About University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is one of the top universities in the UK and according to The Times Higher Education World University Ranking is amongst the top 150 worldwide. The University combines teaching excellence and high levels of student satisfaction with world-class research at its campuses in Exeter and Cornwall. As a member of the research intensive Russell Group, the University is able to attract a high calibre of students from more than 130 different countries.

The challenge

The University was looking for an integration solution that would enable them to make more use of the cloud to increase its agility as well as its ability to respond better to the changing requirements of its stakeholders. With pressure from various departments to deliver a range of changes, the University knew it needed to find not just an effective solution but one that could be implemented quickly and efficiently.

The main barrier to making the changes was the number of legacy systems in place and the potential issues that migrating these to the cloud could have on the smooth running of the University’s operations. Understanding that a thorough plan was needed to omit these potential issues, the University was looking for an external team of integration experts that could review its systems and provide an actionable plan.

The solution

Having recognised what was needed, the University brought the Mitra team on board to review its systems as part of a week-long discovery workshop. Mitra’s integration experts worked alongside the team at the University and delivered an intensive four step workshop. The approach allowed Mitra to get a thorough understanding of the current context and the University’s digital strategy so that by the end, the University would have an architecture blueprint and roadmap that could be actioned.

The format of the workshop allowed the University team to come together and really get to grips with the overarching fundamentals of Digital Transformation before honing in on the University’s own systems. Using the first couple of days of the workshop to train the team on integration methodology and techniques meant that their knowledge and understanding was uniform so that on day three when the architecture and roadmap blueprinting started everyone could play a part. This was fundamental in addressing issues such as how to integrate all of the university’s campuses seamlessly. Working through the university’s specific pain points and barriers such as this with the Mitra team allowed for the creation of a blueprint that would pave the way for the university to realise its digital ambitions.

The result

At the end of the week, the Mitra team was able to present the university with a fully actionable roadmap, that would help it realise its digital transformation ambitions. The way that the workshop was carried out, meant that the university team understood the blueprint and the way to achieving it. The approach empowered the team at the university and also enabled Mitra’s experts to create the most effective roadmap possible.

Business benefits

Following the workshop the University of Exeter has:

  • Tailored integration architecture blueprint
  • Roadmap of how to achieve its cloud migration ambitions
  • Better understanding of their current context and any barriers
  • Realistic plan that can be used to manage expectations

Ian Tilsed
 Assistant IT Director at University of Exeter

“The university is currently working towards its 2021 mission to ‘make the exceptional happen’, which will lay the foundations for our goal of being a Global 100 research leader. A huge part of the overall strategy involves investing in our estate, facilities and infrastructure, to enrich our students’ experience and deliver world-class teaching with a world-class IT platform and set of systems underpinning its success. As a member of the University of Exeter’s IT senior team, I am responsible for ensuring that our systems are fit for purpose and that they will allow the university to make the changes it needs to achieve its overarching goals and mission.

I have to say that the team at Mitra have been a pleasure to work with and that they played a crucial role in our digital transformation journey so far. Through helping the team here at the university to create a blueprint that we can implement and a roadmap that will ensure we get there. Having the workshop with Mitra’s experts means we are now ready to move forward with our plans in the safe knowledge that it is realistic and compatible with our historical infrastructure and future goals.”