Infrastructure

With cloud, Jenzabar brings new simplicity to higher education

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Jenzabar higher education

Today’s college students are digital natives, so they naturally expect their higher education experience to involve fast and convenient tools and processes. However, many student information systems delivered at colleges and universities are constrained by inefficient, rigid on-premises systems.

At Jenzabar, we translate advances in technology into advances in educational opportunities. With this objective in mind, we built a transformational software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to help education clients reduce costs and unlock agility to meet student demands.

Identifying a gap in the market

Higher education institutions are waking up to the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Complex in-house IT infrastructure can be a drain on time and attention, preventing organizations from focusing on their core business of educating students.

We aim to address these challenges.

More than 1,350 campuses around the world rely on our solutions to enhance student and university administration and finance operations. There is a shift in the way students consume higher education. Students are looking for a more personalized and connected experience with choices in how, what, when and where they learn. They want responsive and easy administration. They are mobile and technology savvy; they expect higher education institutions to be too. We wanted to provide SaaS solutions to help clients meet these growing student expectations while reducing pressure on their technical teams.

To make this goal a reality, we sought a cloud platform that offered versatility, reliability and security. Most important, the solution had to meet data compliance requirements that vary from country to country.

Teaming up for success

When we compared offerings from different cloud services providers, IBM stood head and shoulders above the rest. We were looking for a provider who understood business. Our SaaS solutions for education are built on the IBM Cloud because it’s designed to meet our clients’ around-the-clock operational demands, a key differentiator for us.

Typically, when we deploy client environments to a private VMware vSphere on IBM Cloud virtualization platform running on IBM Cloud bare metal servers, we start from scratch and do a fresh provision of the servers, during which time we take the opportunity to optimize the client environment.

Part of that optimization includes adding a robust disaster recovery foundation. To provide that security, we use Veeam on IBM Cloud as the basis of our disaster recovery services. We take a Veeam backup from the servers operating on the client campus and store them in the IBM storage environment. The storage may comprise a combination of SAN storage, local disk storage on a Veeam backup server, IBM Cloud Block Storage, IBM Cloud File Storage or IBM Cloud Object Storage.

And, for our most security- and latency-sensitive clients, we offer IBM Cloud Direct Link, which enables private connections between remote network environments and their IBM Cloud implementations.

Sometimes clients ask, “What happens if the data center goes down?”

That’s not something they have to worry about, because with vSphere deployed across multiple data centers, we can perform site-to-site recovery. When we prove to our clients how VMWare works, that answers their question.

Clearing the path to growth

At Jenzabar, we give our clients the tools to fulfill their mission and understand that unresponsive systems can hinder customers’ expansion strategies. With IBM Cloud, we can be confident that we will always be enablers, rather than barriers, to growth.

The global IBM Cloud data center network enables us to meet local data regulations, such as retaining data within a country’s borders, very easily.

We can offer smaller institutions access to computing resources they typically would not be able to afford. We are also creating additional service options for clients based on the extensive functionality offered in the IBM Cloud.

IBM provides a full environment and we’ve utilized almost every piece of it: public cloud, backup-as-a-service, firewalls, VLANs, VPNs and all the security pieces. All of these offerings are natural and native to the environment, so we didn’t have to go out and pick and choose and try and cobble together a solution to meet our needs.

With Jenzabar solutions, our clients can spend more time focusing on students rather than infrastructure. The IBM Cloud has opened a world of opportunity, both for Jenzabar and our clients.

Read the case study and watch the video for more details.

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