Succesful go-live at University of the Western Cape

June 24, 2016

The University of the Western Cape (Capetown, South Africa) leaves an outdated legacy environment behind and embraces a future-proof solution

The scope of the project was the conversion of the Student Administration System (SASI) – written in Unisys’ proprietary EAE/LINC language – to C#, running on native Microsoft .NET Technology.

Some key metrics of the ‘old’ system:

  • 800 Online Screens
  • Databases totaling 130 GB
  • 1,500 concurrent users (peak)
  • 150,000 transactions per hour (peak)

In the period August to May, SASI handles the complete administration process for approx. 22,000 students ranging from the application, all the way through to promotions, registration, graduation and marks.

UWC decided to migrate off the existing platform for mainly two reasons. Firstly, SASI, as the strategic application, needed more agility and uplift to meet future requirements. Secondly, UWC was experiencing just too many challenges with the current environment (from a technology point of view).

Key drivers for migrating off Unisys/Microfocus

  • EAE/LINC running out of support or on outdated versions;
  • Need for expensive MicroFocus compiler;
  • Niche skill set, i.e. difficult to recruit (software from the eighties);
  • Limited proactive maintenance and too slow to meet business challenges;

Asysco’s Migration Technology (AMT) solution was chosen over options like Unisys AB Suite, Java migration, and a re-write. The migration was a way to eliminate UWC’s dependency on Unisys, as well as a way to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO). Asysco’s unique code transformation based approach was the only way to meet UWC’s requirements and to deliver a solid business case.

Go live in just one weekend

  • The go-live weekend went on without any interference for both internal users and students.
  • UWC ran a series of data integrity reports (some covering transactions of the last 7 years) and they were all 100% accurate.
  • In addition to Asysco’s automated migration technology, the key for success was the flexibility and commitment from everyone involved, including UWC’s test, development, and support teams, IT management and the Registrar’s Office.

We moved the totality of UWC’s workload smoothly into production over a weekend. That’s what we stand for.”
Bernd Sakulski, Sales Director EMEA, Asysco

The migration project has also significantly reduced UWC’s system risk by mitigating issues around expiration/availability of hardware and platform components, as well as increased innovation and productivity, and enables UWC to strategically align their systems and objectives.

UWC’s vision is to expand the application to support 100,000 users.

About UWC

The University of the Western Cape is a public university located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for black people only.  The establishing of UWC was a direct effect of the Separate University Education Bill of 1957. This law accomplished the segregation of higher education in South Africa. Black students were only allowed at a few non-white universities. In this period, other ‘ethnical’ universities, such as the University of Zululand and the University of the North, were founded as well.  Since well before the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, UWC has been an integrated and multiracial institution.