Located in Perth, Western Australia, Edith Cowan University (ECU) has more than 30,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. It also annually welcomes some 6000
international students originating from more than 100 countries. ECU’s industry-relevant teaching and research, supportive study environment and award-winning facilities enable ECU students to thrive in the modern working environment.
Cloud has changed how businesses operate, providing scale, cost and elasticity benefits that enable organisations to scale on demand, act with agility, and have greater control of cyber threats.
However, as more organisations switch their applications and software to the cloud (SaaS), the major challenge becomes uniting data that gets trapped in individual silos between SaaS and on-premise applications.
For Edith Cowan University (ECU), its continued move towards next generation IT meant it was managing a growing number of IT applications with complex needs, which were consuming valuable resources and delaying access to data. In particular, ECU were facing the following challenges:
- Technical issues/constraints with existing VPN architecture – due to the VPN architecture being initially designed for external access for end-users, and not for connectivity across cloud platforms, thus requiring large volumes of data to be transferred.
- The ability to adopt SaaS and host applications in the cloud was limited – due to inter-operability issues. Traditional methods of integrating applications failed due to network boundaries between on-premise networks and SaaS.
As part of ECU’s ongoing transformation to ensure it stays ahead of the challenging landscape in the tertiary sector and achieve its objectives to deliver greater digital experiences for its users, it identified an opportunity to migrate its existing on-premise interfaces to a new Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). The cloud integration platform was a critical step in order to adopt a SaaS architecture and introduce new technologies such as Salesforce.
Integration Platform as a Service gives organisations the ability to “unlock” valuable data and allow on-premise and cloud-based SaaS applications to effectively share application data.
By enabling greater data visibility and accessibility across applications, organisations are able to make better use of this data to inform business processes and decisions.
As an Oracle partner and highly experienced cloud migration and integration specialist, we were engaged to deliver the migration and provide the seamless integration between systems and data applications as required by ECU.
As part of the engagement to develop a modern integration strategy and transition ECU to an iPaaS platform, our team delivered the following:
- Integration Training and knowledge transfer.
- Legacy Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) services upgraded to SOA12c, and then migrated to the cloud platform – SOACS.
- Design and Build of interfaces between SalesForce, Student Management System (Callista), HR system (Alesco), and SaaS services such as Experian, TryBooking, etc.
- Go-Live Support Services.
We also established Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Governance to:
- Define how SOA services would be requested by new projects to streamline the build.
- Define use of a register to catalogue services to aid in re-use and discovery of services.
- Define Service naming standards to assist with service taxonomies to aid in service re-use.
- Services aligned to Higher Education Business Reference Model (HEBRM) HEBRM model.
- Definition of Developer Standards to promote service re-use, improve development time of SOA services and simplify the build using common practices.
For ECU, the new iPaaS platform blends tools and services into an SOA where infrastructure, software, data, and additional operations can interact in a responsive ecosystem.
This gives ECU the ability to share resources and information across applications, make improvements quickly, and deliver new services at a much faster rate than before.
Aswell as unlocking valuable data and simplifying the management of its applications, ECU have realised the following business benefits:
- Lower operating costs – through capacity deployment only as needed and elimination of infrastructure refreshes and removal of reserve capacity for DR and Performance environments.
- Continuous Improvement program – delivering business functionality, performance and reliability improvements.