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Developing a Viable ASP Model for Distributed Learning

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  • 1. Developing a Viable ASP Model for Distributed Learning Michael E. Scheuermann Drexel University May 17, 2004
  • 2. What’s the Problem?
    • Many academic institutions that would like to launch distributed learning initiatives have neither the firepower to develop and support a robust system in-house nor the resources to purchase a course management system for their use alone.
    • Their choices and options become extremely limited when faced with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.
  • 3. What Are Their Options?
    • Limiting their online course offerings, if any
    • Using faculty Web sites
      • to disseminate content
    • Using public resources
      • to facilitate interaction between course participants
    • Relying on EMail alone
      • for both of the above
    • Utilizing textbook publisher-hosted apps
    • Trying out a low-level COTS application
    • Looking for partners
  • 4. Today’s Session
    • Drexel University partners with other academic institutions (six+) to provide hosting of online courses, faculty development and support, training, technical expertise, and, in some cases, their complete IT infrastructure.
    • This ASP model represents but one alternative to academic institutions that struggle to provide meaningful and rigorous courses via distributed learning.
    • This model and those used by session participants will be discussed.
  • 5. Why Is This Important?
    • There are myriad course management systems.
      • Robust, high-quality CMSs are expensive.
      • They are expensive for large institutions.
      • Many smaller colleges and universities cannot even consider purchasing them for unilateral use.
    • Other issues surface:
      • staff training and support,
      • faculty development and support,
      • help desk strategies, etc…
    • This applies to many academic institutions.
  • 6. Today’s Goals
    • Many institutions can gain from a lively discussion about various ASP models, tried and successful, or, tried and unsuccessful.
    • Participants will walk away from a synergistic session with real information that they can consider and put to use when they return to their institutions.
  • 7. IRT ~ Drexel University
  • 8. IRT is headed by Dr. John A. Bielec , the Vice President for Information Resources and Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Drexel University. Core Administrative Systems (CAS) oversees the administrative database services for finance, human resources, and student information. Mr. Michael J. McCabe is the Associate Vice President for Administrative Systems. Instructional Technology Support (ITS) manages and directs user support and training, web-based software development, the integration of electronic resources with academic departments, as well as management of the campus telephone system. It is directed by Dr. Janice M. Biros , the Associate Vice President for Instructional Technology Support. Core Technology Infrastructure (CTI) is responsible for data/video communications, computing support for ongoing production systems and seamless support for all administrative and academic computing needs of the University. Mr. Kenneth S. Blackney is the Vice President for Core Technology Infrastructure. IRT ~ Drexel University
  • 9. Drexel Snapshot
    • Private institution founded in 1891
      • Took on MCP (1850) & Hahnemann (1848) in 2002 after their parent’s bankruptcy
    • History of technological firsts
      • Computer requirement for all students, ’83
      • Major completely wireless campus net, ’00
    • Regional academic and administrative Application & Network Service Provider
      • Providing services to 6+ other institutions
      • KXP2 Internet2 connector for 16 schools
        • Keystone Crossroads – 14 high schools + DU / DUCOM
  • 10. Drexel IT Environment
    • Near-corporate decision making model
      • Quick decisions to leverage short life cycles
    • Centrally fund emerging technologies
      • Charge-backs act as disincentive to adoption, use, and innovation
    • Partner with vendors when possible
      • Guide their development direction
      • Get product early to begin integration
  • 11. Drexel IT Philosophy
    • Leverage existing technologies
      • Buy apps - then integrate them - instead of developing apps from scratch
    • Enhance through add-ons, not changes
      • Costs of developing add-ons is less than cost of supporting baseline modifications
        • Respondus, Wibma, ePortaro, Discover, Waypoint
    • Maximize user choice
      • Eliminate “one-size-fits-all” programs
      • Increase reach and convenience to users
      • Support “largest” number of devices
  • 12. An Example: The DrexelOne Portal SOAP HTTP SMTP LDAP Oracle OCI NT Domain Web Portal SOAP SOAP OleDB, LDAP HTTP IMAP Luminus LDAP Mobile Portal Announcements Web service Authen- ticator Web Service Headline news Web service
  • 13. ASPs – What & Why
    • Companies that provide access to applications over the Internet.
