In 2009 it became clear to the Polytechnic that its student management system, which was 100 percent developed in house, carried an enormous risk through support by one main contractor.
ProMIS had been in production for 22 years and was developed to manage information from a number of partners including the University of Waikato, Waiariki Institute of Technology and AUT. This resulted in separate systems maintained internally by one or two key personnel with no central database. The lack of uniformity meant the Polytechnic often had misaligned and out-of-date data.
ProMIS was crucial as it supported the delivery of a range of services to students, staff and third parties. However, it was no longer up to the task of securely managing their information.
A business case to replace ProMIS was approved by the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Council in 2011; a subsequent business case to replace the client services part of ProMIS was approved in 2012.
Origen was asked to provide a system that would import identity information from internal Polytechnic systems and external sources, and create and manage identity information in one central hub. It also needed to allow management of identity provisioning rules and schedules, integrate with internal Polytechnic systems or locations, and provide administration, user security and monitoring functions.
Origen divided the project into three components to achieve the desired result – Ozone Client Services Application, Origen.ESB (Enterprise Services Bus – an integration layer messaging service), and custom development of each integration point.
These three pieces of work provided Bay of Plenty Polytechnic with a single point of access for users seeking information from any of the Polytechnic’s systems and also to maintain certain data as allowed. This single point of access – Ozone Client Services – was made more useful with targeted search functions that allowed data about individuals to be retrieved in real time, across multiple feeder systems, into the central database. This data included information on staff, students, the University of Waikato, and third-party identities and their enrolments, polytechnic access and use of facilities. As part of the solution, a ‘toolbox’ provides Ozone-certified training and allows the client to enhance the product using their own expertise as new requirements come up.
“The engagement with Origen has been first class . The solution is unique in that there really isn’t anything else like it that can pull and push data as required by specific business rules and triggers, which are somewhat complex in themselves. The development was delivered to our specification, on-time and to budget. Our project was recently entered in the Microsoft Innovation Awards at the Tertiary ICT Conference 2014 where it won the Technology Innovation Award.”
Rabindra Das – IT Manager, BOP Polytechnic
Initial development on the ESB solution and proposed draft software was done at the Origen offices. However, as the project progressed, the Polytechnic provided onsite facilities for analysts and programmers through the ‘go live’ date and beyond to the 2014 enrolment period.
The onsite work entailed frequent meetings as much of the knowledge resided with one or two key personnel and documentation in several areas required clarification and detailing. Due to the resulting close and harmonious working relationship, complex issues were resolved in a much shortened timeframe.
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