Lessons, Exam Management, Grades);
  • Professor Management (Professor Timetable, Time Management, Summaries, Professor List, Substitute Professor Management);
  • Courses Management (Courses and Modules List, Itineraries and Professional Modules, School Degree);
  • School Management (Rooms and Equipment, Timetable Generation, Timetable View, Certificates);
  • Meal Plan Management (Buy / Sell lunch tickets, Meal Schedule); 
  • Scholarship Management (Applications / Interview Candidate Process);
  • Student Applications Management (Applications / Application Status, Registration, Placements List, Admission Tests and Interview, Final Grades Submission);
  • Payment Processing, integrated with the central financial system  including professors, restaurant, coffee shop, bar and hotel management activities.

 

Results:

  • Rapid custom-tailored system development, deployment, buy-in and adoption. The School Management System developed using OutSystems Platform was developed and deployed simultaneously to 16 schools across Portugal in 20 weeks, successfully living up to the stakeholders’ expectations. With over 3000 students and 1300 members of the staff using the system, its quick adoption has allowed the shift of focus of these key stakeholders to more value-added activities in school education, and less time spent on auxiliary processes.
  • Standardization of business processes across 16 schools. Having standardized rules, processes and guidelines implemented by the system plays a role in Turismo de Portugal’s process of dematerialization. In addition, the system reduces operating costs in terms of personnel as well as material waste which contributes to the pursuit of its sustainability goals.
  • Improved quality and efficiency of services provided to the end customer. The students, in addition to being offered online access to materials, school services and a superior education infrastructure, can also apply to the school, enroll in specific courses and pay their tuition online instead of having to travel from distant regions directly to the school. Furthermore, many of the administrative work that used to be handled by the schools’ staff related to student management has now been automated, and is provided to the students on a self-service basis, making the staff more efficient and providing a better student service.
  • Centralized decision-support system, integrated with external central HR and financial systems. The system manages all major School Management processes, providing real-time management information about the 16 schools and improving the services by the school and professors to the community. Seamlessly integrated with the central financial systems, based on Oracle eBusiness Suite, and the central HR systems, management now has a centralized access to information needed to oversee and support decisions about all the Tourism schools in Portugal.
  • Built to scale with business needs. The OutSystems Agile Methodology allowed the key stakeholders to quickly adopt the new system and also deliver requested changes and new features in quick succession.  As business needs evolve, so does Turismo de Portugal’s School Management System. One year after the beginning of development, the system consists of over 30 applications and components, with over 500 web pages, 220 database tables and 10,000 function points.
  • Ownership of the Intellectual Property of the system kept in-house. Since its initial deployment, several different development teams have successfully worked on the maintenance and development of new features for the School Management System. Due to OutSystems Platform's model-based development environment each different development team was successful in learning the system and becoming productive in a short period of time.

 

About Turismo Portugal, I.P.:

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is an organization that aims to foster development of Portuguese tourism.

Integrated within the Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Development, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is the national tourism authority responsible for promotion, enhancement and sustainability of tourism activities, aggregating within a single entity all the institutional competencies related to stimulation of tourism activities, from the supply sector to demand.

Turismo de Portugal’s mission is as follows: enhancing and developing tourism infrastructures; developing human resources training; supporting investment in the sector; coordinating Portugal’s domestic and international promotion as a tourism destination; regulating and inspecting betting activities.

Using its privileged relationship with other public entities and economic agents in Portugal and abroad, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is dedicated to fulfilling its objective of strengthening tourism as one of the core growth engines of the Portuguese economy.
 

Visit Turismo de Portugal's "Visit Portugal" website

  
 

Turismo de Portugal, I.P.

Benefits

  • 20 weeks to develop and deploy a fully custom-tailored system to 16 schools;
  • Centralized School Management System used by more than 4,300 users country-wide;
  • Immediate adoption by all key users in the 16 schools;
  • Built to scale and evolve as the business requires;
  • Centralization of previously dispersed systems;
  • Dematerialization and standardization of processes for 16 schools;
  • Automation of bureaucratic administrative tasks;
  • On-demand self-service access to school services and materials by the end users;
  • Centralized decision-support management system, integrated with external central HR and financial systems;
  • Ownership of the Intellectual Property of the system kept in-house;

 

Project Card

Implemented by:

Normatica

Timeline:

20 weeks

User Profiles:

Students, Professors, Management, Staff

Functionalities:

Users Management, Reporting, Student Management, Class Management, Professor Management, Courses Management, School Management, Meal Plan Management, Scholarship Management, Student Applications Management, Payment Processing

Integrations:

Oracle eBusiness Suite financial system, external HR system

 

Evaluation Criteria

Top Criteria:

The OutSystems’ Agile approach, allowing for:

  • High quality results in a very short time to market;
  • Full alignment with the business, resulting in the quick adoption and development of a custom-tailored system with the exact features that their business required.

OutSystems Platform, providing:

  • End-to-end application lifecycle management, ensuring scalability and easy knowledge transfer, especially important for the maintenance and subsequent development change cycles, while keeping their intellectual property in-house.
  • Low cost of change, by allowing for short change cycles;

Other Alternatives:

  • Packaged software, but it either had too much functionality they would pay for but wouldn’t need, or were implemented in obsolete technologies that made it hard to change to their specific needs and maintain in the long run (Navision ERP, other specific School Management Systems in the market).
  • Developing from scratch using traditional technologies was quickly disregarded because of such aggressive requirements in terms of time to market.

 

 
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