Ellucian and ESM Announce Strategic Partnership

The Ellucian Spend Management Suite will now contain solutions powered by ESM, a leader in procure-to-pay tools for higher education.

On February 12, 2019, we announced a strategic partnership with Ellucian.  ESM’s procurement automation solution, ESM Purchase, is now also available as part of the Ellucian Spend Management Suite.

The Ellucian Spend Management Suite will now contain solutions powered by ESM, a leader in procure-to-pay tools for higher education. ESM joins Chrome River, a top provider of expense and invoice management tools, to enhance the popular Ellucian suite. The deeper partnership will offer institutions of all sizes an accessible and full spend management solution.

What does this mean for Ellucian’s customers?

It means they can now easily access industry-leading procure-to-pay solutions through their Ellucian account manager.

With the new collaboration, organizations who rely on Banner by Ellucian or Colleague by Ellucian now can easily add ESM-created solutions to their ERP systems through their Ellucian representatives.

With ESM’s platform, those solutions include:

Intuitive online shopping portal

An intuitive online shopping portal that features only an organization’s approved vendors and negotiated contracts, cutting down on rogue spending, and boosting visibility.

More on-contract buying

Guided buying drives spend where you want it with your strategic suppliers. Employees buy more from approved suppliers because it is easy – just like the consumer shopping experience they’ve come to expect online.  Drive more spend through the system and increase spend with contracted suppliers.

Integration for visibility and efficiency

Integration with your Ellucian ERP ensures compliance, minimizes risk and improves overall efficiency of the purchasing process.  Insights from reporting and dashboards help you improve negotiating power, consolidate suppliers and identify new opportunities to drive savings.

Purchase and receipt management 

Ellucian Purchase manages all of your purchase types through PO and P-Card transactions. Receipt management enables tracking of all of your transactions for any supplier or project, and in turn, automates the matching process for accounts payable.

ESM + Ellucian Case Studies

ESM is the very first spend management provider to integrate its solution with Ellucian’s Ethos communication platform and was recently awarded Ellucian’s 2018 Engagement Award.

It’s seamless and essentially real-time in the way it communicates with ESM Purchase. Our finance and administrators love the transparency.

~ Kevin Stevens
Executive Director for Procurement Services
University of Alabama

Where a module or feature didn’t exist, they created it for us. The personal touch and customer service we have received from ESM has been exemplary.

~ Andy Williams
E-Procurement System Administrator
Ivy Tech Community College

It is helpful knowing there is a single version of the truth in our ERP, and the data is available to other departments & budget holders that need it.

~ Roxanne Venegas
Purchasing Manager
Joliet Junior College

What does this mean for ESM’s customers?

When an industry leader like Ellucian chooses your procurement automation solution provider as their strategic partner, ESM’s customers have yet another proof point that they’ve made the right choice.

In fact, there are dozens of institutions already benefiting from the combination of ESM and Ellucian solutions:


Real ROI Examples from Procure-to-Pay

Create visibility into your organization’s spend, uncover gaps, take control of the spend and keep your organization from leaking money.

Know Where Your Spend Goes

Because of the many pitfalls, risk management and compliance considerations should be an integral part of your procurement process.


Beyond Features, Functions, and Solution Benefits. Learn about the customer experience when you work with ESM.

“With this expanded partnership, we look forward to new opportunities to help higher education institutions meet their spend management goals and support their students and faculty. This new collaboration only reinforces our commitment to higher education.”

Anthony Rotoli


More about the Partnership

Today’s announcement builds on ESM’s long-standing partnerships with Ellucian. For years, ESM’s money and time-saving solutions have easily integrated with Ellucian’s ERPs. Joint customers such as University of Alabama, Ivy Tech Community College, Western University of Health Sciences, as well as the University of Sharjah in the U.A.E. take advantage of the cost-saving benefits.

In 2018, ESM also worked closely with Ellucian to develop and become the first P2P provider and among the first tech companies worldwide to connect its own platform with Ellucian Ethos, which offers a single, open and extensible architecture to support modernization and innovation on college campuses. The Ethos framework uses real-time APIs to provide seamless and constant visibility, control and management of electronic purchases.

For its support in co-developing the Ethos API for Banner and Colleague for spend management solutions and its dedication to higher education, ESM won Ellucian’s 2018 Engagement Award.

Ready To Get Started?

Frequently Asked Questions


If I have an Ellucian ERP and ESM already, do I need to do anything?

No, you don’t need to do anything to continue with your existing configuration and functionality.

How can I see these solutions working with each other?

Schedule a demo

Do I have to have Ethos to use ESM?

While Ethos is the technology direction of the future, you don’t need Ethos to use ESM today. ESM has worked hand-in-glove with Ellucian at institutions for many years, including long before Ethos. Customers include Ivy Tech Community College, Delaware Valley University, Portland State University, and many, many others.

