University of Central Florida Advances Academic and Operational Excellence Using Integrated Enterprise Applications and Industry-Leading Hardware
 
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University of Central Florida Advances Academic and Operational Excellence Using Integrated Enterprise Applications and Industry-Leading Hardware

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is the second-largest university in the country in one of the 10 fastest-growing states in the nation. With more than 200 academic programs and a large portion of Florida’s college-age population centered in Orlando and its surrounding counties, the university has become a prime choice for undergraduate and graduate students from Florida and across the nation. Since 1995, UCF’s enrollment has nearly tripled, and today it serves approximately 60,000 students.

UCF is an academic and research leader, offering programs in fields such as optics, modeling and simulation, engineering and computer science, business administration, education, science, hospitality management, and digital media. The university, which operates a main campus in Orlando and nine regional campuses in Central Florida, has 12 colleges, including a medical school established in 2006.

To help streamline academic administration, manage continued growth, and meet growing demand for web-enabled platforms and self-service options, the university required a powerful, scalable, and reliable IT infrastructure. UCF looked to Oracle for software and hardware solutions to help it continually improve operational and academic excellence, as well as student satisfaction.

Today, the university relies on Oracle’s PeopleSoft 9.1 applications, PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.5, PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, and Oracle Database on Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise T-Series and M-Series servers running Oracle Solaris. It also deployed Oracle’s StorageTek SL3000 modular library system and StorageTek SL150 modular tape library.

Over the years, UCF has continued to expand its Oracle footprint. Most recently it implemented the Academic Advisement module within PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to support its student success initiative, which focuses on increasing and accelerating degree/certificate completion and reducing the number of excess credit hours that students accumulate on the way to earning their degree or certificate. The new academic advisement solution is live for graduate advising and will go live for undergraduates in 2015.

 
Building a Solid, Yet Scalable and Flexible Foundation

A word from University of Central Florida

  • “The combination of Oracle software and hardware provides us with an innovative platform that significantly streamlines our administrative processes, so students can spend more time learning and less time standing in line, filling out paperwork. Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions support our efforts to continually boost degree-completion rates, accelerate time to graduation, and reduce the overall cost of education.” – Bob Yanckello, Chief Technology Officer, University of Central Florida

UCF first deployed Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications and SPARC servers in 1997 as it began to grow rapidly. To improve student experience, the university focused on building capacity to deliver services ahead of need—adopting the motto “Online, not in line.”

Today, UCF’s Oracle infrastructure supports and automates a wide-array of administrative processes, including financial, supply chain, human resources, academic reporting, and financial aid functions, as well as online courses and class assignments. With the unparalleled reliability, availability, and scalability of PeopleSoft applications and SPARC servers, running Oracle Solaris, UCF provides connectivity to nearly 60,000 students, as well as faculty and staff, and meets surges in demand during even the busiest days of the academic year.

In 2011, the university upgraded to PeopleSoft Financials 9.1, PeopleSoft Supply Chain Planning 9.1, and PeopleSoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 9.1 applications, which are integrated with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and PeopleSoft Human Capital Management, to help it maintain its reputation for technology leadership and better serve its user base, which has matured and elevated its expectations.
Focusing on Student Success

 
Focusing on Student Success

 
Boosting Hardware Reliability, Performance, and Return on Investment

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Streamline academic administration, manage continued growth, and meet growing student and staff demand for web-enabled platforms and self-service options
  • Continue to improve operational and academic excellence, as well as student satisfaction
  • Increase degree-completion rates and accelerate time to graduation
  • Minimize the number of excess credits that students accrue in the process of earning a degree to reduce the cost of higher education
  • Reduce IT complexity, as well as management and maintenance costs

Solutions

  • Automated core campus processes, such as financial, supply chain, human resources, academic reporting, and financial aid functions, as well as online courses and class assignments—improving operational and administrative efficiency
  • Launched an expanded student success initiative that relies on big data and analytics and is intended to increase and accelerate degree/certificate completion and reduce higher education costs
  • Improved ability to assess student progress toward a degree/certificate and provide targeted and timely support to maximize success with PeopleSoft Academic Advisement
  • Accelerated degree audit and certification process and reduced associated costs, including paper costs
  • Provided students, faculty, and staff with secure, self-service access to critical financial and academic information—delivering greater convenience and boosting operational efficiency
  • Ensured reliable connectivity for 60,000 students, as well as faculty and staff, and enabled the university to meet demand surges even on the busiest days of the academic year
  • Reduced annual hardware maintenance costs by more than US$120,000, improved system performance by 4x, and reduced operating costs and energy consumption with efficient, space-saving SPARC servers
  • Deployed Oracle’s StorageTek tape technology and is enjoying faster tape drives with double the capacity, as well as high stability and efficiency to protect important student and university information