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UIT Honored with Oracle Excellence Award

Monday, November 13, 2017

Oracle recently recognized the trailblazing work of several teams in University IT (UIT) by honoring them with its Excellence Award for integrating the Oracle Management Cloud system management tool with Stanford’s Axess implementation. This work automates a handful of system management tasks required to operate the campus Axess service.

Automating tedious tasks to keep up with growing demands

Picture of Russell Brewer
UIT project team: Back (L-R) Alakh Thakur, Sibi Joseph, Sameer Marella, Sreekanth Gooty, Helen Kong; Front (L-R) Dilip Krishnamurthy, Jen Hong

Axess — Stanford's Liferay and PeopleSoft-powered online platform — contains information and records related to academic advising, teaching and grading, employment, student enrollment and financials, staff training, and other administrative processes. It is used by almost every member of the Stanford community.

“To keep up with growing demands, smart automation of tedious tasks is an absolute necessity,” said Sameer Marella, senior director of Student, HR & Middleware Systems for UIT.

Since Axess runs across a cluster of servers, it wasn’t always easy for UIT staff to connect the system management data from each server to quickly address issues that needed attention. The new automated solution takes multiple files that list the various activities on all the servers and automatically correlates them in a more visual display. This quickly surfaces issues that previously required manual review of the data.

Efficiencies and performance improvements are the greatest win

Oracle was impressed by the UIT team’s work, and nominated Stanford for their prestigious Oracle Excellence Award. The annual award recognizes businesses that deploy revolutionary solutions, establish and refine best practices, and demonstrate that they are thought leaders in their industries.

“The judges liked our strategy for solving a vexing problem that large enterprise application teams face regularly,” said Marella. “They also liked how our innovative solution could help other Oracle customers across many industries.”

The solution took three months to develop and rolled out in late 2016. The UIT team beat out 11 other nominees. The award included a crystal trophy and a visit to Oracle’s headquarters.

“The award is great,” said Marella, “but the real accomplishment is that by demonstrating the leadership to leverage cloud-based tools, we’ve created efficiencies that our staff will see in managing the service. Even more importantly, Axess users should see improvements in the service’s performance.”

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