2021 Enterprise Automation Award Nomination: Wake Forest University: Digital Transformation

What were the underlying reasons or business implications for the need to automate business processes? Describe the business and technical challenges the company had.

The combination of business and technical challenges prompted Wake Forest University’s digital transformation/move to the cloud initiative in 2016. With a new CIO committed to modernize the IT infrastructure and the departments (Finance, HR, Registrar) pushing to adopt newer, simpler applications, it was the perfect opportunity for WFU to achieve the Digital Transformation.

Business Challenge: The Finance department was held back from getting up-to-date information they can use to process payroll, accounts receivable, student registration, financial aid and HR-related tasks.

Technical Challenge: In 2016, Wake Forest University had all their infrastructure in-house and replicated in an off-site location as a part of disaster recovery. This meant servers were constantly in need of OS upgrades and maintenance, and databases are in constant need of patches. Maintaining legacy applications has proved to be very time sensitive. They also used Banner, their legacy database that included registration, student, accounts receivable, payroll, finance, HR, Financial Aid information, was maintained and upgraded in house. In addition, WFU also had other in-house applications they had to maintain, including DegreeWorks, an enterprise data warehouse, Remedy Ticketing system, Evisions, and their LMS system, Sakai.

Describe your automation use case(s) and business process(es).

Once the Central Information Systems team started the digital transformation project, they were able to achieve the following business processes:

  1. Benefits:
    a. Employee benefits
    b. Payroll
  2. Financial Aid:
  3. Student:
    a. Student application, acceptance, and class registrations
    b.Student class enrollment
  4. Analytics & Reporting:
    a. Covid-19 tracking dashboard to report to the city and state regulators and notify staff, faculty and students on Covid-19 stat updates on campus
    b. Analytics and reporting on student applications, acceptances and registrations.

Describe how you implemented your automations and processes. Include details such as what SnapLogic features and Snaps were used to build out the automations and processes.

WFU contracted a consultant group to assess their digital transformation, including all the applications and solutions that WFU considered in adopting for the transformation project. The consultant group recommended a multi-year phased approach, where WFU would move all the Finance, Payroll and HCM from Banner to Workday. Then they’d migrate the student information over afterwards.

The WFU team used SnapLogic to call REST APIs, and merge and map the data on Banner and Workday.

Snaps used are: Workday, Oracle, REST, SOAP, Transform and Binary

What were the business results after executing the strategy? Include any measurable metrics (ie. productivity improvement, speed improvement, % reduced manual inefficiencies, etc.)

A total of 83 integrations were built for advancement (11), benefits (9), campus life (17), financial aid (6), finance (26), and student (24).

They also push 171 feeds from Workday, 218 feeds from StarRez, and 12 feeds for Covid-19 dashboard to their data warehouse.

Who was and how were they involved in building out the solution? (Please include the # of FTEs, any partners or SnapLogic professional services who were involved on the implementation)

A consulting team was hired initially to determine the best approach for digital transformation.

2 FTEs support all SnapLogic integrations.