Wednesday Apr 30, 2014

Oracle Higher Education Investment Executive Brief

Please read the Oracle Higher Education Investment  Executive Brief issued by Oracle.

As we move into the 21st century, the needs of students, staff and faculty have shifted and evolved. Rather than ‘traditional’ classes in brick and mortar classrooms held at regularly scheduled times, students demand flexible learning schedules that fit the needs of their lives, and programs structured to not just provide them with an education, but to prepare them for careers and to further their careers once they are in the workforce. New ways of learning and defining the outcomes of that learning, like competency-based credit, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and badging, are changing the definition of the learning experience. And students expect access to their learning environment and information across a spectrum of platforms – classroom, desktop, mobile – at all times, always on, always at their fingertips. 

Faculty and administrators demand the decision support tools to promote the success of their students and meet accountability requirements, from evaluation of admissions targets, to the early identification of students at risk, to institutional accreditation. And with the information to support decisions spread across their enterprise, they need seamless, robust integration of information, served up in actionable dashboards. 

And Institutions need to innovate, to find what differentiates them from their peers, and to focus scarce resources on the highest value activities to support their mission. They expect increasingly flexible ways to administer and provide learning and services to students, and they need to do so with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. As budgets tighten, the business of higher education is changing. Consistency and predictability of expenses becomes an operational necessity.

Continue reading by downloading from the hyperlink below. 


Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

Announcement | Major Investments in Oracle Student Cloud and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions

Major Investments in Oracle Student Cloud and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to Provide Flexibility and Functionality for Institutions’ Unique Needs

ALLIANCE, LAS VEGAS – March 10, 2014

Oracle is making significant investments in solutions for the higher education industry, providing institutions with the functionality, flexibility and choice they need to support institutional excellence, enhance the student experience and drive student success.

News Facts

Oracle today announced several major investments in its higher education solutions – including a new Oracle Student Cloud and new higher education functionality delivered inOracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, all part of Oracle Cloud. Oracle will also deliver a new release of its flagship PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite.
As the higher education industry moves toward flexible deployment models for administrative systems, Oracle will offer its customers flexibility and choice – backed by extensive experience in and commitment to the industry. Oracle’s offerings will enable institutions to run their student and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems on premise or to migrate to a cloud-based deployment when it makes sense for their organization.
Oracle will offer Oracle Student Cloud to meet the needs of customers who are transforming their institutions to support configurable standard business processes and to free up IT resources for mission-critical activities in learning, teaching and research. Part of the Oracle Education and Research Cloud, the Oracle Student Cloud will:
Include flexible core structures and extensible architecture to manage a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational offerings.
Feature a dynamic user interface that promotes engagement and collaboration.
Support the core capabilities of enrollment, payment and assessment in the product’s first phase, targeted for calendar year 2015.
Leverage the support of Oracle’s customer design partners in defining solution capabilities through each delivery phase – building a comprehensive student information system for the cloud.
Oracle plans to offer higher education-specific functionality in Oracle Human HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud in calendar years 2014 and 2015. The solutions will incorporate the best capabilities from Oracle’s existing product lines and enhance them with new mobile, social and analytic features to improve productivity. These planned enhancements will:
Provide support for Position Control Multiple Appointments, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Grants Management, Budgetary Control and Encumbrance Accounting.
Integrate with the new Oracle Student Cloud offering.
Finally, as part of this commitment, Oracle will offer a new PeopleSoft Campus Solutions release to provide a simpler, more productive user experience and a more efficient application lifecycle management process. The new release, planned for calendar year 2015, will:
Build on the framework of a proven, mature product with more than a decade of innovative features.
Include a roll-up of all new functionality – including 21 major new features and 48 significant enhancements – delivered since the release of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0 through the Continuous Delivery Model, which provides periodic application bundles in between major application releases.
Leverage significant enhancements in PeopleTools to provide students with simpler self-service capability and institutions with a more modern, streamlined application maintenance process.

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Is Cloud Computing Ready to Scale for Higher Education?

Two basic questions
  1. What is cloud computing, and how does it potentially play a role in higher education?
  2. Virtualization should be enough for an ecosystem (universities together or a collegiate of institutions)... or is it?
Here are a few things about academic computing environment.

Spiky – seasonal traffic loads are multiples of daily load
Traffic on our services in higher education follow predicable patterns. We have application spikes, registration spikes, testing and other scheduled activities that drive loads in our environment like examination results to name one.  Once in a while, a special event will create an unusual spike in data volume and not just concurrency. This is more and more true as we go towards an ecosystem of using video and multimedia. However, in general, we can predict our ‘spikyness’, the dates and time... but managing it has always been a situation.

Slow provisioning sets the stage for inefficient use of resources
Even with virtualization, we find that it often takes days to get a new service provisioned in a data center. How quickly can we enable a new campus to run live on an ERP (for instance) to execute all the business processes, even if they are very similar to other campuses. We may have the tools, like fully stocked SAN and storage virtualization. Unfortunately, a fully deployed service requires much more than just the bare VM instance.  There are many other aspects of deploying a service which often require time consuming manual configuration. The problem is that each server has more than the initial fixed cost.  There are power and cooling costs, support costs, operational costs etc.  So here are the challenges we hear from our organizations:
  • How can we respond more quickly to need?
  • How can we use resources more efficiently?

Cloud requirements from an academic perspective

In order to meet those challenges, we need to address several significant obstacles:

  • Critical data needs to be secure
  • Provisioning needs to include network and application configuration
  • Application instances need to be fully portable within nodes in a cloud cluster
  • Application instances need to be location agnostic
  • Cloud needs to be technology agnostic – cloud manager, hypervisor, application stack, application configuration, network configuration, storage provisioning
Secure handling of data is critical
Like financial industry, secure handling of data is a crucial component of any cloud strategy. When it comes to security, cloud computing gets interesting. The problem is of course compounded when the cloud extends beyond the internal campus network. The problem with a private cloud inside the firewall is that if the resources are being used by a broad user base across the campus, any one virtualized instance can request access for the outside world. An infrastructure as a service (IaaS) approach can create situations where one virtualized application service could be handling secure data while another virtual instance on the same cloud could be compromised. Does this pose a security risk to private data?  Conceivably someone hacking a public instance could hop to other instances on the cloud – private or not!

For higher education, the risks and the rewards are high. There will be breaches and corresponding responses. Is our data more secure on our own servers? Risk is a daily balance and there is no such thing as a risk free environment. The question you need to answer is: as an organization, can we do better on our own or does leverage a larger organization’s information security resources make us safer, even if you are part of a richer target.  This is not the first time we’ve faced this question in the evolution of our species nor will it be the last. If you choose to go with the larger institutional strategy (maybe executing around a collegiate), it is important that you keep up with software updates and the latest trends in applications and technology. Otherwise you risk the worst of both worlds: a juicy target that doesn’t keep up their defenses.

Reference: Dennis Anderson, Ph.D and Dr. Peter Morales (Is Cloud Computing Ready for Higher Education)

Mohit Satraj Phogat
Author: Mohit Phogat

This site focuses on Oracle's offerings to higher education in the Indian region. It intends to cover news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos, and podcasts on the trends which should be helpful to customers, prospects and developer community alike.

Follow me @


« July 2016