Higher Education Institutions Rise to Today’s Challenges with Oracle

Higher education institutions of all sizes continue to turn to Oracleapplications and infrastructure software to increase operational efficiency, scale to accommodate growing enrollments and meet the changing needs of their diverse populations.

Now more than ever, higher education institutions are focused on optimizing their IT investments.  Oracle is dedicated to helping them reduce costs and increase efficiency through data standardization and consolidation, infrastructure optimization, and simplified maintenance and upgrades.

Oracle Higher Education Customer Details
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), which is comprised of two universities, a state college, four community colleges and one environmental research institute, recently completed the first phase of its iNtegrate project to replace a 20-year old legacy system with Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions 9.0 on time and under budget.  NSHE has already realized improvements in the student experience by launching the new admissions module at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Truckee Meadows Community College – the first step toward providing seamless, user-friendly and cost-effective student services for all its institutions.  As NSHE rolls out additional modules, it will offer students 24/7 access to academic information via easy-to-use, Web-based tools that will enable them to plan and track progress toward their education objectives and make online payments.  By deploying the Oracle application suite statewide, NSHE expects to benefit from cost savings and efficiencies gained through data standardization and streamlined applications management.  In addition, NSHE leverages Oracle Database and Oracle Enterprise Manager to more efficiently provision new technology, as well as provide a centralized view of critical applications and their underlying databases.  This enables NSHE to automate and accelerate IT maintenance and patching, and subsequently free up IT staff time to work on other strategic programs.  NSHE currently uses Oracle Enterprise Manager to manage 75 databases and 83 application servers; it will also use it to provision and monitor PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions.
Liberty University, a rapidly growing Christian university based in central Virginia with operations around the world, is scaling its online education environment with the help of Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters.  Liberty’s online education system, which runs on one of the largest Blackboard implementations in the world and reaches students in more than 80 countries, previously operated on an infrastructure that was unable to keep up with the demand as the student base grew to more than 40,000 and monthly Web hits grew to more than 3 million.  With Oracle, Liberty has been able to scale with commodity hardware to minimize costs.  The Oracle infrastructure also provides fault tolerance and redundancy, helping to ensure that the university’s global internet presence is not affected by an electrical outage or major disaster.  Based on its success, Liberty has recently extended its use of Oracle Real Application Clusters to support its student information and financial systems as well. 
Lee College, a two-year institution in Baytown, Texas, upgraded to Version 9.0 of Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions and PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management to increase operational efficiency and improve service to its more than 9,000 students and nearly 800 faculty and staff.  The new versions include several useful features that have replaced manual, paper-based processes.  For example, students can now enroll, drop classes and obtain official transcripts online, and the college has streamlined the financial aid process, enabling students to view and accept or decline awards online.  Lee College is now upgrading to PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9.0 to drive efficiency in financial processes.  As a mid-sized institution, Lee College benefits from the PeopleSoft Enterprise applications’ out-of-the-box functionality as well as the Oracle Upgrade Lab, which help the college upgrade and maintain the system with just six IT staff for Oracle Enterprise Support, and deliver a clear upgrade path to next-generation Oracle applications.  In 2008, when Hurricane Ike hit the college’s community, Lee College was able to keep its Oracle applications online using natural gas generators until power was restored.
The College of New Jersey, a public institution with approximately 6,200 students, recently replaced an unsupported legacy student information system with PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions 9.0 to take advantage of modern features and Web services.  The application enables the college to meet student expectations for 24×7 service and significantly improve data quality, as well as reporting and projection capabilities.  For example, with the “Enrollment Backpack” feature, an interactive academic advising tool, students can create “what-if” scenarios to test out the impact of a change such as switching majors.  In addition, the college just completed an upgrade to PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9.0.  A long-time Oracle Database and PeopleSoft Enterprise user, the College of New Jersey continues to invest in Oracle as part of its multi-year plan to update its administrative systems, which also include PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management. 
Several higher education institutions recently selected Oracle applications, including:
