The simple answers are "opportunity" and "integration." Two years ago, the College began looking for a software replacement for our current Ellucian Luminus-based Gateway portal. We chose Jadu (pronounced JAR-du). One of the benefits of Jadu is that it is also a very powerful and flexible content-management system (CMS) and a mobile application development tool.
Currently, we have one product supporting the Gateway portal (Ellucian Luminus), another (Ektron) supporting the public Web site, and a third product (Boopsie) supporting our mobile app. Jadu will allow us to bring these three disparate areas — which are currently maintained by separate staff in Marketing & Communications (MarComm) and Library & Information Services (LIS) — together into one system.
That is a huge step forward for Dickinson from a support standpoint. Currently, the range of technologies supported to maintain the Gateway portal, public Web site, and mobile app span five on-campus Web servers, one off-campus hosted solution, and a number of underlying databases. The whole suite requires knowing three system configurations, four programming languages, and a set of custom interfaces between systems. By comparison, Jadu will require less than half of the number of servers, be entirely hosted on campus, have a single system configuration, and require two programming languages. All of this means Dickinson can focus its limited technology resources better.
It also means a more seamless Web experience for users who need to navigate between the public and private areas of the Web site, or for content producers who will be able to create and edit portal and public content using the same product. With content stored in a single system, users will not need to move between the public Web and a distinct Gateway system for private content; content used in one area can be used more easily in others; and content managers will maintain their content in a single location.
Finally, there's the financial benefit: Integrating our CMS, portal and mobile development in one system will help Dickinson save money on an annual basis. Costs will be contained by reducing our number of software license fees, hardware maintenance costs, and staff time managing disparate systems.
Jadu powers government, education, and corporate Web sites around the world. Locally, Jadu powers the Web sites of Messiah College, Coppin State University, and Fordham University. You can learn more about Jadu on their Web site.