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Bowling Green State University Uses Rhythmyx ECM for IT Integration and Brand Expansion

Published
  • July 01 2005, 1:00am EDT

Percussion Rhythmyx Enterprise Content Management SystemREVIEWER: Bruce Petryshak, CIO for Bowling Green State University.

BACKGROUND: Bowling Green State University (BGSU), located in northwest Ohio, was founded in 1910. It is dedicated to providing a wide array of quality academic programs in a learning environment that promotes academic and personal excellence as well as an appreciation of intellectual, ethical and aesthetic values. A state-assisted, residential institution, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 students on two campuses and 840 full-time faculty members.

PLATFORMS: For Percussion's Rhythmyx Enterprise Content Management System, we use a Sun Solaris server with an Oracle10G database. Our Web environment consists of Apache running on a UNIX application server with Tomcat.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Beginning several years ago, BGSU saw the potential value of using Web sites as a vital source of information for students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as a primary and powerful marketing and recruitment tool. However, to enable our Web - which is really a series of hundreds of Web sites - to fulfill its potential meant that we needed a way to create continuity across our entire Web presence by centralizing the content environment. As a result, we decided to purchase a content management system (CMS) to effectively manage all our content in a way that facilitates content reuse and consistency.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using Rhythmyx, we have vastly improved our primary means of communicating our brand - our Web site. Our goal in moving to a CMS was to use it as a central content system, so content that is capable of multichannel delivery can be published to our enterprise portal, online learning solution or any of our enterprise-wide applications. Today, Rhythmyx is managing 10,000 pages of content centrally and has made it easier for both technical and nontechnical users to manage and publish content to our Web site, saving us staff time and related costs. Rhythmyx has also enhanced the quality of our information by reducing duplication efforts thanks to an automated system for sharing and reusing content. It enables a flexible workflow for approval of content changes and has improved our capacity to recover lost data. Rhythmyx has allowed us to ensure that information on the BGSU Web sites is timely and accurate, supporting a consistent look and feel.

STRENGTHS: We consider Rhythmyx's greatest strengths to be its flexibility with regard to branding and supporting our intellectual property, its ease of content reuse for end users and its support for multichannel (e.g., PDF, Web site, cell phone, PDA) de-coupled delivery. The product's de-coupled delivery approach gives us the ability to separate content creation and production from delivery, allowing us to cost-effectively scale up the number of Rhythmyx users (650 now, eventually 1,000). If we want to change our marketing message or the way we represent ourselves, our centralized IT group can make that change simply by modifying global links for us via the CMS - and the whole university environment changes at once.

WEAKNESSES: It required quite a lot of work to convert thousand of pages of content into Rhythmyx, although we realized that is inherent in implementing any CMS.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Our CMS had to fit well with our strategic, multiyear effort to organize all the university's application software, systems and hardware into a unified system. With Rhythmyx, we found a CMS built on industry and W3C standards that does not just improve our Web environment, but creates real continuity across campus with regard to all our information and data systems.

DELIVERABLES: Workflows, content supervision, approval processes and repurposing of information are a few of the deliverables.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The vendor provided on-site support during implementation. Since the implementation, the vendor has been responsive to our needs with regard to problems we've encountered. Our relationship with Percussion has truly been a partnership.

DOCUMENTATION: With the first release we used, the documentation out of the box was a bit cumbersome. However, Percussion gave us Getting Started documentation written specifically for BGSU, which overcame this. Since then, Percussion has made great efforts to make the documentation easier to follow for the developers and end users.

Rhythmyx Enterprise Content Management System
Percussion Software
600 Unicorn Park Drive
Woburn, MA 01801
781-438-9900
www.percussion.com


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