Southeastern Louisiana University is a regional university located in Hammond, Louisiana and is one of eight universities managed under the University of Louisiana System. The institution, which opened in 1925, has 15,000 students and offers 45 undergraduate and 19 master’s degree programs, as well as one doctoral program.
As Southeastern’s enrollment grew, its legacy student administration, human resources (HR), and financials systems were unable to handle increasing demand. For instance, there were a limited number of access points for the school’s student administrative system, making it difficult for students to look up critical information, such as their class schedule or progress toward degree completion. In addition, with the legacy financial system, matching purchasing orders with buyers was a manual process, causing financial staff to waste time reviewing purchases. Further, university administrators were unable to efficiently gather broad-based information concerning university expenditures and payroll, inhibiting their decision-making ability.
With this in mind, Southeastern implemented Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft Human Resources, and PeopleSoft Financials, running these systems on Oracle Database 11g. The most significant improvement from the implementation was real-time access to data. From an administrative perspective, with PeopleSoft Financials, the institution acquired the ability to automate many previous manual processes—such as issuing pay stubs for employees and purchasing orders for buyers. With automated financial processes, Southeastern could integrate real-time data with its business intelligence system, to provide comprehensive analyses of university finances to administrators. In addition, Southeastern could efficiently send up-to-date information concerning inventory and payroll to departments, to aid their decision-making abilities—without needing to increase staff.
From a student and administrative perspective, PeopleSoft Campus Solutions provided a Web-based platform to expand information access. Specifically, Southeastern worked with Oracle Partner HighPoint to provide users with access to pertinent information via mobile devices. For instance, students can access grades, tuition costs and fees, financial-aid awards, class schedules, and an enrollment shopping cart that enables them to add or drop classes and perform other tasks through an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. In addition, Southeastern’s PeopleSoft applications are integrated with various university systems to enable administrators to review real-time budget numbers and enrollment figures via mobile devices.
Southeastern Louisiana University reviewed many solutions before selecting Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications as the foundation for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructure. Southeastern’s IT team felt PeopleSoft would best serve the university’s needs, providing cohesive integration between systems at an affordable cost. In addition, by hosting PeopleSoft applications on Oracle Database, Southeastern could further optimize system performance.
Southeastern Louisiana University initially implemented Oracle’s PeopleSoft Human Resources in 2000 and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions in 2001. In 2008, the institution deployed Oracle Financials and upgraded its other PeopleSoft modules to their current iteration. Southeastern then worked with HighPoint to implement its mobile access initiative, known as Total Mobile Access, in 2011.
“For any institution that is considering an overhaul to its ERP system, it must understand that these are massive projects. As such, planners need to perform a detailed assessment of their current system, select the right partner, and understand it is a difficult but ultimately fulfilling process,” said Mike Asoodeh, assistant vice president for technology, Southeastern Louisiana University.
Soon after developing its own custom iPhone app in 2011, Southeastern worked with HighPoint to develop its Total Mobile Access strategy. The growing demand for the system, which has already exceeded more than 100,000 hits, accentuated the need for Southeastern to find a partner to expand its mobile services and ensure it integrates effectively with the rest of the university’s IT architecture.
“Highpoint built our application using a mobile-optimized Website, making it easier to deploy and reach more users. It also possesses the ability to easily integrate with phone-specific apps. This enabled us to deploy the first phase of the project in three weeks. In such a small time period, our students had access to critical data on their devices,” said Asoodeh.