Six years ago, UW-Eau Claire began a large project in scope to convert from a set of in-house developed student administrative systems to a common standard system used by other campuses in the UW System. The magnitude of the project certainly fit into the high risk and high cost category. The project started in 2008 with planning a rolling implementation. August 2009 went live with Admissions/ Financial Aid, Student Records and Financials went live in 2010 followed by Degree Audit. Many side systems and interfaces followed until we could decommission. The official decommission of the mainframe was Monday April 14, 2014.
Moving off the mainframe is not something that can be easily done and requires careful planning, design, testing and migration. PeopleSoft campus solutions now handle the majority of the student information systems moved off the mainframe. Raisers Edge and Financial Edge today are systems that handle donor information and Foundation Accounting. RMS currently manages dorm room assignments and other housing information needs. UW-Eau Claire Development people have the expertise and experience of running enterprise applications for years. They understand the issues and how important these applications are. They know how to keep them running with the best performance, reliability and integrity. They understand change management procedures, capacity planning, monitoring problems, audit requirements, security administration, hardware and software upgrades, end user training and a whole range of other issues. They are enterprise computing experts.
What they have done to manage migration:
- Understand every application running on the mainframe
- How applications access data
- How applications connect to each other
- How the applications are developed
- What reports are developed
- Transaction rates and database sizes
- Business continuity plans and backups
- What batch processing is done
- what monitoring is done
- How are resources secured
Moving from the mainframes have always been large and costly projects. There are many successful migrations but also many unsuccessful attempts and unsuccessful migrations. Not only did our enterprise technical staff work collaboratively with administrative offices to bring up an enterprise resource planning system for student information we call CAMPS successfully but also successfully managed moving the applications residing on the mainframe not handled in CAMPS off the mainframe.
Both feats are truly remarkable and noteworthy accomplishments in the history of IT at this campus and for IT in the marketplace. The expertise, experience, wisdom, planning and execution have been extraordinary. The work has been stressful and intense. The results were on time and on budget per the project plans. Campus operations did not experience lapses in business service during the projects implementations. What a great piece of work by all!