Welcome!

CMS Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Rishi Bhargava, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, CMS

Open Source Cloud: Case Study

Commercial and Open Source Options: A Strategic College-Wide Initiative

The Search for Integrated Content Management, Portal and Business Intelligence Software

Wellesley, the prestigious liberal arts institution for women, is revamping its Web presence to boost functionality and provide a richer and more consistent experience for prospective and current students. The college's extensive evaluation of commercial and open source software and related services led them to select Bluenog ICE, an integrated content management, portal and business intelligence software solution. A commercial product built on open source projects, Bluenog ICE will be used to develop and maintain Wellesley's new Web presence. When implemented, Bluenog ICE will integrate with Wellesley's ERP, SunGard Higher Education's Banner, and calendar and event scheduling tool, R25.

In this article, Sastry Taruvai, head of Bluenog Solutions Group, describes Wellesley's evaluation and selection process, why they selected Bluenog ICE and where they are in their implementation efforts to date.

Overview
With over 50,000 pages, Wellesley's website serves as the primary informational source for prospective students and their families and for students, faculty, staff and alumnae. So, over a year ago, the college's president and entire senior staff launched a strategic overhaul of their website that would reflect the college's overall message, experience, community, and goals. A consistent navigational interface across the entire website and a compelling online impression coordinated with other Wellesley promotional materials were key institutional priorities. The ability to foster better communication with internal / external users was also an important goal.

Setting the Bar
First, an outside firm, iFactory, was engaged to help define navigation requirements for Wellesley's new website. As part of this requirements-gathering process, iFactory reviewed what worked - and what didn't - on other colleges' websites. They also interviewed content providers across Wellesley College as well as representatives from across the website's user community.

This illuminated a number of requirements that needed to be addressed. For example, the site's largely decentralized approach to content management made it difficult to keep content current, accurate and consistent. Wellesley also lacked a formal process for consistently updating or publishing new content on the site.

Another key requirement was the need to centrally create and maintain content, yet make that content accessible from a variety of interfaces. Based on an analysis of actual internal and external visits to the site, Figure 1 indicates the breadth of user interfaces the desired solution would need to support.

The new web presence would also need to integrate seamlessly with Wellesley's existing infrastructure. Access to key transactional systems, including their ERP solution, Sungard Banner, their calendaring/scheduling solution, Resource25 (R25), and Oracle databases, was considered a must-have. Last, they had deployed some initial portal applications using Oracle Portal and Luminis, (Sungard Higher Education's self-service portal component) that would require potential integration, or possible replacement, in the future.

Armed with a clear set of requirements and strategic objectives, a cross-functional project team was formed that included individuals with more technical background from their Information Services division (IT) as well as technical representatives from the Admission Office and Alumnae Association. The team then began an extensive process to evaluate and ultimately select the best content management system to meet Wellesley's new web presence needs

A Methodical Selection Process
Thanks to the thorough requirements gathering and project planning efforts with iFactory, Wellesley had a good sense of the sitemap and wireframe for the new site prior to beginning the CMS selection process. The search began with a Request for Information (RFI) in the late summer of 2008. At this stage, they cast an intentionally wide net to ensure they considered all viable commercial, open source, and commercial open source options. The project team developed the RFI's criteria to reflect their near- and long-term website goals. After a thorough review of the eight RFI responses they received, the field was narrowed to four vendors.

This short list of four vendors was then asked to provide a comprehensive response to a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP (see Table 1) expounded on the RFI's criteria, which enabled the team to narrow potential vendors to short list of three alternatives - a commercial CMS offering, an open source CMS, and Bluenog ICE. Each of these three vendors was then asked to present their solution to the project team as well as content providers from different departments.

More Stories By Sastry Taruvai

Sastry Taruvai is co-founder and CIO of Bluenog and is responsible for the Solutions division. He brings a wealth of senior management, consulting experience and achievements to Bluenog. Sastry is a seasoned IT Professional with over 20 years of experience providing top notch technical leadership. Before founding Bluenog, he was a Technical Architect with BEA Systems helping BEA Professional Services reach newer heights in terms of quality consulting and providing customer value. Prior to BEA, he was Technical Director at BroadVision, helping to run the Consulting Practice. Sastry holds dual master degrees in computer science and chemical engineering from Cleveland State University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)