    • Outsourcing switches from assets to access . By 2010, the IT utility providers will have 29% of the total IT services market.
    • (Gartner Group)
    • Future companies will buy their IT as services provided over the Internet rather than owning their own hardware and software.
    • (Your Next IT Strategy; Hagel and Brown; HBR 10/01)
    • Small companies using ASPs will grow from 140K in 2001 to over 3M in 2004.
    • (Cahner’s In-Stat, 2000)
  • 14. IT “ASP Network”
    • A Net-centric strategy to provide IT services
    • Leverages IT resources and provides benefits to partner institutions
      • Lowers IT Costs
      • Provides a more robust IT environment
      • Facilitates management scenarios
    • Leverages and aggregates IT resources to provide benefits to vendors
  • 15. The HE Environment Limits Both Vendor and Institutional Solutions Comprehensive Research Universities Other 4 year Colleges and Universities Community Colleges and 2 year institutions Total 93 62 968 440 Trade Schools 1,563 1,972 504 1,470 Number of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education By Segment Public Private
  • 16. Why Vendor Solutions Often Don’t Succeed
    • Resources only available at the top of the pyramid
    • Hardware and software costs
    • Short technology life cycle
    • History of implementation failures
    • Lack of skills and support structure at the institutional level
    • IT - strategic but not core mission to “schools in the middle”
  • 17. Vendor Challenge
    • Optimize “feet on the street”
    • Leverage investment in current applications
      • Time is the enemy (3 years is really 6 months in “Internet time”)
    • Expand use of applications to other institutions
    • Reinforce the ASP model as a solution to academic and business challenges
    • Promote virtual services - a “click” away
  • 18. Why Institutions Often Don’t Succeed on Their Own
    • Lack of experienced IT leadership
      • One year of experience ~ ten times
      • Under-developed / non-existent IT strategy
    • Limited technical skills
      • Dependence on products one knows
      • Risk ~ not a criteria in product “choice”
    • Lack of resources
      • Short life cycle for technology
        • demands continual renewal and cost
      • Competing institutional priorities
    • IT fragility
  • 19. Institutional Challenge
    • Provide IT solutions
      • meet critical business and academic needs 24x7
    • Optimize scarce resources to provide
      • robust server and network infrastructure
      • timely business and academic applications
      • professional skills and support structure
    • Develop & document policies and procedures
    • Facilitate productivity – utilize Web, EMail
  • 20. Institutional Choices
    • Self develop
    • Best of breed
    • Single vendor
    • Outsource staffing of in-house facilities
    • Consortium – just doesn't work!
    • Managed service provider / co-location
    • Application Service Provider (ASP)
  • 21. Consortia – Many Models ~ Mixed Results
    • MAC initiative (UK)
    • HIS (Germany) AMUE (France)
    • Ladok (Sweden)
    • CASMAC initiative (Australia)
    • NERCOMP (US Regional – New England)
    • SEPCHE (US Local – Pennsylvania)
  • 22. New Model ~ A Technology Flagship University-Based ASP
    • Provides a solution to challenges faced by “colleges in the middle”
    • Also provides a vertical channel for vendor application, product, and other sales
    • Based on off-site “Service Provision” - Access , not on-site software and hardware - Assets
    • Subscriptions, not site licenses
    • Leverages staff and skills
    • Strategic collaboration, choice – Federation
  • 23. Why Drexel as a Provider?
