Monday, July 27, 2009

CampusEAI's MyCampus vs. NCCU's MyEOL: And the Winner Is...

Image representing CampusEAI as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase
It has been a few weeks since our last meeting with CampusEAI regarding their MyCampus solution. If you recall, I wrote MyCampus vs. MyEOL: War of the Campus Portals and Up Against the Wal-marts to explain the details surrounding our look into a third-party portal application. At the conclusion of my last article, the situation looked as if the grant was a done deal. The CIO and direct reports seemed to like the solution, but wanted some time to consult with other institutions already using the portal.

My attempts to get a comment from any university using MyCampus produced little fruit. This made me wary. I also looked online for a perspective outside CampusEAI's web site. It would have been nice to hear both pros and cons, but found nothing.

With the number of blogs on information technology in higher education, one would expect to find plenty of write ups. Unfortunately, it seemed that a veil of silence protected any comments other than theirs. Maybe I am completely wrong, but that is how I saw it.

Anyway, back to the story. Two weeks go by and a number of us at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) have taken the opportunity to speak with inside developers and project managers. We were given the opportunity to look under the hood and ask questions about the process, tools, and requirements.

The NCCU team, now led by a new CIO, organized a number of internal meetings to discuss our findings. The decision to adopt or reject the portal must be made on solid facts, not personal bias. Therefore, the CIO took our individual reports and needed time to review. After careful consideration, the CIO called a special meeting with members of the project and representatives from CampusEAI.

When all were assembled, the CIO revealed his decision. Based upon facts and with the best interest of North Carolina Central University at heart, our leader informed us and CampusEAI that we will NOT accept the grant. He then continues to explain a number of relevant issues ranging from economic hardships, budget constraints, prior commitments, lack of personnel, and lack of communication with campus stakeholders. In review, I think the decision was a good one and agree whole-heartedly with the reasons provided.

To those institutions looking for more information. I can tell you that MyCampus looks promising. If you do not have a portal, or looking for something with web 2.0 features, give the consortium a looksee. For us, the solution and timing was not right.

On a personal note, this means the talented and incredibly resourceful web developers in Web Services can return to what they do best and create MAGIC.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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