Escape Online 5 - WE POWER SCHOOL BUSINESS
Welcome to the most powerful fund accounting and HR/payroll system available to education! An intuitive, comprehensive system designed from the ground up specifically for the unique needs of education. Escape is not just a collection of individual modules. This system was designed as a complete, fully integrated solution, running in an online/real-time environment.
Expecting More from Escape Technology
To paraphrase a character in an old TV show, “It’s great when a plan comes together!” And that is exactly what happened with Escape’s business plan, first put together by the three founders in 1989. At that time we had a collection of individual school business departmental modules, such as purchasing, fixed assets, work orders, etc.
During the 1990s, our plan was to create an integrated finance system, including HR and payroll, while continuing to implement individual modules as needed. Toward the end of that decade we were ready to expand to support County Office of Education functionality. But the dominance of Microsoft Windows required a change of plans. Our system was based on DOS and clearly that was not the way of the future.
In 2001 we set a bold new course, a “fresh start” project, developed from the ground up as a County Office of Education system. We utilized Microsoft’s .Net development platform and SQL Server as the database. We partnered with our two COE customers, who had implemented our DOS system for their districts. No shortage of feedback there! We also had a number of other COEs advising us to create the “ultimate COE school business system.” We named this system Escape Online 5.
In 2007, we went live at Placer COE and all their districts – the first new county-wide implementation. We have been adding COEs and organizations ever since.
And we will continue to work our plan!
When you combine:
30+ years of experience writing school business software for all application areas, including feedback from thousands of users at over 490 organizations, including 24 COEs and 10 CCDs.
- Experience with several different Windows development environments.
- A consistent team of people dedicated to writing, implementing and supporting quality software.
- Today’s state-of-the-art development, database and reporting platforms.
You have one notable project!
No other company is better suited than Escape Technology to produce this truly revolutionary school business system.
Going Beyond the Usual
We have always been known for our extensive functionality and automation of day-to-day tasks. Escape Online 5 allows us to go beyond anything we have previously accomplished:
- Navigation – quick and easy access to all functionality, that stays in place — always available for your next task. To make navigation consistent and intuitive, Escape Online 5 always places elements in the same place in the work space so users know where they are.
- Data entry is a breeze with quick identification of changed fields, lookup windows, popup calendars, date entry logic and a host of other efficiency tools. Lookup windows display system-defined codes in an easy to use list, eliminating typos and reducing input error. Popup calendars are available for any date field, just like Microsoft Outlook.
- Escape Online 5 groups related records. All the information is right there. Requisition, PO, vendor info and payments — all from one window!
- Complex searches are simple to enter and easy to understand, allowing users to create just-the-right list. No matter what type of record you are searching for, the “look” of the search form is consistent, making searching for various records very straightforward.
- Processes are easy to perform. Escape Online 5 process forms are so simple to use. A few mouse clicks is all it takes.
- Extensive Workflow automation in both Finance and HR areas. Gives you the flexibility to route documents and notifications in a way that makes sense for your organization while streamlining processes.
- Searching results in a list that can be sorted by any column, and every list can be viewed in our DataGrid, and even exported to Excel spreadsheets!
- Real-time editing and list-based management provides you with just enough information to make a decision as to whether or not to open the record.
- Crystal Reports – hundreds of standard reports, with the ability for a COE or district to exclude any of ours and/or include any of theirs. Every report has ad hoc searching and multiple output options. Reports can also dump raw data directly into Excel for pivot tables.
The Ultimate COE System
We have been working with County Offices of Education for many years. Live since 2007, Escape Online 5 is currently in use in 24 counties.
- This experience has enabled us to learn COE business and functionality. And we have experienced first-hand the extra steps involved in setup and maintenance of a system that was designed for single organization use — stretched across an entire county.
- A SQL database, designed from the ground up to support any number of organizations.
- Easy client installation downloaded by user visiting an intranet web page. Thereafter, any client software updates are installed automatically when the user logs in.
- Security includes full encryption between the client and the server, plus ability to use HTTPS and SSL.
- True Windows Server Management Console snap-in for complete system status.
- Scalability for both server processes and databases across multiple servers. Given the proper hardware, it should scale to any foreseeable system within education.
- County-wide reporting and processes are easily accomplished.
- Cascading setup — one setup record can apply across all organizations and users, if desired. Organizational and individual setup records are utilized just for the exceptions.
- Organization level system managers can be assigned to maintain their own setup, users, etc., while any COE level setup is restricted to COE system managers.
- Any aspect of the database can be exported to a data warehouse for offline review and analysis by third-party tools.
Processing payroll at the COE level in Escape Online 5 is simply amazing! It’s structured, secure, user-friendly, and basically easy. Plus, in the off chance that an extraordinary situation arises during the process, Escape Online 5 allows you to rollback any of the steps in an easy fashion. Escape Online 5 has dramatically reduced our COE payroll processing time when compared to our “old” system. Our EOM payroll went from taking us 2 complete days (16 hours) down to 4 hours, and our SUP went from 1 day (8 hours) to 1½ hours!
Joel M. Toste, CPA
Director, Integrated Fiscal Services
Placer County Office of Education