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60% less manual work

75% API reuse

80 hours saved per integration

Challenge

Creating a connected experience for digital learning from anywhere

INSEAD, which boasts the #1 MBA program in the world, maintains its edge as one of the globe’s leading and largest graduate business schools by delivering exemplary experiences for students and faculty. However, a sprawling tech ecosystem with more than 100 siloed applications made it difficult for INSEAD to keep up with student and faculty expectations. This translated into a depreciated experience for students — especially during enrollment and scheduling — while overloading staff with manual work and driving up IT operations costs.

INSEAD needed a new integration approach to unlock information silos, connect multiple mission-critical systems, and ultimately deliver an industry-leading education experience for students and faculty across the globe.

Objectives

Delivering an unmatched education experience

For INSEAD, creating a seamless digital experience for student and faculty required:

  • Minimizing manual tasks and creating a single view of student schedules by integrating a new scheduling platform with INSEAD's other systems
  • Improving sales operations by modernizing legacy systems and implementing Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Automating student enrollment to increase operational efficiency and lower costs by integrating key education apps such as Canvas and legacy systems such as Oracle PeopleSoft

Solution

Optimizing student enrollment and scheduling

Automating student scheduling

INSEAD's first objective was to reduce manual tasks associated with scheduling and create a comprehensive view of student schedules by implementing TimeEdit — a new scheduling platform. Originally, the new platform did not accommodate uploading Excel schedules, which meant the staff would have to book thousands of courses manually, resulting in weeks of additional labor every semester. By building APIs on Anypoint Platform™, INSEAD delivered user-friendly functionality that enabled Excel schedules to be uploaded into TimeEdit in minutes.

“MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform’s API capabilities enabled us to implement automated scheduling and course bookings — improving the efficiency and productivity of our staff. Now, they can focus on higher value tasks instead of manual work.

Mr. Choo Tatt Saw CIO INSEAD headshot

Mr. Choo Tatt Saw
CIO, INSEAD

“In addition, the platform’s superior error handling functionalities allow us to identify data quality issues early, which make it easy for thousands of students to schedule classes,” said Mr. Saw.

INSEAD also faced a scheduling challenge with schedulers from different departments who had become accustomed to using their own specialized tools. To solve this challenge, INSEAD created the Canvas API to smoothly integrate Canvas — their student information system — with TimeEdit, the Learning Management System and Microsoft Azure BOT. Thanks to these integrations, the entire staff now has access to a universal scheduling view while still using their preferred tools.

Optimizing enrollment processes

INSEAD was also able to automate enrollment processes by utilizing MuleSoft’s API-led approach — further improving efficiency, reducing painstaking labor, and saving costs. For example, INSEAD created a single source of truth in PeopleSoft, its core Student Information System where staff entered all data related to courses. When INSEAD first implemented the Canvas Learning Management System, staff work doubled because they had to enter the exact same course data separately into both systems. In addition to adding extra work, the manual effort also increased the human error rate.

To meet the challenge, INSEAD reused the Canvas API that integrates data from PeopleSoft and sends it to Canvas.

“The integration between PeopleSoft and Canvas saves a lot of time for Degree Program Staff and improves accuracy in our enrollment process, which ultimately benefits our students,” said Mr. Raphael Degrave, Head of Digital Programme and Architecture “In addition, reusing the Canvas API built for a previous project enabled us to cut development time from three months down to two days.”

Modernizing sales systems

INSEAD's next project was to modernize its legacy sales systems by implementing Salesforce Sales Cloud for the “Executive Education” department. Using MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform, INSEAD built APIs to allow faculty and staff to securely access student information such as their profile, academic record, and work experience all within Sales Cloud — vital sales data that previously lived in multiple systems. Through integration with MuleSoft, Sales Cloud became the primary system of information, speeding up day-to-day work for faculty and staff by eliminating the need to log into multiple external systems.

“The APIs we built with MuleSoft connect several critical systems to Sales Cloud, such as PeopleSoft ERP and our Eloqua marketing platform,” explained Mr. Degrave. “In addition, we were able to deploy Sales Cloud 3x faster with MuleSoft, compared to using custom code.”

Results

Boosting productivity across the organization — cutting weeks of manual work and development every semester

“So far, we have taken advantage of MuleSoft to build 36 APIs that have improved processes all across the organization — reducing manual work by 60%,” said Mr. Manoj Lasantha, Solution Architect, INSEAD.

Employing MuleSoft also accelerated the development process at INSEAD, increasing developer speed by 44%, and saving an average of 80 development hours on every new integration.

Mr. Degrave concluded, “Three out of every four APIs we built using MuleSoft have been reused for other integrations, eliminating the need for the time-consuming and costly development of custom point-to-point integrations.”

In the end, taking an API-led approach to streamline and improve the accuracy of data sharing empower INSEAD to deliver a fulfilling educational experience.

Given INSEAD’s success with building API-led integrations and the low error rate of data synchronization, the team is now working to rebuild all custom integrations using MuleSoft. “Looking into the future, we hope to leverage MuleSoft for key business initiatives, including relaunching our Alumni Portal as well as our HR and Finance platforms,” said Mr. Degrave. “MuleSoft is going to play an instrumental part in these business initiatives — helping us connect multiple services together with ease.”