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U Akron Moves B.I., Performance Management to the Cloud

The University of Akron in Ohio is implementing cloud-hosted business intelligence and performance management solutions as part of a campuswide effort to maximize resources.

At the Educause 2012 conference in Denver this week, Oracle said that the university has begun the process of implementing Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management, both hosted on Oracle Cloud Solutions for Education and Research.

The new technology is part of the university's Vision 2020 strategic plan to increase enrollment, improve the learning experience, and increase funding. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition enables the university to run reports and conduct ad-hoc queries and analysis through pre-built dashboards. The PeopleSoft Financial Analytics, Human Capital Management Warehouse, and Supply Chain Analytics tools support the university's strategic planning and goal setting activities and provide an end-to-end reporting process that meets the National Science Foundation's (NSF) research reporting requirements.

Despite the university's robust technology infrastructure, it chose to host its new business intelligence solution in the cloud to conserve resources and shorten the implementation cycle. The university began the three-part implementation process in July 2012. It is currently in phase 2, which involves increasing the number of users from 30 to 125 and completing the NSF reporting functionality.

The university already uses PeopleSoft Enterprise Student Financials and PeopleSoft Human Capital Management.

"The University of Akron has implemented many Oracle solutions, now including Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. We have limited internal resources currently available, and the Oracle Cloud Solutions for Education and Research provided the university with an additional option for its strategic planning needs--while also preserving internal capabilities to focus on core competencies," said Susan Rzyczycki, assistant vice president applications services for the University of Akron, in a prepared statement.

In other Oracle news, a small Chicago-based school, East-West University (EWU), has implemented Oracle's PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to help automate administrative processes and improve information management.

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions replaces the university's legacy system, which couldn't integrate information across departments, making it difficult for administrators to get a complete picture of student activity. The new system also introduces the university's first-ever student self-registration system, replacing its old face-to-face, manual registration process.

The small, 800-student school couldn't afford a large, customized solution, so it selected Oracle's Optimized Campus implementation, developed by Oracle and Higher Technology Solutions (HTS), which delivers "native PeopleSoft Campus Solutions functionality at an affordable and predictable cost," according to Oracle. This implementation model can be rolled out in six months, half to one-third of typical deployment times, and it bases the cost on student headcount.

"As a relatively small school with a very manageable archive of student and cognate institutional records, we felt it best to take full advantage of this unique implementation model that avoided a high-cost, overly-customized implementation," said Farid I. Muhammad, director of title III, East-West University, in a prepared statement. "By selecting the Optimized Campus implementation model for Oracle's PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, we receive the benefits of Oracle's complete, integrated solutions that enable higher education institutions to adapt to the changing needs and demands of all their constituents, at an affordable cost."

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions went live at EWU in July 2012.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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