Planning a Campus Portal:

tansygoobertownInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Planning a Campus Portal:

Where Strategy, Policy, and Technology Meet


Steve Barrett

Cornell University

Jonathan Markow

JA
-
SIG, Inc.

Ted Dodds

University of British Columbia

Robert Sherratt

University of Hull

Ian Dolphin

University of Hull

JA
-
SIG: Gateways & Pathways





June 4, 2006

Agenda

8:30


Introductions

8:45


Why a Portal?

9:15


Strategy & implementation
-

Hull

9:45


Break

10:00

Strategy & implementation
-

UBC

10.30

Technology issues

11:15

Service Oriented Architecture

11:45

Conclusion


Some Definitions

Portal
: “A website considered as an entry point to
other websites, often by being or providing access
to a search engine.”

-
Answers.com

Vertical Portal
: “A Web site that provides news,
articles and services to a particular industry such
as IT, finance and retail. It is the industry
-
specific
equivalent of the general
-
purpose portal on the
Web. Also called a "vortal."”

-
Answers.com



Definitions

A
replacement

for the campus Intranet?


“The University home site is its face to the
world”


“The University portal is its face to its own
community”


Membership


Proof of affiliation


Proof of identity



Definitions


Campus Portal
: “A thin, secure, layer which
aggregates, integrates, personalises, and
presents information, transactions and
applications to the user seamlessly,
according to their role and preferences.”


University of Hull

Everyone’s Got a Portal


Your ERP vendor


Your Third
-
party billing vendor


Your Business Intelligence vendor


Your e
-
Business vendor


The Business School


The Law School


The Department of Medieval Persian
Literature

Multiple Portals


Good or Bad?


Redundancy and Confusion


Multiple service frameworks


Federated Portals


“Portal Portfolio Management”


The “Master” Portal

Campus Portal Characteristics


Aggregation


Combat information glut


Pull like content together and present it as common links
and portlets


Forms


Employee Benefits


Campus Publications


Clubs


Library Resources



Portal Characteristics


Personalization


Student Portal different from Staff Portal “logically” but use the same
infrastructure


Engineering student’s layout not the same as Business School
student’s

Student A subscribes to local sports news; Student B prefers the
Photography Club


Pushed Content / Subscribed Content


Layout Flexibility




Portal Characteristics


Single Sign
-
On



Engineering student’s layout not the same as Business School
student’s

Student A subscribes to local sports news; Student B prefers the
Photography Club


Access Control


Roles


Groups/Permissions




Portal Characteristics



Other:


Content Management


Collaborative Workgroup Tools


Seeded Content


(See clearinghouse.ja
-
sig.org)





Making the Business Case

Three Important Tips:


Best if IT is
not

the owner


Executive sponsorship is essential


Exception: The “Stealth” Pilot


Include costs and risks in addition to
benefits

Bonus Tip:


The Enterprise Portal has powerful
strategic value. That can be the most
difficult case to make, but don’t neglect it!

Making the Business Case

Two Perspectives:

Return on Investment


“Hard” ROI


Financial benefit can be estimated


“Soft” ROI


Qualitative benefits


(Colin White, BI
-
Research.com)

Operational vs. Strategic Benefits


IT Infrastructure Savings (Easy to quantify)


Business Process Efficiencies (Moderate)


Strategic Objectives (Hard)


(SCT:
www.educause.edu/LibraryDetailPage/666?ID=CSD3820)





Making the Business Case

“Hard” Benefits


More efficient use of staff
time

Self
-
service applications
reduce cost of support visits
and calls

Lower Computing Costs

Enterprise frameworks for
storing, sharing, accessing
business content reduce
costs

Reduced Travel Expenses

Collaboration services create
effective remote
communication

Making the Business Case

Sungard SCT “Word Formula” example
calculation for Putting Student Grades online:

To calculate cost savings that will accrue from student self
-
service, we
need to know the following information:

∙ Total number of students (e.g., 10,000) at your institution

· Number of students (e.g., 8,000) who use the institution’s intranet

∙ Number of times per year that students interact in person with the
records office to view grade records (e.g., 2times per year)

∙ Average time
in minutes
spent responding to in
-
person student
request (e.g., 6 minutes per request)

· Registrar’s office clerical labor cost
per hour
(e.g., $11.00/hour)

