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Posted: 3/28/2013
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Kentucky Community and Technical College System College System Brings Its Organizations Together with Line-of-Business Integration

KCTCS students
KCTCS students
Despite consolidation, Kentucky Community and Technical College’s (KCTCS) 68 campuses were left with disparate cultures, systems, and business processes. Summit 7 Systems used InFlight to extend the existing line-of-business (LOB) systems into SharePoint 2013 to provide simplified access to LOB data and improve business-critical processes.


Business Needs

In 1997, the state of Kentucky made the strategic decision to consolidate all of its community and technical colleges into a single system, forming the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Needless to say, each of these disparate colleges had its own culture, systems and ways of doing business. Since consolidating, KCTCS has been engaged in an ongoing institutional transformation focused on reducing costs, driving efficiency and evolving into an organization with truly unified shared services and systems.

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* Integrating PeopleSoft into SharePoint is transforming our HR system of record into a system of engagement.   *

Matt Varney
System Director of Web Services, KCTCS

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Department-Specific LOB Systems

KCTCS began the transformation by implementing a single production instance of PeopleSoft Financials to manage payroll and other core financial business data. Shortly thereafter KCTCS implemented PeopleSoft Human Resources (now HCM) to manage employee data, benefits, and records, and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions manages enrollment, registration, class scheduling, grades, and transcripts. Blackboard was later delivered as the institution’s learning management platform and online learning environment.

Lack of Standardized Processes

Despite these improvements, KCTCS still faced a major transformational hurdle. In terms of sharing and collaboration, KCTCS was still operating as 16 different college organizations. Intent on pushing the transformation to the next level, in 2010 KCTCS turned to Summit 7 Systems and Gartner for guidance.

Critical Data Stuck in Information Siloes

During its discovery sessions, Summit 7 Systems identified a series of pain points across the KCTCS organization. First, employees had trouble finding even the most basic and routine employee information, such as policies governing travel expenses or paid time off. Complicating matters, each of the 16 colleges had developed its own file sharing and methods of collaboration. These, it was determined, were symptomatic of a larger issue; outside of its shared LOB systems to maintain Systems of Record, there seemed to be no common approach to doing business or business process.

Cumbersome and Inflexible Systems

Second, despite the fact that senior leadership remained adamant that the valuable information in PeopleSoft be accurate, end-users complained that the application was inflexible, slow to evolve, and difficult to use. Users found even simple tasks, like locating and viewing personal leave accrual balances, were cumbersome and time-consuming.

Solution

Ultimately Summit 7 Systems and Gartner drew the same conclusion. Both recommended that KCTCS adopt a single system-wide user-centric portal that leveraged collaborative and document management capabilities and that could seamlessly connect with enterprise LOB data. Since Microsoft SharePoint can deliver this functionality, KCTCS decided to leverage it as their platform, creating a Business-Critical SharePoint solution that connects LOB systems.

Unified SharePoint 2013 Campus Portal: From Recommendation to Reality

To turn this recommendation into reality, KCTCS asked Summit 7 Systems, a Microsoft Business-Critical SharePoint partner to lead a Platform Portal Strategy and Roadmap consulting engagement. The goal was to provide KCTCS with a clear path forward for the design, development, implementation and adoption of a unified campus-wide SharePoint portal. Working with KCTCS, Summit 7 Systems laid out a strategic roadmap with three major project stages:

1.Update the infrastructure and architecture

2.Develop and launch a unified KCTCS employee portal

3.Extend portal access to other key audiences, such as students and external partners, and offer integrated PeopleSoft and Blackboard functionality

Benefits

Governance Policies and Procedures

During its Platform Portal Strategy and Roadmap discovery sessions Summit 7 Systems learned that the infrastructure and architecture currently in place at KCTCS had grown in an ad hoc manner and were not designed to support a unified campus portal. For the first stage of the project, Summit 7 Systems upgraded the SharePoint environment to 2013 and established governance policies and procedures.

Bringing Teams Together

Summit 7 Systems worked with KCTCS during stage two to design and implement an engaging employee portal on SharePoint 2013 that would bring everybody together on a single system. This included taking advantage of the collaborative, document management, and enterprise search capabilities of SharePoint 2013. It also included integrating PeopleSoft Enterprise HCM into the portal.

Improved User Experience

Summit 7 Systems believed that integrating PeopleSoft HCM Employee Self Service into the new SharePoint intranet would help ensure portal adoption by providing end-users with easy access to the systems they use every day. Summit 7 Systems investigated solutions that would enable it to bring this aspect of its portal strategy to fruition, in particular wanting to avoid the cost and complexity often associated with integrating Oracle software into SharePoint. After evaluating the alternatives, they chose InFlight™.

PeopleSoft Presented in SharePoint

InFlight enables customers to extend any piece of data or functionality from PeopleSoft into SharePoint. Unlike web services, InFlight would take advantage of the PeopleSoft functionality KCTCS already had implemented by allowing it to display pieces of the PeopleSoft UI, directly on a SharePoint page. Using InFlight, KCTCS is able to bypass cumbersome PeopleSoft navigation and take users directly to the functionality they need, saving them time and frustration. KCTCS also uses InFlight to skin, shape, and completely modify the way PeopleSoft is presented in SharePoint while InFlight single sign-on preserves the existing PeopleSoft security roles and permissions. The look and feel is so seamless that employees don’t even recognize they’re using PeopleSoft.

Streamlined Business Processes

A solid infrastructure laid the foundation for a unified employee portal offering everything from simplified document management to streamlined LOB systems.

The third stage of the project, to be implemented in 2014, will further transform the employee portal in a single point-of-entry where over 100,000 students access the information, tools, resources, and commentary that accompany their academic activities. Not only will students never have to leave the KCTCS campus-wide SharePoint portal to access either system, they’ll never want to either.

Business-Critical SharePoint (BCSP) is a Microsoft partner programthatincludes top solution and service providers who focus onLOB integration with SharePoint.

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Solution Overview




Organization Profile

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has over 100,000 students and 16 colleges located on 68 campuses across the state.


Third Party Software
Inflight

Software and Services
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Vertical Industries
Higher Education

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Sharepoint Business Critical

IT Issue
Integration with Oracle

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Inflight Summit 7 Systems

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