Oracle and Unicon, Inc. Unveil Plans to Create Next-Generation Academic Enterprise Environment

New Platform will Streamline and Centralize Learning Performance Management, Curriculum Accreditation Processes, and Outcomes Evaluation while Extending Collaboration

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Aug. 1 // -- Oracle today announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Unicon, Inc., a provider of enterprise portal, collaboration, learning, and integration technology for higher education institutions, in connection with the delivery and support of a next-generation academic enterprise environment for the higher education and K-12 markets worldwide. This new solution -- which will create a comprehensive environment by leveraging the Sakai open source code and integrating with Oracle's market leading solutions for the education industry -- will extend support for learning performance management, competency-based outcome initiatives, curriculum management, accreditation processes, research collaboration and other requirements that support the academic enterprise.

"The education and research industry is at an inflection point with course management systems and the collaboration tools that support teaching and research today," said Curtiss Barnes, education industry lead for product strategy at Oracle. "Regulatory mandates for student outcomes, elusive metrics on pedagogical impact and a growing need for full-cycle curriculum and enrollment management indicate that the time has come for a new management platform for academia. As industry leaders, Oracle and Unicon plan to work together to provide a stable delivery mechanism to support the Sakai open source community."

The new platform will facilitate the integration of Oracle's student administration, grade management, and e-portfolio applications, as well as its analytics solutions, with a course management system based on open source Sakai software. Oracle and Unicon will build, test and support optimized integrations from Oracle products -- such as Oracle Collaboration Suite, Oracle Personal Portfolio, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions and PeopleSoft Enterprise Gradebook -- to Sakai. The platform and integration will meet industry-accepted IMS specifications, an important component of Oracle's standards-based strategy for all its applications.

Over time, Oracle plans to further investigate the potential of this platform to serve research organizations in academia and elsewhere as an integrated environment for primary investigators and their collaborators.

Moving Forward with Commitment to the Sakai Community

Earlier this month, Oracle became a Sakai Commercial Affiliate. Sakai is a collaboration and learning environment for use in higher education and research that provides an application framework and tools for students, instructors and researchers. A global alliance of universities, colleges, commercial organizations and individuals -- known as the Sakai Community -- work in open partnership to design and develop Sakai code. Sakai Commercial Affiliates are companies that provide support for the development of Sakai software, as well as help customers leverage the applications in their environments.

"Collaboration between Oracle, Sakai and Unicon heralds the start of an exciting era for the education community -- an era that will extend the potential of information technology to improve the effectiveness of the educational experience as well as further streamline administrative processes," said John Blakley, CEO of Unicon, Inc. "We are excited to help Oracle bring the benefits of community-developed collaboration and learning software to its clients through a supported, low-risk, predictable cost model. Our collective vision for a next-generation academic management environment will harness the strength of Oracle's application and technology development with Unicon's expertise in open source systems and services for a solution that meets the industry's increasingly complex requirements."

Oracle plans to assist in the development of Sakai code, including soliciting requirements and design concepts from the thousands of institutions using Oracle technology and application products. Oracle also expects to provide products and services that can integrate with the open source Sakai software. In addition, Oracle intends to join key discussion groups and, in the spirit of the open source community, participate in the planning process for Sakai's future product roadmaps.

About Oracle

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Source: Oracle Corporation

Katie Barron,

Mary Tobin,
O'Keeffe & Company,
Tel:+1-503-658-7396 (for Oracle)

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