Web-based collaboration at LMU

As part of its goal to become a more research-focused institution, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has deployed a new enterprise portal system. The new tools enhance the ability of students and staff to collaborate campuswide and throughout the world.

Prior to the portal, people relied on e-mail to communicate, which could be frustrating at times. For example, sometimes data they needed to share was too large to be attached to an e-mail. The university wanted to rely more on Web services and Web-enabled applications.

Erin Griffin, CIO and VP of information technology at LMU, decided to focus on the following goals with the new system:

  • enhance collaboration between faculty and colleagues inside and outside LMU,
  • improve information security by reducing the risks of network file sharing,
  • enhance LMU's transition to a services-oriented architecture, and
  • improve the usefulness of a portal that was implemented initially in 2004.
Over the course of several months, the portal was redesigned to include additional single sign-on capabilities, more streamlined content and simplified functionality. A tool called Digital Locker from Xythos was added to the portal, enabling faculty to access files on or off campus.

The new system was successfully beta tested in 2006 and then launched campuswide. Griffin says, "We wanted the system we deployed to be intuitive, easy to use and compatible with any client operating system ... The use of Xythos was so compelling that it reawakened enthusiasm for the portal."

According to Xythos, the new system:

  • facilitates secure research and collaboration,
  • eliminates e-mail attachments, and
  • has seen widespread adoption.

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