Boise State University a public research university with over 20,000 students recently selected InFlight, the leading tool to integrate PeopleSoft and Blackboard into SharePoint, to help bring its Unified Web Experience strategy to fruition.

We sat down for a short Q and A session with Brian Bolt, Project Management Officer at Boise State University to learn more about why InFlight was chosen. A recording of that interview is below followed by a few notes from our conversation.

Take a peak at some of the things Boise State is doing in their campus-wide SharePoint portal in the below video, delivered as part of a presentation at the HEUG Alliance 2013 conference or check out our other post on how to make PeopleSoft Mobile.

Integrating PeopleSoft into SharePoint: Build vs Buy

During our conversation, we discovered that Boise State had undergone a thorough analysis of the build-vs-buy options. At the end of the day, “If we were going to build it we were going to invest a lot of time producing web services from PeopleSoft’s Integration Broker” says Brian Bolt, Project Management Officer at Boise State.

Aside from the risk and uncertainty associated with most software development projects, Boise State didn’t have the bandwidth for this approach. Given the number of PeopleSoft components Boise State wants to integrate into PeopleSoft, we estimate it would have cost the University more than $3M over a 5 year period.

Instead of integrating PeopleSoft and SharePoint using web services Boise State implemented InFlight as part of its unified portal Phase I go-live.  The leading reasons behind this decision include;

  • No Development Costs.  InFlight™ integrates PeopleSoft and SharePoint out-of-the-box; freeing up development resources to focus on delivering an amazing user experience.
  • Complete Control.  InFlight provides complete control over the look and feel of PeopleSoft.

“We knew that we wanted to provide an environment where anything related to PeopleSoft had the same branded and polished style that we were delivering via SharePoint. Making it all blend in was pretty important to us”, says Bolt.

  • Any part of any module. By selecting InFlight Boise State knew it would be able to integrate any part of any PeopleSoft module into SharePoint. This allows customers to leap past cumbersome PeopleSoft navigation by taking users directly to the end components they need to access, when they need to access them. Boise State estimates it will reduce the number of mouse-clicks required to perform key processes by 50% or greater.
  • Secure Single Sign-On (SSO).  InFlight™ delivers secure single sign-on into PeopleSoft and Blackboard out-of-the-box. The InFlight SSO combined with the ability to transform the PeopleSoft look translates into a truly unified SharePoint portal with one look and feel. According to Bolt, “The user doesn’t recognize they’re in PeopleSoft, they just recognize they’re in the my.BoiseState experience”.
  • Incremental ROI Across PeopleSoft and SharePoint. InFlight™ extends hard-to-reach PeopleSoft functionality to an even wider user base; driving greater user satisfaction and incremental return-on-investment across Boise State’s PeopleSoft Enterprise applications. In addition, Boise State had committed to SharePoint as its long-term business intelligence platform and was determined to find ways of driving greater value from its investment. InFlight enabled the quick, easy and secure integration of PeopleSoft into SharePoint, bringing the crux its Unified Web Experience strategy to fruition.

Boise State is starting by integrating its most critical applications first and the initial phase of deployment is focused entirely on Campus Solutions and the student experience.

Next, the University plans “…to integrate across the entire PeopleSoft platform…using InFlight over the course of the next year”, say Brian.

To learn more download the complete case study and discover how Boise State is using InFlight to help de-customize its PeopleSoft applications. Microsoft also recently caught wind of the work we did at Boise State, leading to an interview on SharePoint TV at the 2012 SharePoint Conference!


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