Open Architecture SaaS in Higher Education

Traditional, monolithic application suites were initially developed in response to the inability to integrate applications in the early days of the enterprise softwareindustry. In order to create a full breadth of capability, a vendor had no choice but to write every application module themselves or to advance their product line through acquisition, often resulting in problems with integration, usability or no integration at all.

While these approaches may have appeared sound at the time, experience with these systems has surfaced many challenges and short-comings. Many colleges and universities have had to adopt several disparate”suites” to meet the various needs of operating units throughout the college to best service students. The results are extremely high maintenance costs, crippling IT complexity, little ability to adapt to changing opportunities, and little to no integration across the organization.

A new paradigm for higher education enterprise software is upon us. Modern enterprise application architectures are moving away from the legacyapproach of the monolithic suite. Higher education has reached a tipping point in enterprise applications, a point which creates massive new opportunities for colleges and universities to transform their enterprise architectures and achieve greater benefits. Benefits of this new approach include:

  • Lower costs
  • Reduced IT complexity
  • The ability to capitalize on best-of-breed applications
  • An integrated enterprise

The future of higher education software rests with companies who are the best at their core business focus. These companies leverage new industry standards to integrate broadly with other important education and business applications, and make it easier for universities to integrate their own internally developed applications. Higher education no longer has to settle for a package of second-rate applications in order to benefit from the one application module that is core to their mission.

The Emergence of SaaS: Is it Enough?
Software as a Service, or SaaS as it is known, is a topic of discussion in most higher education IT circles today and adoption rates are on the rise. But what does it mean?

Because a SaaS application is delivered to the school as a service, securely over the Internet, the school is automatically kept on the latest version of the application, reducing costly and disruptive upgrade projects. Colleges don’t incur the expense and hassle of purchasing, installing and storing their own hardware and software, plus they can better leverage staff expertise by moving the focus away from software maintenance and upkeep to instead focusing on strategic decisions to improve the overall student experience.

While SaaS in and of itself delivers numerous operational and financial benefits for higher education, traditionally it has been viewed as a closed environment. To truly embrace the potential of SaaS, it needs to be supported by an open architecture.

Open SaaS: What Does it Mean for the Future of Higher Education?
SaaS becomes that much more powerful through an open integration architecture with either pre-built connections with leading business and learning applications or a college’s own custom applications that directly integrate to the data and business processes. An open SaaS environment means that colleges and universities can benefit from a reliable, dependable, low maintenance SaaS model, plus they can customize and add on to both simplify and centralize information management in a way that meets their individual needs.

An open SaaS architecture allows simple integration with additional technologies used by the institution, enabling schools to create an ideal environment capable of meeting its unique needs. Schools that take advantage of an open SaaS environment are able to create efficiencies for users by streamlining operational and reporting processes.

From an operations perspective, users only need to focus on the applications that are relevant to the school. For example, a school that utilizes on-campus housing may need to integrate a housing application, while an online university wouldn’t need that application.

From a reporting perspective, a school can obtain greater insights into its business by creating reports from a central database, across all integrations and applications. An integrated Ad Hoc report writer will allow a school to easily create reports and track results it needs to support prospects, students, programs, growth and accreditation. For example, a college who wants to report on student learning outcomes in an online environment compared to a campus-based course can easily do so because data will be centrally managed through the core system and accompanying integrations.

Open SaaS: Is It Right for Your School?
When assessing an open SaaS environment, schools need to take a look at their current systems and any redundancies and/or disconnects where information management can be simplified and streamlined. An open SaaS model gives colleges and universities the tools to better support students, maximize theirinvestment and drive a competitive advantage.

  • Supporting Students: An open SaaS model gives universitites the opportunity to constantly embrace new and advanced applications to meet the evolving needs of students and support them throughout their education. At the end of the day, a successful student experience is what typically drives institutional missions, and being able to readily adopt and create applications that enable a school to further support student success is paramount.
  • Maximizing ROI: Br creating a a structure unique to colleges’ own needs and processes, universities don’t have to pay for systems and applications they are not going to use. They also are not incurring exorbitant costs for custom integration into a closed system.
  • Staying Competitive: Staffing efficiencies in IT and across the institution mean that users aren’t burdened with functionality they don’t need, therefore giving them more time and resources to dedicate to recruiting and retaining students, as well as delivering and advancing programs to meet market demand.

Adopting an open SaaS modelcan enable your core system to integrate with preferred applications, allowing for complete student lifecycle management in a whole new way. The old rules and assumptions no longer apply, and the future possibilities of an open SaaS environment are quite endless.

Continue Your Education With an MBA Online

What is a good way for me to advance my education despite having no real time to myself? I get busy with work and it is difficult for me to consider extending my education when I would have to commute to a campus, find time to go to classes, and then still work. One way I found that can help busy professionals continue their education without even having to leave the house is by pursuing an MBA online. By working on an MBA online, you don’t have to worry about commuting, going to classes at inconvenient times, or even scheduling around your job.An MBA is a powerful and helpful degree. Also known as a Masters of Business Administration, an MBA is the next logical step in education to extend your business career. However, it is quandary since you are working hard to move up, but also have to find a way to continue your education. The perfect the way to do that is to work on your MBA online. By doing so, you can avoid all the time constraints that go along with a traditional graduate program, plus you can work on your classes when you have the time and when your busy schedule permits.

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The best way to find an MBA online is to check through a search engine first. There are a number of universities and business colleges that offer MBA’s over the internet as part of their normal curriculum. There are also universities that specialize in online programs including MBA online schools. No matter which kind you prefer, you may want to begin your search on a search engine.So how does an MBA online work? You will likely have to first apply, probably online. If it is a traditional school offering an online program, you may have to visit the campus to get everything arranged. Once you are in, you will log in through the internet to take each of the classes required to complete your degree. Depending on the MBA online program, some may be self-pacing. More often, though, they will be on a weekly schedule, but you will be able to actually do the work when you get time. There will still be texts to read and activities to do, but all of it will be available to you from your desktop.Finding time, as a professional, to continue your education can be very difficult. You are busy with your work and with what time you have, it would probably be nearly impossible to find classes that would work for you. The answer can very possibly be an MBA online program. By pursuing your degree online you can avoid the time constraints that come with a traditional program. You can work around your schedule, do so from your home, and thus be able to get your MBA even with a busy work schedule that isn’t consistent. An MBA is an important degree if you want to move on in the business world, and it can be time consuming. So, consider working on your MBA online [] to help your career and education progress.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!