Phoenix, AZ–November 8, 2006 — Unicon, Inc., the leading independent provider of enterprise portals, applications, and professional services for the online campus in academic institutions, today announced that University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has become a member of Unicon’s innovative new Sakai Cooperative Support Program for higher education. Under the unique program, Unicon has established a dedicated expert technical team of development and support specialists for Sakai that will provide direct support and assistance to individual member institutions in the program. This new cooperative support program is consistent with the open source philosophy of contributing features and fixes towards the overall progress of the Sakai Project, as the resulting enhancements will be shared with the open source community. It also addresses individual institution’s need for a predictable cost support solution for Sakai.
Participation in the program requires an annual membership fee that enables institutions to access the support services and also funds a dedicated support and development team. Support issues are managed on a priority basis with an escalation mechanism available for high priority issues. All development work performed by the team will be undertaken in direct participation with the community source Sakai project. The Sakai Cooperative Support Program is a strong complement to Unicon’s professional services for Sakai which include various bundled services comprised of implementation, project planning, installation, configuration, branding, and training components.
“It is challenging and costly to find and maintain full-time technical personnel that have both the in-depth knowledge and experience with Sakai and other important related applications,” said Jack Post, director of administrative computing for University of the Arts. “Unicon’s Sakai Cooperative Support Program is an ideal model for us because it provides us with direct access to industry-leading experts that quickly resolve our problems and help keep our online campus operating smoothly.”
“Unicon’s innovative service offerings make the benefits of Sakai software even more accessible to many types of colleges and universities. This offering is exactly the kind of support innovation envisioned by the Sakai Board when we established the Sakai Commercial Affiliates of which Unicon was a founding member,” stated Brad Wheeler, Sakai Board Vice Chair. “The approach of this program also reflects the community values of the Sakai Foundation where we share our work for the betterment of all.”
Unicon’s Sakai Cooperative Support Program Provides Institutions with:
*An experienced, reliable vendor accountable for their Sakai deployment.
* Help with Sakai production issues.
*Direct and timely assistance with reported software defects.
*Answers and advice to general product questions.
*Ongoing software maintenance for past, present and future releases of Sakai.
*The ability to influence code development priorities for future Sakai releases.
*Visibility into the support team’s activities.
About University of the Arts
Rejoicing in a 125-year tradition, The University of the Arts offers instruction across a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines including visual and performing arts, design, media, and writing. The University of the Arts is devoted exclusively to education and training in the arts. Within this community of artists the process of learning engages, refines, and articulates all of their creative capabilities. The University’s goal is to direct each student’s quest for creative self-expression towards a productive role in society. University of the Arts program’s develop the student’s talent, aesthetic sensibility, conceptual and perceptual acumen, cultural awareness, and professional expertise. The curricula integrate specific knowledge and skills needed for technical mastery of the various arts disciplines with a significant examination of conceptual and humanistic studies.
Unicon, Inc. is the leading independent provider of open-source frameworks, applications and professional services for the online campus. Unicon delivers enterprise portal, collaboration, learning and integration technology for higher education institutions worldwide, is the leading commercial supporter of the uPortal open source Web portal initiative, and is a Sakai Commercial Affiliate for the community source Collaboration and Learning Environment. The company’s signature Academus® brand encompasses an Enterprise Portal, Web Content Management system, Collaboration Tools and Learning Environments. Unicon strives to base its solutions on open-source technology for increased productivity and reduced costs. Unicon also provides a full complement of professional consulting, training and support services.
More information about Unicon, Inc. and Academus Open Campus is available at www.unicon.net & www.academusopencampus.com.