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Innovative software infrastructure helps Georgetown University succeed in non-traditional markets

Seamless integration across its multiple colleges gives school an edge in global competition
University Business, November 2012

Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Its many colleges fulfill the University’s mission of educating the whole person by offering a wide range of courses and applied learning experiences to a community of students and professionals that extends far beyond the traditional 18 to 22-yearold looking for a degree and going to school full-time.

To this end, Georgetown enrolls thousands of students in non-traditional programs that generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year. However, in order to continue to grow in the face of increased global opportunity and local competition, Georgetown needed to improve its market agility and student responsiveness, while still maintaining its high level of governance standards.

Standing in the way of growth and success was a failing system and a legacy software platform that could not keep up with the demands of the various non-credit units that sit within most of Georgetown’s schools, including: Law, Medicine, Business, and its flagship School of Continuing Studies, says Lisa Davis, CIO of Georgetown University.

“Ultimately as CIO, I want to limit the number of systems to manage these [non-credit] enrollments,” Davis says. “The more systems we have, the more we need to maintain and secure, and the greater the cost.”

Like most schools of its kind, Georgetown operates a large and complex campus infrastructure that includes systems such as Blackboard, Ellucian Banner and Oracle PeopleSoft. “With all the systems and applications that we have in our portfolio, it’s critical that [the non-credit system] will integrate with all of the other applications that our customers are using,” Davis says. “A term I like to use is ‘intuitive infrastructure’.”

With the requirement that each school be able to manage their own non-credit programs, enrollments and student engagement uniquely and independently, Georgetown began its search for a new system for non-credit and continuing education enrollments approximately a year ago.

After completing an extensive requirements analysis, Davis says she and her team decided that Destiny One, an enterprise system by Destiny Solutions, was the best fit for their needs. Destiny One will be deployed in January 2013 at The School of Continuing Studies with subsequent rollout planned for the other colleges across campus.

“Because it’s cloud-based, the architecture allows us to scale and support additional schools beyond The School of Continuing Studies at a relatively low incremental cost,” Davis says.

While students will notice an ease of enrollment for everything from a one-hour workshop to a six-month certificate program, they will also be able to access much of what they used to have to phone, visit or write to administration for, including the ability to look up enrollment history; access financial history; or submit a special request. Behind the scenes, staff will become more productive through automated workflows and faster access to information and reporting, while the whole school will be better able to manage business process governance, security and audit controls.

“Every addition, deletion, as well as when it was performed and who performed it is all recorded,” Davis says. “All financial and enrollment transactions are tracked.” At a time when Georgetown is embracing the global student and fostering innovative programs, its ‘intuitive infrastructure’ will enable much-needed growth and agility. Davis concludes, “Destiny One allows us to integrate or connect seamlessly with other course delivery platforms, web content management systems and other tools, to basically open up new markets and extend the brand of Georgetown.”

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