Northwestern University and Intelligent Chaos Collaborate on SOA Solutions

September 13, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Evanston, Ill. (September 13, 2007) – This past January, Intelligent Chaos (IC) was awarded and contracted as the exclusive provider of SOA design and deployment system integration solutions for prestigious Northwestern University located in Evanston, Ill.

Intelligent Chaos (IC), a division of EMS Consulting, has emerged as the proven innovator in bridging the traditional implementation approach to the next generation of services, leveraging Oracle’s Fusion Middleware family of products in the development of SOA.

“We are a multi-based project which is implementing a variety of different software systems to replace the universities entire financial systems infrastructure,” said Jeffrey Mundt, Director of Financial Management Systems Projects at Northwestern University. “So in addition to the core of PeopleSoft financials, we are also assembling applications specific to higher-education. These include asset management and facilities management, a third party shopping tool with Oracle/PeopleSoft business intelligence, data warehousing and a variety of smaller tools such as endowment management.”

EMS Consulting -Intelligence Chaos - (EMS-IC) brought significant expertise and skills to the Northwestern University project. The Tampa, Fla.-based firm has been a solution provider for the past ten years servicing 28 percent of the largest universities within the Higher Education Industry. So, the choice of IC to implement the SOA solution at Northwestern was a natural one.

“I think we know this is the way that the world is heading. Today, the catch word in higher education is always collaboration,” noted Mundt. “From our perspective, what has been the most positive impact has been a very collaborative environment. We’ve been able to learn a lot, both technically and functionally from a project standpoint, of what is required to do this type of work.”

As the Project Director, Mundt saw a larger issue. Northwestern was able to realize objectives that they wouldn’t be able to achieve within the implementation timeframe knowing that Fusion Middleware is an emerging technology. The collaboration between Intelligent Chaos and the Northwestern University team helped achieve primary goals and move forward on this project.

One reason is a meshing of key philosophies.

Mundt said bringing IC on board has meant having a knowledge team to resolve problems much more expeditiously then they could by themselves. “Prior to IC, we’ve spent too much time and money on IT focusing on business processes that worked for a very small number of people,” said Mundt, “Now it applies to a much larger audience”.

“The Northwestern University project is a good example of SOA bringing a cost-effective alternative to investing into high maintenance, no reusable vendor specific ERP system customizations, taking advantage of the decoupled, more flexible and adaptable solutions offered by adapting an SOA approach,” stated EMS-IC President and CEO Elaine Myrback.

Mundt believes the recognized value for SOA is now. “I think within the next two years is when it will be considered a standard. Everybody is talking about SOA as something they need to do as opposed to something they would like to do or something they think would make it easier in the future,” he said. “The interesting thing is the vendors in many cases are farther out than the business side. With Intelligent Chaos they are beginning to demonstrate the value of what (SOA) can give to them from a business process standpoint.”

“The first company that starts to capitalize on the business side of these technologies is going to be able to put together some killer composite applications in the next couple of years and really get a lot of aperture,” Mundt said.

Intelligent Chaos’ specific SOA practice has been designed to streamline, enable, accelerate and evolve client’s capabilities by providing a strong differentiating solution to address their marketplace needs. Mundt feels SOA and Intelligent Chaos has been a key to the success of flexibility and reuse goals of the Northwestern University project.

“SOA is finally fulfilling the promise that the market has been talking about for a long time. Business users are able to do what they need to do without involving as many technology people,” Mundt said. “We are protecting our future investments by doing things today the right way so we don’t have to redo them every time we have an upgrade. We are setting the stage for finally orchestrating all of our business processes across the institution seamlessly from a user perspective. The systems talk to each other and that’s really exciting that the technology is finally allowing us to do that.”

IC offers strategy sessions to explore the SOA options that are best for the client’s organization. EMS Consulting created Intelligent Chaos in October 2005 to assist a growing number of clients with transitioning to the next step in their ERP evolution.

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