University of Waterloo, with more than 36,000 students, has been named Canada’s top innovation university for 26 consecutive years. At the forefront of technology, its entrepreneurial culture and intensive focus on research makes it one of the top innovation hubs in the world.
The University of Waterloo’s student information system, the primary interface for students to manage their college lives, lacked usability on mobile interfaces. Students expressed dissatisfaction with the system, finding it clunky and difficult to interact with from their personal mobile devices. Whether to check class schedules or look up a specific location from their phone, the ‘on-the-go’ student population needed convenient access to the system as they moved between different buildings on campus. In keeping with the University’s strong commitment to innovation, a decision was made to modernize and mobilize the existing system and make it available for students and staff from cell phones and tablets. The ideal solution also needed to improve usability, ensure security and present a branded user interface, aligned with Waterloo’s Student Portal and digital standards. IT leaders at The University of Waterloo began their search for a solution that would integrate easily with its PeopleSoft systems and provide a responsive browser-based interface accommodating Android, Apple and Blackberry-based devices.
In addition to existing functionality, the solution had to support features that made direct use of device-relevant gestures to allow efficient interaction on a mobile device. Waterloo considered, but quickly discarded, the idea of developing an in-house app due to security and privacy concerns. Appsian’s PeopleUX was selected after an extensive evaluation of mobile technologies. Extended device support, and the ability to tightly couple with existing PeopleSoft systems without requiring new infrastructure or customizations, played a key role in the selection. PeopleUX also met the University’s branding control and rapid implementation needs.
The University of Waterloo was able to implement and roll-out its modern, highly usable, mobile-friendly student information system within 6 months. Almost 90 PeopleSoft pages were made mobile friendly, allowing students to easily upload documents, add/drop/swap courses, view grades, and class schedules, search for classes and access advisor information and financial aid details from their mobile device. The system was also made available to applicants, allowing them to view application status and test scores, upload documents including transcripts and even accept/decline offers from their mobile device. The PeopleUX based offering was an instant success with students. The appealing, Waterloo-branded black and gold interface was highly rated for ease of use and convenience. Students loved the minimalistic, modern design. Backed by powerful mobile capabilities, the University of Waterloo was able to effectively and quickly deliver a secure, mobile-friendly information system, resulting in more productive student and applicant engagement.
Drawing from deep PeopleSoft roots, Appsian engineers lightweight, yet powerful software solutions that enhance and optimize PeopleSoft’s security, mobility, and user experience capabilities. Our mission is to help PeopleSoft customers extend and amplify their ERP investment. With the release of unique solutions like PeopleSoft Single Sign-On (SAML), PeopleSoft Security Analytics, field/page/component level Multi-Factor Authentication, and PeopleUX, Appsian has established itself as a leader in the Oracle solution space. Appsian is honored to be an Oracle Gold Partner as well as on the Oracle Customer Advisory Board.
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‘‘University of Waterloo is an institution known for innovation so students had high expectations about how our student system should operate. Our implementation was quick and the system was very well received! Adam Wlad, Technical Leader.’’