∙ Estimated percentage of in
-
person student information requests that
will be eliminated if grades are available for viewing via campus portal
(e.g., 80%)


Making the Business Case

“Soft” Benefits


Increased productivity

Users locate and manage
their work more easily

Support strategic objectives

Building a paperless
organization; enhancing
research; improving
teaching/learning

Increased student
satisfaction

Institutions known for
outstanding student services
were early portal adopters

Making the Business Case

IT Infrastructure


Reduced Support Calls

User Self
-
Service

Reduced System Integration
Costs

Adaptable infrastructure; re
-
usable services

Lower Password
Administration Costs

Single sign
-
on

Reduced redundancy

HW/SW Purchase Avoidance

Reduced cost of changing
vendors; increased choices

Open Standards

Reduced training costs

Collaboration tools

Making the Business Case

Business Process Improvement


Increased Alumni Donations

Alumni portal builds school
identity; online contributions

Increased Staff Productivity

Aggregation and Search
foster easier access to
information

Less costly to do business

Process automation

Easier to improve business
processes

Integration, workflow,
collaboration tools,
aggregation

Reduced cost of changing
vendors; increased choices

Open Standards

Making the Business Case

Meet Strategic Objectives


Improved teaching and learning

Improved communication and collaboration

Tuition generation

Facilitate Research

Build community

Hull
-

Background 2001

MIS Application
-

Ageing, Ingres based

Library Systems
-

Innovative


Both with limited web interfaces

Institutional web content


Web sites by Heinz

Staff Intranet
-



Assorted mid
-
late 90s technologies

Virtual Learning Environments (aka LMS)


Low license level, monolithic

BUT
-

Latter excepted, all within a converged
service

For Hull, why a Portal?

Single point of call for users


Simplified sign
-
on

Target delivery to user needs


Not all users need all content & apps

Common presentation layer


Users learn interface once

Abstract presentation layer from app


More productive use of development staff

The Digital University Project

Began in Student Intranet planning

Review & renew institutional processes

Address user overload


Multiple passwords?


Multiple interfaces?


Accessibility?

Address development overload


Enable component / service re
-
use


(Don’t re
-
invent presentation …)

Governance & Process

Establish common vision

Senior Management buy
-
in


Examples, visualisations …

Steering Group


Broad membership …

Working Groups


Flexibly created for purpose

Devolved project planning framework

Managing expectations

Issues

Web
-
enabling applications


New developer skills?

Aggregation of web
-
based content


Ensuring timely and accurate content

Web content management

Accessibility

External content


The JISC Information Environment

Standards conformant, but …


Variable pace of standards development

What users wanted …

Content/Applications


f2f/online Surveys


Focus groups


Card sort prioritisation exercises

Joint Information Systems Committee Projects

Presenting natiOnal Resources to Audiences Locally
(PORTAL)

Examine external content users want/need


http://www.fair
-
portal.hull.ac.uk/

Contextual Resource Evaluation Environment (CREE)

Portlet
-
enabled search and X search tools

JSR 168, WSRP


http://www.hull.ac.uk/esig/cree/


Phase 1 > September 2003

Portal (uPortal) roll
-
out to staff and students

Interact with personal information


Module registration, results, timetables


Key library information


Web
-
based information

Web content management system


Java based, in
-
house + purchased
components


Workflow embedded


Accessibility enhanced output

Web
-
based email integration

Phase 2
-

Consolidation

Incremental adding apps/information

Content Management


Move from home grown to OSS (Hypercontent)

Big Bumps


Examination results



Where does a portal stop? > Specialist App

User support > user profile


Displaying weaknesses in data


Portal as window

Implications


ID Management and person profile


Architectural implications
-

SOA


CIO Perspective

The leadership question:

Technology mechanic or business
leader?

“Does IT matter?”

Get executive attention to IT beyond
problem

Lead to create demand and to
supply solutions

Demand and supply roles are self
-
reinforcing

Leadership through influence

Formal positional power is not
necessarily an option

KSF in decentralized environment
(UBC)



The Role of the CIO: Demand/Supply

Demand
-
Side Leadership

Understand the fundamentals of the environment

Create a shared vision

Shape and inform expectations for an IT
-
enabled
enterprise

Create clear and appropriate IT governance

Weave business and IT strategies together




“The New CIO Leader”, Broadbent and Evans, 2005

The Role of the CIO: Demand/Supply

Supply
-
Side Leadership

Build a new IS organization

Develop a high
-
performing IT team

Manage enterprise and IT risks

Communicate performance and expectations




“The New CIO Leader”, Broadbent and Evans, 2005

uPortal Experience at UBC

Very early adopter

September 2000

uPortal Rev. 0.5?

