Vassar College – A finalist in the 2017 SuperNova Awards

4 min read

Vassar College, a SnapLogic customer, has been named a finalist in the seventh annual Constellation SuperNova Awards by Constellation Research, and we’re excited for them. The higher-ed institution is being recognized for its leadership and persistence in driving its digital transformation (DT) initiative. Vassar College, a rising star among its fellow colleges and universities in the higher education industry, has implemented innovative tech to unify data, creating truly seamless operational processes. Let’s take a look at how they’ve driven their DT initiative.

The problem: Data flow disrupted

The IT team at Vassar wanted to migrate large amounts of data from its existing on-premises financial and human resources systems into the cloud – an important part of the school’s digital transformation to create a cloud-first IT strategy.

The challenge was finding a means to efficiently integrate the disparate data coming from its new Workday cloud-based systems and other applications. Integrations ran on separate schedules and servers with no central management, and required engineers to hand-code thousands of lines of custom code. As a result, the IT team had a long queue of integration projects.

Without an effective data integration strategy, students and faculty were not able to make certain decisions or complete tasks. Students seeking to buy class materials online experienced difficulty finding up-to-date information. Students adding a new class had trouble buying the required books because the bookstore’s point-of-sale (POS) system did not recognize the student as a new member of the class. The data resided in the school’s core financial system but was not updated until the next day in the bookstore’s system.

“To realize our goals of centralized data integration and data analytics in the cloud, we needed to have the best support systems in place,” said Elizabeth Hayes, Vassar Deputy CIO and Director of Enterprise Services.

The resolution: Data alignment achieved

After evaluating many options, Vassar chose SnapLogic because it is built for the cloud and supports hybrid cloud application and data integration. The platform offers the ability to scale by allowing the team to build and manage integrations more quickly with an easy to use interface, eliminating labor-intensive efforts of hand-coding and hard-coding integrations.

SnapLogic Enterprise Integration Cloud helps Vassar College as it moves data from its existing ERP application to Workday, supporting its cloud-first IT strategy. To get a complete view of the data, SnapLogic is used to integrate Workday with related systems like benefits providers, banking, and student employment systems. With SnapLogic, the team started transitioning from their legacy ERP technology to Workday and other cloud applications. They addressed the dozens of applications residing outside of Workday that did not connect together.

The results: Turning data into decisions

With SnapLogic’s code-less connectors, the IT team has been able to reduce expenses and defer the costs of integrating with Workday, the replacement for its 20-year-old legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. SnapLogic has helped solved the bookstore problems, integrating Workday’s ERP system with the bookstore’s POS system in real-time. They were also able to integrate the school’s learning management system, Moodle, with student course enrollment data. This system alignment assists faculty members to quickly determine if a student has dropped a class, and lets students accurately and expeditiously track their homework assignments and grades.

The results:

  • A savings of 40 percent of what it previously cost to forge connections with just ~ 50 percent of Workday’s HR system integrations completed.
  • A 50 percent cost savings in its non-Workday integration projects involving other applications.
  • At least a 50 percent reduction of the time it used to take IT to complete integration projects.
  • Quicker decision-making by students, faculty, and staff is quicker now that complete data from these integration projects is accessible.

“I like to think we are at the cutting edge of innovation at Vassar College. I share with my fellow CIOs at other colleges and universities that we are now able to undertake truly complex integrations, rapidly pushing them through in a standardized format,” said Hayes.

Let’s help Vassar become a SuperNova Award winner. Public voting for the SuperNova Awards is live now through Monday, October 2, 2017. Vote here. The winners will be announced at the SuperNova Awards Gala on October 26 in Half Moon Bay, CA, during Constellation’s Connected Enterprise.

Learn more about Vassar’s transformation story in the webcast “How rapid Workday integration drives digital transformation.

Former Principal Product Marketing Manager at SnapLogic

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