Ethos is the integration platform of the future for Ellucian and ESM has been the leading procurement partner working with Ellucian on its development. 

What new features and functions might be available to me from this partnership?

If you are an Ellucian customer, you can more easily access the suite of ESM spend management solution module through your existing Ellucian representative. 

Where can I get more information about Ellucian Purchase from Ellucian?

Ellucian has more information on their website, including this solution sheet.

Supplier Enablement

Is our institution responsible for setting up suppliers for catalog purchasing?

The supplier enablement team manages the process for all new supplier enabled catalogs. This is a tremendous benefit for customers saving you time and technology resources.

Are we able to enable internal, small or diversity vendors as catalogs in the Ellucian Purchase Solution?

Yes, small local suppliers, diversity suppliers and internal catalogs are all supported in the solution.  The Supplier team will work with you and your suppliers to enable catalogs in the solution. All types of catalogs are supported for your purchase marketplace. Just as with larger suppliers, these catalogs can become opportunities for preferred purchasing in directing your user community to on-contract spend.


How many users can we have part of a workflow?

Each transaction may include an unlimited number of approvers in a workflow. In following best practices, an evaluation of current business policy for approvals is recommended to minimize complex workflows

Are workflows dynamic based on our rules?

Yes, all workflows and pre-workflow validations are dynamically generated based on the defined institutional business rules.

Is there full auditability of each step in the workflow?

Yes, at each approval level, a date/time stamp is provided as part of an orders history.  Additionally, reports can also be created to monitor these steps in the workflow. End users can also see where an order is at any time in the process by reviewing their own transactions, limiting the calls to the Purchasing department or others to better locate an order

Are approvers notified of approvals via email?

Yes, approvers can be notified if they accept email notifications in their profile.


Is Ethos Integration Supported and available for Ellucian Purchase for both Banner and Colleague?

Yes, both the Banner and Colleague integration is available and supported for Ellucian Purchase.   Additionally, each has its own features and functions based on how the Banner and Colleague systems work.  The Ethos configuration supports both bi-directional real-time information and single point information based on your requirements.  Contact your Ellucian Sales Representative for a more detailed conversation about the Ellucian Purchase Integration with Ethos

Are end users notified when a budget is not available, or funds have been exceeded in Ellucian Purchase?

Yes, notification messages are passed back to Ellucian Purchase from Banner or Colleague to notify an end user of the status of the checks on budget availability and secure access.


Does the system have reporting capabilities for our end users or department managers?

Yes, the purchase system comes with a reporting and dashboard tool to allow end user or other reporting needs for the spend at your institution.


Are attachments and notes supported on a requisition?

Yes, notes and attachments are supported both at the summary and line item level. All attachment formats are supported in all areas of the approval process.

Are all our catalogs available for price switching in the system?

Yes, Ellucian Purchase supports catalog switching for any catalog from any supplier that can support the passing of the UPC information to the system.  Institutions gain additional benefits of the system, encouraged this information from their suppliers in order to participate in their marketplace allowing for the best pricing savings available for their users.

Are change orders supported within the solution and processed as other orders?

Yes, change orders are fully supported through the Ellucian Purchase solution and routed according to the define approval rules for an order.  The solution will automatically communicate to Banner or Colleague any changes to those orders. Additionally, the changed order will be sent to the supplier with the latest updates to the order.  The system tracks all changes for future audit review.

Can an end user process a change order?

A change order request is initiated by an original requisitioner or someone who manages the purchasing process for these orders.


What are some of the available roles in the system to support my purchasing community at my institution?

Some of the supported roles in the system include requisitioners, approvers, administrators, order managers, transfer cart users, order summary user and contract repository management.  Additionally, users can be part of departments and visibility can be assigned to departments or at the individual user level for catalog purchasing.


Are notifications available for stored contracts in the Ellucian Purchase solution?

Yes, notifications to a user or multiple users can be set for a variety of characteristics on a contract record.  For example notify a user(s) when the contract total value hits 50% of the contract value or notify a user(s) when the contract expiration date hits 90 days before the contract end date.

Can I store any contract repository and track spend against it?

Yes, any type of contract can be added and associated spend can be tracked as orders are placed against that contract.

Are blanket order contracts available in the solution to manage our spend on that blanket order?

Yes, blanket orders can be a type of contract and would have similar functionality as other contracts in the solution.


Can I manage an individual storeroom as a catalog in the solution?

Yes, storeroom catalogs can be managed to purchase against just like any other supplier or internal catalog in the solution.


Are bids or quotes able to be created and routed to purchasing agents via the solution?

Yes, bids (RFx’s), quotes can be setup, distributed and routed via the solution electronically to the individuals that need to manage this process.

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