Technology-focused school standardizes network on Microsoft solutions, boosting operational efficiency while enabling cost-effectiveness
Managing a network with multiple operating systems can be a headache for many companies, making networks of all sizes excessively complicated and inefficient. For a technology-focused school, the pressure to be fully-automated and systems-efficient is greater. "We had DOS-based Novell running File and Print OS, among others," says Christopher dela Rosa, IT director, Mapua Institute of Technology. "We had deployed these software for cost-efficiency but always experienced operational problems because of unreliability and user-resistance. After standardizing on Microsoft, it was a different story. Now we're developing new solutions instead of troubleshooting system problems. It's been a strategic gain for us to move to one operating system that fills many roles."
The Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT) is an 81-year-old school which prides itself with the quality of its architecture and engineering programs. Acquired by the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) through a company now known as iPeople, Inc., MIT today is the biggest engineering school in the Philippines, accounting for about 4% of engineering graduates every year. MIT has two campuses within Manila and Makati and recently launched the Malayan High School of Science, a private science high school.
"Our operations and expanding network demand an operating system that allows us to consolidate our applications and the majority of our networking infrastructure onto a single platform to drive down management costs. Standardizing on Microsoft's operating systems has solved our operational problems without spending too much. Having integrated productivity applications, our network has been easy to manage, user productivity has increased, and use of the technology has become automatic," added dela Rosa. His team now spends their time adding new and productive services requested by the various schools and departments wanting to do more, instead of chasing down incompatibility issues within the network.
MIT has deployed more than 30 servers with Windows 2000 Advance Server and Microsoft Windows Server 2003, supporting approximately 15,000 students and faculty across its two campuses, translating in many benefits for all users. The school also installed Microsoft ISA as proxy server, Microsoft SQL 2000 for database engine, Microsoft SMS 2000 for system management, Microsoft Visual Fox Pro, Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 and Microsoft Visual Basic.NET and Microsoft ASP.NET as development tools, Microsoft Exchange 2003 as e-mail server and Windows XP as client operating system, running Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Office 2003.
"Organizations like MIT are beginning to discover that not only does consolidating onto one operating system boost IT efficiency and user productivity, the features of Microsoft software can solve many network problems. With Windows, network administrators can run their entire network, desktops and laptops on one highly reliable, cost-efficient operating system," said Michelle Casio, Platform Strategy Manager, Microsoft Philippines.
One of the key elements of the MIT Network is the CARDINAL PLUS, based on smart card technology, which MIT was the first to implement in the country. Smart cards allow self-service transactions and are utilized as a "key" to attendance, library and other school records, making sure they are always updated and accessible for viewing and use in reports. Enrolment has also become easy and quick, allowing students to sign up for classes from anywhere online. Matriculation charges can be paid through its website using BANCNET-accredited ATM cards, at any of its campuses, through RSBC Savings Bank, or at any RCBC ATM Machine nationwide.
The adaptability of the system has made it easy to implement and ease of use has, in turn, received faculty, student and parents' support, making it truly an end-to-end solution.
"We've recovered our investment, keeping our total cost of ownership down by saving on personnel and without sacrificing technology requirements. Additionally, our gained efficiency has allowed us to provide better service to students and parents, leading to good reviews and word-of-mouth referrals, the best kind of promotion we can ask for," shared dela Rosa.
In its vision to becoming the premiere Philippine technology school in the Age of Technology, Mapua is looking towards expanding with more campuses at the same time aiming to fully-computerize its administrative operations by 2010. "This should be easy because of the scalability and ease of replication of the Microsoft system. We knew then and still know now that Microsoft's track record and reputation would take us through the long-term, allowing us to explore and upgrade as they develop new network enhancements. There has been no need for us to reinvent the wheel, Microsoft drives us to where we want to go," concluded Dela Rosa.
Now that the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) has standardized on Microsoft software for their IT system, MIT has also decided to incorporate Microsoft technologies in their curriculum for IT courses. Photo shows (from L-R): Engineer Christopher dela Rosa, director, Development Office for IT - Mapua, Engr. Noel B Linsangan, associate dean, School of IT - Mapua, TJ De Dios , faculty, UP, Dr. Reynaldo B Vea, president, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Lilian Fernando, business controller, Stanley Tan, developer platform manager, and Michelle C. Casio, platform strategy manager, all from Microsoft Philippines, during the contract signing for curriculum adoption between Mapua Institute of Technology and Microsoft Philippines.