Western University Meets Mission Reduces Carbon Footprint, Lowers Costs, and Improves Productivity to Provide the Best Student Experience
 
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Western University Meets Mission Reduces Carbon Footprint, Lowers Costs, and Improves Productivity to Provide the Best Student Experience

  • Oracle Customer:  Western University
    Location:  London, Ontario, Canada
    Industry:  Education and Research
    Employees:  3,700 full-time and faculty, 5,000 part-time
    Annual Revenue:  $1 to $5 Billion

With a mission to provide the best student experience among Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, Western University is committed to making sustainability education and promotion an integral part of students’ daily lives. Western is a vibrant learning center with 1,164 faculty members and almost 34,750 undergraduate and graduate students. Through its 12 faculties and schools, and three affiliated colleges, the university offers more than 60 different degree and diploma programs.

Western recognizes that it has been a large contributor to greenhouse gases and for this reason, has made environmental stewardship a priority. As a public institution, the university has a responsibility to the community as well. Western University has a large footprint within the city, and for this reason it also strives to ensure that it performs its processes as sustainably as possible, using the fewest resources.

Western’s IT department has served as a leader in this realm. As a department that has used Oracle products for more than 16 years, it continues to drive change by implementing various technologies, such as server virtualization. The department endeavors to find the best solution to each unique challenge. It recognizes the value of automating manual processes and the importance of delivering systems that enable staff to perform at a level that allows them to most effectively serve their constituents.

The university’s IT team deployed an Oracle-based solution to reduce costs and redundancy, improve efficiency and service, and simplify and optimize processes.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Western University

  • “Oracle solutions enable us to provide students, staff, and faculty with access to real-time information—a great improvement over our previous processes. As our university continues to move forward in our technology-driven world, we intend to capitalize on these opportunities to better serve our constituents and meet their needs.” – Beverley Ayeni, Energy and Environment Manager, Western University

  • Maintain mission of providing the best student experience
  • Incorporate responsible practices into all aspects of operations to minimize environmental impact
  • Equip students with the knowledge and the tools essential to create a sustainable lifestyle
  • Enable investigating pressing issues and proposing effective solutions to environmental problems

Solutions

  • Minimized paper-based processes by implementing a self-service portal, enabling approximately 34,750 students to easily access grades, course calendars, and tax forms, as well as register for courses online
  • Enabled prospective students to access online admission offers and also accept admission—with just the click of a button
  • Improved the university’s ability to ensure quick and optimal service to its students, anytime, with the deployment of the online portal—accessible 24 hours a day
  • Enabled staff to view earning statements online, provide emergency contact details, and access necessary tax forms—thus reducing paper usage and improving productivity in the workplace
  • Deployed Oracle Applications to reduce the carbon footprint as well as diminish thousands of admission letters and earning statements that the university previously printed
  • Implemented Oracle Solaris Containers to reduce the number of physical servers, ultimately reducing data center costs and power consumption
  • Enabled better resource management as staff can now maintain fewer machines, reducing overall operational costs for the IT department
  • Laid the foundation to implement Oracle’s Primavera solutions in the future, which will provide project scheduling information, communications, and drawings in one area to improve processes, efficiency, and productivity

Why Oracle

Western has been a long-term Oracle customer, and it sought an integrated system that offered an all-encompassing service for students, staff, and faculty. Oracle products have helped simplify processes and improve service by providing students, staff, and faculty with access to real-time information—a great improvement over past processes.

Implementation Process

Many positive attributes have contributed to Western University’s sustainability efforts success thus far. Western’s leadership team, through to the front-line staff, coordinated and collaborated to enable transparency throughout the process. Staff and students were aware of the commitment Western has made to the sustainability program.

With such a supportive organizational culture, it has been easy for Western to undertake investments in IT—such as Oracle’s PeopleSoft solutions. The university’s senior leadership recognizes the technologies’ value and has implemented processes to ensure staff, students, and faculty understand the reasons for the change, and recognize the new applications’ benefits. This has made for a holistic implementation and execution experience.