Decision drivers

“free” e
-
Commerce portals

vendor owned the data and
hence the relationship

Target audience

Incoming student cohort

Approximately 5,000 people

see Moore, G. A. (1991) Crossing the Chasm, Harper Business, New York

Moore’s Technology Adoption Curve

uPortal Experience at UBC

One student focus group

What do you want from portal?

Generated a very long list of ideas

What will make you return to use the portal?

Communication tools (webmail)

Ability to interact with other students and with faculty

Adoption was phased, starting with incoming
cohort

Exploded and within a year we were over 30,000 users,
11,000 per day


uPortal Experience at UBC

Immediate challenge

ease of channel creation and management, content
creation

countering the perceived risk of “centralization”

immature tool set

created new need for IdM strategy and tools

tools did not exist at the time

Immediate reward

“free” portal vendors forgotten

webmail unexpectedly successful

faculty adoption and use (in addition to student)

portal became focal point for broader IT strategy
development


uPortal Experience at UBC

Launch of e
-
Strategy Framework in June
2001

Portal implementation gave us a beach
-
head

Building the community, the portal affords a
natural focal point even though it doesn’t do most
of the hard work!

IT Governance


Executive Steering


Advisory


Communication


Annual Town Hall


e
-
Newsletter

Projects


myUBC


Network


WI
-
FI, VOIP


HR/FM


SIMPL


SOA

uPortal Experience at UBC

Since early days

Large user base retained by webmail, some WebCT

Lack of appropriate and scalable IdM solution limited
scope

Mini
-
portals successfully used in SIS (SSC and FSC)

Fell behind curve

Focus shifted to other areas

HR/FM, IT organization changes, university
-
wide network
program

HR/FM project deployed PSFT management portal

Stand
-
alone or uPortal

Recent upgrades to improve infrastructure
scalability & reliability

Sets stage for move to current software release in
calendar 2006

Renewed interest in portal

Emerging and renewed portal strategy

Not currently considering alternatives to uPortal

The Evolution of Open Source “up the
stack”

Hype Cycle for Open Source Software


Gartner 2005

Service Oriented IT: What It Is

Service: a software component that


carries out a specific part of a business process

e.g. a credit card authorization.

has a well defined, platform independent interface

is reusable, autonomous, can be “orchestrated”

Service Oriented Architecture

loosely coupled services

services use middleware to communicate and
execute business processes

use standard schemas when they are available

Thomas Erl, “Service Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design,
Prentice
-
Hall, 2005

Service Oriented IT: Goals of the
Architecture

Break business processes down into:

process or control logic

business logic

application functions

Use standard data models and schemas

Build reusable “services” to provide the business
logic and application functions

Use rules engines for the internal logic

Use workflow for the process logic

Loosely couple components

Agility
-

make process change easier!

Gartner Group, 2004

SOA in Higher Education

UBC Hosted Workshop
-

March 2006

Participation

heterogeneous, international group

25 participants, 12 institutions, 3 countries

Goal of the workshop

Build the community knowledge base needed to create a Conceptual
Framework of cross
-
cutting university services.

Outcomes

Proof of concept: service analysis, decomposition

http://educationcommons.org/projects/display/CSSSS/Home

MIT Hosted Workshop


July 10
-
14, 2006

Business Process:
Apply for Admission

Preliminary Service Candidates:
Apply for Admission

High

Level

of

Reuse



Services all customers



Applicants



Students



Faculty



Administrators






Provisioned according to



Roles



Permissions


Managed in the identity


management system




The Portal

SIS as a series of loosely coupled
applications

Portal Futures

Exposing weak business processes & renewal


Can take “some time” to build consensus

Architectural Implications still being explored


Potential new requirements/refinements

“A design is only complete when there is nothing
left to take away”


Groups and permissions & uPortal

Technology renewal


UI work, customisation, richer interaction

Breaking down silos, Web 2.0, Library 2.0…


Many implications from agility to permeability

Requirements process