40% boost in developer productivity
$1.67 million in cost savings
87% API reuse rate
Enhancing IT capabilities to support transformation
The University is one of 10 campuses that’s part of a public research university system in California. The university is now on a trajectory to achieve the coveted R1 status, the highest recognition for doctoral research. Their academic accomplishments and distinguished faculty have made it a sought-after university, resulting in a rapid increase in student enrollment.
With more than 9000 students and 1900 staff, the university completed a $1.3 billion campus expansion in 2020 that included 13 new buildings for teaching, research, housing, and student life. It marked the beginning of the university’s projected growth, prompting new digital services such as online courses. Additionally, the campus needed to replace its siloed, homegrown financial system that made it difficult for its staff to gain a comprehensive and accurate account of its growing operational expenses and student finances. The university’s point-to-point integration approach made it difficult for the resource-strained IT team to deliver these projects at the required pace. The university needed a new integration approach to deliver new capabilities faster to meet growing demands.
Building digital agility for campus growth
The university needed to become digitally agile to support campus growth by:
- Building a 360-degree view of its finances to make informed decisions.
- Integrating several systems to offer online courses as part of their cross-campus enrollment program.
- Delivering new services faster to improve student and staff experiences.
Adopting API-led integration to build a composable organization able to evolve with change
Their IT infrastructure consisted of on-premises and cloud-based systems which made it difficult to make changes quickly, especially because the majority was built using point-to-point integration. Based on their experience with a handful of API products and API gateways, the team sought a new solution that would combine Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and API lifecycle management to reduce the number of tools used to design, implement, manage, and secure all its application and system integrations. They chose MuleSoft Anypoint Platform™ because it delivers all those capabilities in a unified platform with a single user interface and built-in security features.
Establishing a 360-degree view of its finances
The first priority was to replace its existing financial systems with Oracle Cloud Financials to align with other state school campuses. Moving away from point-to-point, the team adopted an API-led integration approach and used Anypoint Platform to connect its previously siloed student information system, operational data store, learning management system, and identity and access management system with the new Oracle Cloud Financials system. In just six months, the team built 60 APIs to unlock critical data residing in these systems and exposed the data sets to Oracle Cloud Financials, establishing a single source of truth for all its financial data. Instead of accessing multiple different systems, the administrative staff can now securely and easily access one system for a 360-degree view of its finances to effectively manage fiscal responsibilities, make informed decisions, and ensure audit readiness to support campus growth.
Enabling cross-campus enrollment
The team was also able to fast track participation in the online program, an innovative, hybrid learning approach that allows students to take online courses offered through any UC campus anytime, anywhere. The program plays a critical role to promote student success through system-wide accessibility to courses and faculty—at no additional cost— and supports the University’s vision of inclusive and equitable learning opportunities.
They were able to quickly launch its online courses as well as enable its students to enroll in the Online program by reusing APIs shared on Anypoint Exchange. The IT team utilized reusable APIs to unlock and expose the necessary data from the student information and learning management systems to the online system. As a result, all registered students now have the convenience and flexibility to take online courses offered through any of the campuses to earn required credits for graduation or explore new subjects.
Accelerating project delivery
One of the key components to success is the Center for Enablement (C4E), which was established based on MuleSoft’s recommendations. A C4E is a cross functional team of IT and business stakeholders focused on API strategy and best practices. C4E, together with Exchange, is enabling the team to shorten development cycles and deliver projects faster than before through strategic API reuse and API development best practices standards.The team also learned to take a long-term strategic approach and identify architectural elements to reuse APIs and reduce technical debt. “With MuleSoft, we’ve improved how we structure digital transformation projects. The MuleSoft integration team is now part of every project from the outset to ensure integration builds are no longer an afterthought,” says the Enterprise Applications Director at the University.
Accelerating digital transformation with 87% API reuse
Anypoint Platform is a game changer for the small IT team. The team can now integrate existing and new applications and systems faster than before with an API-led approach and by designing, building, and managing APIs on one unified platform. “It helps establish predictability over our integration patterns, successes, failures, and how data moves around—allowing us to come up with integration plans that we can execute quickly. Anypoint Platform is the tool that my team always needed,” adds the Enterprise Applications Director.
Despite the heavy workload, the IT team completed the Oracle Cloud Financials integration six months ahead of their deadline. An achievement they believe would not have been possible with any other solution. The team was impressed with how easily and quickly they were able to create and use reusable APIs. By leveraging Exchange and establishing a C4E, they achieved an 87% API reuse rate, resulting in accelerated developer onboarding and project delivery. Since they were able to complete projects faster than before, the team also used Anypoint Platform to solve problems that have been backlogged for two to three years. In fact, developer productivity increased by approximately 40%, equivalent to $1.67 million in cost savings.
“Thanks to MuleSoft, we now have a clear integration strategy and have made significant reductions in people cost, cost of ownership, and technical debt.”
Applications Director at the University.