Massie Hall at Shawnee State University By Spongefan (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Massie Hall at Shawnee State University
Oracle has announced that Shawnee State university (SSU) has selected the full Oracle Cloud Suite to replace its on-premises solution. The project may also  include the replacement of its JICS solution as they look to move to Oracle’s Student Management Cloud as the project progresses. The implementation will include Oracle’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud), in addition to Student Cloud CX.

Governor led initiative

Governor John R. Katich set up a task force to address the issue that the average tuition and mandatory fees for higher education in Ohio was more than 13% percentage points above the national average. In October 2015 the task force issued a report with several action points. The two master recommendations were that students must benefit from the changes and that each institution should set up a five year plan for change. This plan need with measurable savings and efficiencies through to 2021.

The benefits of cloud

Vice President for Finance and Administration (Image Source :
Vice President for Finance and Administration

The University IT department appears to have struggled under the burden of demand from students and faculty. The move to a cloud based solution will reduce the requirement for on-premises support. The on-premises solution also restricted the universities ability to identify and attract new quality students.

The single cloud solution will support 3,800 students and 700 employees across the campus and beyond. It also means that the complete lifecycle from recruitment, through student success to finances is in a single location. This will enable a holistic view across the institution and allow deeper insights into which course are cost effective and can help determine the future direction for the University.

Elinda Boyles, vice president for finance and administration at Shawnee State University said: “We believe that implementing Oracle’s Cloud solutions will help us meet our priority of being a student-focused university, by leveraging the latest technology all under a single unified cloud experience. We are fortunate that Shawnee State University President, Rick Kurtz, has forward-thinking vision and commitment to the university’s long-term success. This effort will improve operational efficiencies and better align our IT resources.”

Cloud migration

The press release infers that Oracle have replaced their on-premises Oracle ERP solution with the Cloud Suite. The transition from the on-premises software was “seamless” according to the release. Oracle have also integrated it to the remaining legacy solutions, though which systems is not known. The campus is now live on the Student Cloud CX. The rest of the suite is scheduled to go live on June 30, 2017.

Rondy Ng, Oracle’s Senior Vice President, Applications Development commented: “Oracle’s commitment to Higher Education and proven expertise in the Cloud provide Shawnee State University with a modern, secure and scalable platform for growth. Our next-generation cloud platform for Higher Education incorporates embedded analytics, an intuitive user experience, and built-in collaboration functionality to deliver comprehensive support for the business and student lifecycle with a focus on putting the student first.”


The battle for the replacement of University solutions is heating up. Workday recently announced Workday Student as a direct competitor to the Oracle solution. However where Oracle is already installed the choice appears to have a reduced risk. There are two lessons to learn from the Shawnee State university project. The first is that the migration path to an Oracle cloud solution can happen smoothly. The second is that the expanded functionality of the Oracle cloud solution will allow universities to replace legacy applications. This reduces cost and the workload for stretched IT teams. It also reduces the need for hardware expertise and support as well as software knowledge.

This will be a challenge to some legacy niche solutions. The draw of a complete cloud solution means that they will need to have something significantly unique to maintain market share.


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