Alabama State University, a growing institution with more than 5,000 students, will replace its SunGard system with the latest versions of PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management and Oracle Database.  With the Oracle system, the university expects to streamline business processes and reduce paper use campus-wide, helping make its campus more efficient and environmentally friendly.  Alabama State selected CIBER for the implementation.
 Like most higher education Institutions, Carnegie Mellon University’s enterprise IT environment includes a range of heterogeneous systems and applications.  As a result, the university has deployed numerous, disparate mechanisms to move files and related data from one system or application to another.  In an effort to automate and streamline data integration in a more timely and secure manner, Carnegie Mellon is embracing service-oriented architecture (SOA) guidelines and principles, supported by a robust middleware infrastructure.  Carnegie Mellon has selected Oracle Service Bus and Oracle Service Registry as key pieces of the foundation of its SOA Integration and Governance platform.
The University of Arkansas, the state’s flagship institution in Fayetteville, Ark., with nearly 20,000 students, will create a content management system with a series of middleware products from Oracle.  These products include Oracle Universal Content Management, Oracle Content Conversion Server, Oracle Information Rights Management and Oracle Secure Enterprise Search.  With the new platform, the university will be able to protect information and provide a centralized repository for unstructured content – including Web content, videos and images, and student records – which will enable users to quickly search for content, eliminate duplicate content, improve the Web experience for all constituents and help ensure the security of content outside of the firewall. 
The University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM), which serves approximately 3,400 students at three campuses, will replace its legacy system with latest versions of PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management and PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management.  With the new applications, UAM expects to increase productivity and improve constituent service with Web-based self service tools and a single point of entry for all users, no matter which campus they work at or attend.  UAM will work with Synch-Solutions on the implementation.
Other higher education institutions that have recently implemented, selected or upgraded Oracle applications or infrastructure software include:  Anderson University, Anderson, Ind.; George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.; George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Georgian College, Ontario, Canada; Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.; University at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.; University of Illinois, Illinois; and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Supporting Quotes
“Higher education institutions continue to invest in Oracle because we provide industry-leading applications and infrastructure software at an affordable cost,” said Steve Koporec, vice president, applications, Oracle Higher Education.  “We are dedicated to working with our higher education customers to help them adapt to the changing higher education environment by standardizing data systems, optimizing their existing IT investments and making strategic decisions for the future.”  
“PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions truly brings us into the new age of electronic capabilities for student services, and we are thrilled that the initial deployment has gone so smoothly.  We are already seeing improvements in how we can serve students and we look forward to many more as we roll out additional modules. Further, by leveraging Oracle’s infrastructure software as the foundation of the initiative, we can manage and monitor our databases and critical applications much more efficiently, minimizing downtime and optimizing our IT resources,” said Robyn Render, vice chancellor for information technology and iNtegrate project director, Nevada System of Higher Education. 
“At Liberty University, we support a large-scale, international education program with a very lean IT operation.  Part of the reason we are able to do this is the reliability of Oracle Real Application Clusters.  This technology continues to deliver value, and the return has far exceeded the cost,” said Connie Allison, director, IT operations, Liberty University. 
“With Oracle’s help, we have been able to successfully complete two major application upgrades this fiscal year and are well on our way with the third.  Our small but mighty IT staff keeps the PeopleSoft applications up-to-date so that our students and staff can realize the maximum benefits in terms of a user-friendly experience and improved productivity,” said Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot, chief information officer, Lee College.
 “We are dedicated to modernizing our administrative systems to keep up with the latest technology and features we can offer to our students and staff.  We have placed our trust in Oracle Database and PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 and are confident that we have the industry-leading technology and will continue to reap the benefits in efficiency and performance,” said Nadine Stern, vice president for information technology and enrollment services, The College New Jersey.
Supporting Resources

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