    • Higher education (HE) “full service” ASP today
    • Trusted technology provider in HE market
    • First to market – regional flagship focus
    • Four years of proven success
    • Other schools participating – concept works
    • Leadership and skills
    • Entrepreneurial environment
    • Infrastructure in place
    • Vendor relationships
  • 24. Example: Progress to Date at Cabrini College
    • IT leadership and staffing in place
    • Advisory structure in place
    • Help Desk in place
    • EMail and WebMail in place
      • Virus protection standardized and controlled
      • 100 MB mail per mail box
  • 25. Services Improved
    • Course development in WebCT in place - 40 courses developed in 6 months
    • Connection to Internet quadrupled
    • Wireless operational throughout campus
    • Web site hosting available
    • Server elimination begun
    • Proxy server in place for off-campus access to the library
  • 26. Totally Replaced ERP System
    • IT policies, procedures, documentation, and standards dramatically improved
    • Substantial savings on new PC purchases
    • Transition to SCT Banner administrative applications
      • 8-month time period
      • July 2003 implementation
      • Hosted at Drexel
  • 27. Example: Progress to Date at Neumann College
    • Leadership in place
    • Fully-staffed Help Desk with evening and weekend hours and tracking system
    • “ Technology Thursdays” workshop series
    • Networking help for residence hall students
    • Student computer purchase recommendation
    • “ Acceptable Use” policy in place
    • Official Email policy in place
  • 28. Infrastructure Improved
    • Assessed and tuned network and servers
    • Greatly-improved EMail performance
    • Inventoried all PCs on campus
    • Wireless access throughout Main campus and in Life Center and Residence Halls
    • Extensive WebCT course development
    • Norton Anti-Virus software for all PCs
    • Faculty Web server online
  • 29. Computing Facilities Expanded
    • Creation of Public Access cluster
    • Renovation of 30-station classroom
    • Overhaul of library workstations with dedicated support
    • State-of-the-art Faculty Resource Center for instructional development ~ open and staffed
    • Videoconferencing facility ~ fully operational
  • 30. Unintended Partner Benefits
    • Business process changes – Best Practices
    • Cultural changes
    • Increased accountability
    • Cost avoidance (avoiding bad decisions)
    • Increased sense of urgency
    • Improved competitiveness
  • 31. Schools Are Developing New Metrics
    • Importance of quality and effectiveness of service
    • Evaluating performance vs. peers rather than internal performance
    • Recognizing the capability of access vs. owning assets
    • Refocusing on academic core mission
  • 32. Drexel’s Vendor Relationships
    • Applications via Drexel vendor relationships
      • SCT ~ Banner administrative systems
        • Finance, HR, Student Information, Portal
        • SCT Web products for faculty, staff, and students
      • Hyperion ~ Brio ~ query report generation
      • WebCT ~ Course Management System
      • Oracle ~ database
      • SAP ~ business applications for educational use
      • Microsoft and Sun ~ OS, directory, EMail, etc.
  • 33. Provider Benefits
    • Lower university IT costs as a % of budget
    • Provide more robust IT environment
    • Provide an additional income stream
      • reinvestment, not profit
    • Facilitate management scenarios
      • Collaboration
      • Consolidation
  • 34. Services and Applications 15 schools of business across the United States Academic Software (SAP)  (consult)    Wilkes       Training  PCOM Applications Services  Rosemt  SSHE   Internet2 gateway     Networking   Storage   Library    Portal    Finance    Human Resources    Student Info. System   Alumni     Online Courses    Email     Help Desk     Server support     Desktop support     IT Leadership/Strategy Neumn Cabrini CoM Drexel
  • 35. Low-Hanging Fruit ~ Quick-Hit Applications
    • Portal applications
    • EMail
    • Web hosting
    • Course management
    • Academic computing
    • Storage
    • Affinity relationships
  • 36. More Difficult
    • Administrative Systems
      • Student Information
      • Finance
      • Purchasing
      • Human Resources and Payroll
      • Institutional Advancement
    • Library Administration
    • Clinical Practices
  • 37. Can Virtual Learning Be Far Behind?
