Southeastern Louisiana University Provides Real-Time Data to Students and Administrators via Mobile Devices by Updating ERP System
 
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Southeastern Louisiana University Provides Real-Time Data to Students and Administrators via Mobile Devices by Updating ERP System

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. 

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Southeastern Louisiana University

  • “Today’s students are part of a new generation, which expects to transact and communicate at all times, through various means. Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions enables us to bring students their critical information through mobile devices, providing them with an easy and secure platform that enhances their educational experience.” – Mike Asoodeh, Assistant Vice President for Technology, Southeastern Louisiana University

  • Enable students to access pertinent information—such as grades, class schedules, tuition costs, and financial-aid awards—via multiple channels, including mobile devices
  • Facilitate real-time data updates to departments and university administrators, which currently do not have access to updated inventory and payroll information, to enhance decision-making
  • Automate critical business processes—such as matching purchasing orders with buyers—to optimize staff efficiency and maintain more efficient records
  • Reduce paper needs by emailing departments budget and inventory information

Solutions

  • Implemented Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft Human Resources, and PeopleSoft Financials on Oracle Database 11g
  • Integrated PeopleSoft applications with the university’s learning management system (LMS) and content management system (CMS) to ensure updates—such as teachers’ grade reports—are populated in all modules
  • Worked with Oracle Partner HighPoint to develop a mobile Website and application to provide real-time data to students and administrators
  • Enabled students to perform transactions—such as access grades, review financial aid status, and add or drop classes—via iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
  • Provided administrators with the ability to review real-time budgetary information using mobile devices and other Web-based channels, helping enhance decision-making
  • Automated financial processes to enable staff to operate more efficiently and ensure vendors are paid in a timely and accurate manner
  • Sent departments budget and inventory figures via email, as opposed to printed versions, providing staff with real-time information and reducing paper usage

Why Oracle

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.

Implementation Process

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.

Partner

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.