Evaluating long-term value in migrating ERP and SIS applications to Amazon Web Services

by Patrick Frontiera, Dave Hansen, Josh Badal, and Selim Burduroğlu | on

Evaluating long-term value in migrating ERP and SIS applications to AWS

Organizations can realize significant benefits when migrating their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and student information systems (SIS) to Amazon Web Services (Amazon Web Services), including reduced costs, fewer security incidents, and improved agility . Education institutions, though, face slightly different decision-making contexts when evaluating which cloud provider to use to host these applications. Education institutions operate in more resource-constrained environments than organizations in many other sectors, and in this context, it can be tempting to only consider explicit cost benefits over a short-term time horizon.

In this blog post, explore several considerations associated with your decision and the total value that you can realize over a medium and long-term horizon when you migrate ERP and SIS applications to Amazon Web Services.

The value of resilience

While it is simple for education leaders to evaluate differences in hard costs from cloud providers over a near-term window, it can be less straightforward to consider the value of resilience.  When considering the value of resilience, it is important to factor in the intangible, or implicit, costs of your decisions, specifically in the domains of people, the risk to technology and data, and the possible future impact to the organization. Implicit cost considerations might seem abstract – until students at your institution are flooding your help desk with tickets during course registration periods, or your SIS and ERP applications are forced completely offline because your underlying infrastructure was not resilient to data center outages.

The value of data and innovation

Three of Educause’s 2023 Top 10 IT issues (“ #4:  Smooth Sailing for the Student Experience” , ” #7. Moving from Data Insight to Data Action “, and ” #10. SaaS, ERP, and CRM: An Alphabet Soup of Opportunity“ ) reflect what Amazon Web Services hears in conversations with education leaders about the strategic importance of deriving additional value and meaningful insights out of their data and information assets.

Among other institutional imperatives, data from the ERP and SIS is foundational to answering important questions about student success (at scale and individually) and to be able to inform resource planning activities. ERP and SIS applications hosted in Amazon Web Services can integrate with Amazon Web Services’s broader suite of  services , including its machine language (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) , application integration services , and more. For example, Highline College was one of the 34 public community and technical colleges that was part of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical College’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions migration to Amazon Web Services . This set the stage for Highline College’s recent implementation of a financial aid tracker solution that both reduces significant operational burden on its financial aid staff while simultaneously making the financial aid award process more transparent for learners.

So as you consider the long-term value to your institution of being able to more seamlessly drive additional value and insights out of your ERP and SIS data, talk to your Amazon Web Services team about how migrating your ERP and SIS data to Amazon Web Services can help your institution unlock innovation and insights.

The value of a customer-obsessed cloud provider

Core to Amazon Web Services’s identity is its customer-obsessed culture, codified in Amazon’s leadership principles . When Amazon Web Services engages with higher education institutions, we work backwards from these customers’ most pressing challenges and strategic aspirations to implement solutions that help them solve these problems and realize opportunities.

Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), for example, worked with Amazon Web Services to improve both the resilience and security of their IT applications . Since 2019, two separate hurricanes forced their data centers offline. Separately, the university experienced an increasing number of cybersecurity events, which culminated in a major event in Fall of 2022. XULA worked with Amazon Web Services and its partners VMWare and Strata Information Group to migrate 90% of its applications, including its Oracle-based ERP and SIS, to Amazon Web Services. In addition to meeting its goals around improved security and resilience, XULA saw increased staff productivity and initial savings of $700,000.

Furthermore, through its commitment to open-source database alternatives like  MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MongoDB , and others, Amazon Web Services makes it possible for higher education institutions to develop a roadmap to an eventual architecture free of contractual obligations with cloud vendors and legacy on-premises vendors. Amazon Web Services offers a variety of resources to help customers both reduce cost and benefit from increased performance by migrating their databases to open-source based managed databases. Visit the Amazon Web Services Database Migrations page to explore the options available to you, whether you are just starting or wanting to accelerate your journey.

Higher education leaders’ decision to migrate ERP, SIS, and other mission-critical applications to a cloud provider requires them to trust that the cloud provider will be a true collaborator with them on their journey. As you evaluate your choices, carefully assess the history of your options’ practices, and consider which is most likely to work with you to help you accomplish your institution’s objectives.

Optimization and licensing assessments

Another way in which Amazon Web Services can offer help for higher education institutions is through the Amazon Web Services Optimization and Licensing Assessment (Amazon Web Services OLA). The Amazon Web Services OLA is a complimentary program that empowers both new and existing customers to assess and optimize their on-premises and cloud environments, reduce required instances, and enhance resource efficiency. The data gathered can help you make informed decisions for your cloud journey.

According to Cintra, an assessment of over 5,700 Oracle instances indicated that running Oracle on Amazon Web Services required an average of 35% fewer cores than on-premises. For additional savings, Cintra identified 47% of databases as good candidates for utilizing Oracle Standard edition instead of the more expensive Oracle Enterprise edition. And up to 50% of databases were well suited for migration to the cost-effective open-source platform PostgreSQL.

If taking advantage of this program is of interest, request an Amazon Web Services OLA by initiating the “ Migration Evaluator ” process and letting our team of experts guide you.

The total value calculation

Institutions of higher education and K12 districts face a wide range of budgetary pressures, and in some of these contexts, it can be tempting to only consider near-term and hard-cost factors when deciding where to migrate ERP and SIS applications. It’s important to consider the long-term implicit value that may be harder to quantify. As you contemplate migrating your ERP or SIS to Amazon Web Services, either reach out to your account team to explore your options or visit the “Oracle Applications on Amazon Web Services” page and refer to the “How to Get Started” section.

Read related posts about migrating your Oracle applications to Amazon Web Services:

  • Sierra-Cedar Helps Arizona State University Expand Capacity by Migrating PeopleSoft Applications to Amazon Web Services
  • How Bucknell IT got 40 percent of their time back by moving ERP to the cloud
  • Amazon Web Services Optimization and Licensing Assessment
  • Set up a highly available PeopleSoft architecture on Amazon Web Services
  • Migrate Oracle PeopleSoft to Amazon RDS Custom Amazon Web Services Migration Acceleration Program

Review the infographic, 5 immediate advantages to running your Oracle ERP applications on Amazon Web Services , to how Amazon Web Services customer are driving additional value from your ERP and SIS.

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