Early in 1998, our client- a public community college in California, faced a number of administrative and information technology challenges, ranging from outdated technology to lack of integration information systems. Foremost for the San Marcos, California school were legacy systems that were too outdated and customized to even qualify for continuing maintenance. Related issues were the lack of integrated systems and data, incomplete student information, a need for continuous automated registration, Y2K compliance, and lack of online Web access to services. Estimates for Web-enabling the legacy system ran as high as $500,000.
As a result, the client opted for one of the first implementations of PeopleSoft Student Administration software, a major step forward. At the same time, Cedar was chosen as partner for implementation of the PeopleSoft Student Administration, Human Resource Management, and Financial systems.The decision was based on Cedar’s consulting experience in higher education and its collaborative, client-centered project approach. Over the 18-month project, Cedar’s efforts would range from project planning and prototype development to assistance with table setup, data conversion, and system interface design and technical support—including Oracle database administration, performance tuning, and testing. Cedar involvement would peak with 17 consultants on site and some 24x7 effort prior to key go-live dates.
The project presented significant challenges in planning, staffing, technology, financial, and organizational dynamics.
Another hurdle to clear was the unexpected need to design, develop, and implement an interactive voice response (IVR) system for student telephone registration when the original vendor could not meet the Palomar schedule.
Stepping up to this “out-of-scope” need, Cedar sought out Edify (now Workscape) software and developed a voice response system for the summer 1999 semester registration and large-scale fall 1999 registration to follow. With excellent sponsorship and participation from the client, a dedicated set of Cedar professionals, and PeopleSoft back-up on the new software, the project team achieved striking results in 18 months.
Within a four month period in the spring of 1999, Cedar developed and interfaced the new IVR system and helped migrate PeopleSoft Student Administration from Version 7.0 to 7.5. By July 1999, the start of the client’ss fiscal year, the Student Administration 7.5 software was fully operational. Financials and HR followed soon afterwards.
Infusing Information into Student Services Completion of the IRIS project has provided the school with a number of advantages and capabilities.
A school known for its learner-centered philosophy has infused information into its student services and created a platform for growth in the Internet Age.
Major benefits include
- Integrated, enterprise-wide systems – The client moved from legacy systems to a flexible enterprise-wide client/server system with integrated data and easy access to information for those who instruct, advise, and process students.
- Improved services to students – With ERP integration, users have easy access to student and course-related information and can take advantage of capabilities such as continuous, automated registration, a comprehensive student record, open entry/open exit courses, dual course listing, and wait list management.
- A platform for growth – For the first time, the client has real flexibility for growth and the capability to provide Internet functionality throughout the student lifecycle. Cedar offers industry-leading solutions to help organizations maximize the return on their enterprise system investments and drive improved organizational performance.