Hexagon integrates Dream with the WPM Education payment platform

Hexagon Software has successfully integrated the Dream accounting solution with WPM Education’s payment platform which handles around £2.6 billion in student fees every year.

With more than 160 of the UK’s leading universities and colleges currently using its payment platform, this integration will enable users to automate and enhance workflow processes relating property management, financial collection and arrears management whilst streamlining online payments for rent, utilities, tuition and more.

Harper Adams University was one of the first higher education establishments to take advantage of the additional functionality provided by this integration which has significantly improved the online experience for students making payments for everything from tuition fees to library fines. This resulted in the university being named ‘best newcomer’ at the WPM Education Awards during the company’s Annual Conference which took place on in February at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

The accolade was presented to Richard Heath, Harper Adams’ Head of Financial Performance and Systems for the way that the new platform was implemented, including working with the university’s web developers, to create a one-stop-shop payments page. This has resulted in securing a 23 per cent increase in instalment plans and now more than 76 per cent of payments are taken through the online gateway. In fact, since this new service started, the platform has automated over 16,800 cash transactions.

“Integrating the Dream and WPM platforms has made the processing and recording of payments much easier for the finance team, whilst also giving our students what they need: choice and flexibility, whether they are paying for tuition, accommodation, topping up their student cards or paying library fines,” commented Richard Heath. “There is more to come in the form of an online shop through which we will be able to take payment for events, field trips, course materials and so on.”

The Dream accounting solution automates the delivery of real-time data relating to every student account to the WPM payment platform detailing what is owed and what has been paid. According to Hexagon Software: “We are the only supplier with the proven expertise to deliver this level of automation which streamlines business processes and provides greater consistency and efficiency by eliminating the need for manual entries to be made from Excel-based spreadsheets.”

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A new AI-powered intelligent invoice capture solution for the property sector

Hexagon Software, one of the UK’s leading providers of financial and property management software solutions, has introduced a new AI-powered intelligent invoice capture solution. Available as part of the company’s hosted platform Hexagon Cloud, it will deliver immediate and significant cost savings by reducing manual processing time by up to 80% whilst giving greater control and visibility of invoices across the organisation.

According to Hexagon Software: “This intelligent invoice capture solution delivers significant efficiency improvements by further automating workflow processes and freeing up staff to handle more productive, client-facing tasks. It provides faster data retrieval and greater visibility of the whole invoicing process.”

Processing time is dramatically reduced by using Google’s AI engine to automatically locate all relevant data from emailed invoices regardless of individual layouts with an accuracy rate in excess of 90%. This self-learning solution quickly identifies where particular information is located on invoices and automatically posts the data directly into Dream, Hexagon’s market-leading financial accounting software solution.

The use of machine learning eliminates the need to manually add barcodes and scan individual invoices before keying in the required data. It also removes the need to create individual templates for each supplier, as required by other applications. Any unread invoices are placed in an exceptions queue for individual review and are automatically tagged to speed up the retrieval process and cross reference to other relevant documents stored in the system.

Supplier invoices that contain order numbers are automatically matched to purchase invoices according to predefined criteria and processing is carried out according to individual business rules. Authorised approvers are automatically notified of invoices that require their attention via email for authorisation from any internet-enabled location on any device. When approved, invoice values are automatically uploaded to Dream or other financial systems including SAP, Oracle, Sun, JDE, Movex, Navision and Sage.

“This Hexagon Cloud invoice capture solution provides real-time insights as to what purchase orders have been raised across the organisation,” continued Hexagon. “It also demonstrates the potential for AI moving forward, providing the power to speed up the processing of other type of documentation such as leases and contracts.”

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Craig Jackson celebrates 30 years with Hexagon

LandMark Product Manager Craig Jackson is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Hexagon Software. He joined the business in October 1990 at the age of 19 straight after taking his A-levels as a temporary stop gap while considering his options for university the following year. Prior to this, his only job experience was working in the summer holidays at a theme park dressed as a clown and selling balloons.

Craig started as a junior programmer in the company’s support department. In this role he gained a solid foundation in the principles of software development by getting involved in program code maintenance as well as software support to customers. In his early 20’s, he moved from Tamworth to the company’s head office in Witney, Oxfordshire where he began to focus on the core business of software development. Craig’s expertise came to the fore when the team was restructured and he started specialising in the grounds-up development of new applications.

Midway through his career with Hexagon, Craig was appointed Product Manager to lead the development of LandMark and the framework for what has subsequently become one of the UK’s leading property management software solutions. In his current role, Craig now focuses on the ongoing development of LandMark 4 as well as providing expert assistance in a second line support role.

According to Mitchell Hill, Hexagon’s Managing Director: “Craig has made a vital contribution to the growth of Hexagon and is an invaluable member of the team. In particular, we value his ability to rapidly respond to the ever-evolving requirements of our customer base and take advantage of opportunities offered by advances in mainstream technologies.”

Craig’s career at Hexagon has not been without incident. He recalls a particularly memorable event: “I clearly remember when, as a fresh faced newbie, I was tasked with delivering a computer to the head office from Tamworth using a colleague’s company car. I set off, only to find a couple of hours later on arrival that the computer wasn’t in the car. The delivery was for the company’s MD and I had kittens having to own up about what had happened. Thankfully he saw the funny side but it took a while to live that down.”

There have been many technical advances since Craig joined the business in the early days when he used a software application running in Unix for the development language and proprietary accounts. This became the bedrock of Craig’s knowledge of property management systems. So much so that even today, in development meetings when discussing technical challenges, he still likes to tell the team how the issue was resolved In the SeaChange system, the environment used to develop the early Hexagon systems!

Away from work, Craig has been married to Tracey for 12 years. They have four grown up step-children and an eight year old son as well as being foster carers. In his spare time, Craig enjoys fishing, playing poker and is an ardent supporter of Liverpool FC.

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Hexagon Cloud is a new hosted platform for financial and property management solutions

Hexagon Software has announced the launch of Hexagon Cloud, a new hosted platform that extends access to its market-leading property management and financial accounting software. Hexagon Cloud will enable users to review or update information from core ‘back-office’ systems, such as approving invoices, entering account transactions or viewing property information from any internet-enabled location on any device.

“Hexagon Cloud will enable organisations to achieve administrative efficiencies and increase productivity whilst significantly reducing the total cost of ownership,” commented Hexagon Software. “Devolving Dream functionality to a hosted application will allow more users to access the system from any location using any internet-enabled mobile device to enhance decision-making, streamline accounting processes and help organisations to be more agile and responsive.”

Hexagon Cloud is a native cloud application that uses a microservice-based architecture to allow updates and new features to be seamlessly introduced to all customers as soon as they are released. It runs on a clustered container infrastructure providing elastic scalability and resilience enabling new customer environments to be created in minutes. OAuth authentication provides secure access to the application using existing Office365 or other social media credentials.

“With no upfront expenditure and low monthly costs per user, Hexagon Cloud delivers greater, more cost-effective access to business intelligence and workflows to strengthen organisational performance whilst eliminating the technicalities surrounding operating system, device or browser compatibility. Hexagon Cloud will also provide a platform for the next generation of LandMark, our market-leading property management software solution, and differentiates us from competitors with older, monolithic applications that require major upgrade projects to take advantage of new functionality,” added Hexagon.

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