    • Repository approach ~ sharing courses
      • thousands of online courses added to global repository daily
    • Focus to date has been on:
      • new markets and
      • nontraditional students
    • Hybrid environment ~ becoming the norm
    • Quest for higher quality, cost avoidance
      • Virtual Classics Department (ACS)
  • 38. Schools Are Leveraging Drexel Assets
    • IT staffing
    • Operational staffing
    • Software and business applications
    • Hardware and network
    • Via:
      • specialists
      • internal consultants / shadowing
      • ASP services
      • external relationships
    • Lowering IT costs
  • 39. Leveraging Works Both Ways 95.00 TOTAL 265% 55 15.05 ASP Partner Schools 3% 3 2.90 Faculty Practice Group 179% 75 26.84 College of Medicine 65% 83 50.21 Drexel University Leverage Benefit Staff Avail Staff Paid Organization / Cost Center
  • 40. Without Leveraging - the First Dollars are Spent Twice Drexel University 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 0 5 10 15 IT Spending Performance/Capacity Small Partner School 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 0 5 10 15 IT Spending Performance/Capacity A spending level of 3 yields a performance level of 9 A spending level of 9 yields a performance level of 81
  • 41. Leveraged ~ Both Organizations Benefit Dramatically Drexel and Partner 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 0 5 10 15 IT Spending Performance/Capacity
    • Partner schools’ spending remains constant, but performance increases 1500%
    • Drexel spending remains constant, but performance increases 78%
    144 81 9 Performance 12 9 3 IT Spending Combined Drexel Partner
  • 42. dcollege.net Delivery Structure dCollege.Net Drexel University Partners
    • Colleges at the middle of the pyramid
    • Affinity partners
    • Others…
  • 43. Virtual Administration
    • The dot.com “bleeding edge” wave is over
    • Major “close followers” position for next wave:
      • Microsoft ~ .Net Strategy
        • Passport services offerings
      • Cisco ~ Intelligent Network Services Strategy
        • Virtual organization serviced via a “network of networks”
      • Sun ~ Open Net Environment ~ services on demand
      • IBM ~ e-Business On-Demand Computing
      • HP ~ Adaptive Computing Strategy
    • The Next Competitive Advantage
      • Virtual Administration via the net – access not assets
  • 44. Virtual Administration is Just “A Click Away”
    • Leverage the ASP model for other outsourced digital services
      • Finance
      • Human Resources
      • Facilities
      • Students
      • Institutional Advancement
      • Alumni
  • 45. Finance
    • ePurchasing
      • Purchasing card – Paymentech.com
      • Furniture and office supplies – Staples.com
      • Laboratory supplies – FisherScientific.com
      • Computing equipment – Dell.com Gateway.com
    • eTravel
      • Expedia.com Travelocity.com
    • eTransactions
      • AJDrexelbank.com Verisign.com
  • 46. Human Resources
    • ePayroll
      • ADP.com
    • eBenefits
      • Retirement – TIAA- CREF.com
      • Health Insurance – IBX.com
    • eRecruitment
      • Monster.com
  • 47. Student
    • eFinancial Aid
      • SallieMae.com
      • PHEAA.org
    • eAdmissions
      • Collegenet.com
    • eBookstore
      • BarnesAndNoble.com
      • eFollett.com
      • Amazon.com
  • 48. How Will HE Institutions Handle the Move from Assets to Access?
    • Strategic advantage or disadvantage
    • Provider, consumer, or both
    • Impact on structure and governance
      • Administration, academic course delivery, faculty
    • Student populations
      • Digital / Information Divide ~ narrowed or widened
    • Impact on revenue and expenditures
      • Facilities, technology, cost-avoidance opportunities
  • 49. What’s Next for “Institutions in the Middle”?
    • Don’t stop with IT services
    • Resource limitations impact other services
    • Recognize limits on internal business process growth and development
    • Business process inadequacies are routine
    • Compensation, skills, and support ~ a problem
    • Virtual administration the next wave ~ followed by virtual (collaborative) learning
  • 50. Questions? [email_address] 215-895-0244