Nottingham, United Kingdom
The University of Nottingham has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China, and Malaysia and hosts a truly global academic community comprising of 44,000 students and 9,000 staff. It is regularly ranked among the top universities worldwide. The development from a UK-based to an international university has exponentially increased IT complexity.
Administrative processes and supporting applications were not consistent across the network, making the integration of new applications extremely challenging. A lack of a central information platform further complicated the process of initiating projects as implications in the IT landscape were unclear. Technological debt and inconsistent processes led to a situation where changing services to provide a world-class student experience or support globally leading research became next to impossible. The University of Nottingham needed to find a way to upgrade their IT landscape to ensure student connectivity between international campuses, reduce costs, and improve strategic decision making.
“The time saved and transparency created based on high data quality will allow us to modernize IT and keep it synergetic to the business.”
Senior Enterprise Architect, The University of Nottingham
Global programs to redefine student experience and provide excellent Research Information Services
The Research Information Services program works to consolidate systems, reduce rekeying, and establish excellent research support processes. At the same time, a multi-million-pound program called Project Transform was being built to enable the University of Nottingham to modernize and redefine the student experience by aligning and simplifying the administrative business processes and its supporting systems.
Global integration of the ‘Campus’ financial module
The implementation and integration of Oracle’s Peoplesoft solution, ‘Campus’, into the existing landscape was a major task for the University. The program was split into multiple workstreams based on business functions. Improving the student finance process was one core piece of the overall redesign. The Campus Student Financials module would become the system of authority for student financial data across all territories.
To achieve this, multiple payment providers, accounting systems, and student fee-generating systems needed to be integrated with the Student Self Service part of Campus. In order to plan such a complex integration, IT stakeholders around the globe needed to work with a consistent set of information. In the past, it had always been difficult to centralize data.
Crafting the high-level design with smart automation
The Enterprise Architecture team around Mark Griffin was the natural owner for all data related to the IT landscape.
LeanIX is the ideal data hub for all information needed to capture the high-level design across multiple projects and programs: Which processes and capabilities are in scope? Which capabilities are being impacted by multiple changes? How will the application ‘Campus’ fit into the existing IT architecture? Which technical components and data objects will be affected by new interfaces? What systems and integrations need to be decommissioned? What changes need to be delivered next?
Capturing change in technology information, applications, and capabilities in LeanIX allows the University of Nottingham to assess the landscape and identify the next steps to drive the university forward.
The new level of data quality in Enterprise Architecture allows for better strategic decisions and reduced technology deficit and risk. Rather than collecting this information from experts over and over again for each project, the team took a different approach. All critical information for the architectural design was collected in LeanIX first. Different stakeholders from business and IT contributed the inputs. The team has adopted what is referred to as the ‘LeanIX first policy’: All Enterprise Architecture information is maintained in LeanIX first, and only from there is used in further documentation.
Within days, the team created an automatic way to generate the demanded standard project documents by feeding data via the LeanIX REST API into Microsoft Word documents. With the click of a button, days of work that were needed previously, were reduced to seconds.
Furthermore, the newly generated documents were augmented by reliable and powerful visualizations, based on LeanIX reporting, as well as consistent naming IDs supporting a worldwide document management for the integration project.
The Jubilee campus, one of the main administrative buildings of the University of Nottingham.
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