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Goodbye Luminis

Submitted by Raj Abraham on Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:25

As we all know, more and more institutions, big and small, community colleges to research universities are moving away from Luminis. While some schools are moving to alternative solutions like Drupal or uPortal, others are building their own portals in-house.

This trend has actually accelerated ever since Ellucian announced the end-of-life for LP4. So what possibly went wrong with this product? I am going to list a few points that I think applies here. Feel free to add to the list. Maybe Ellucian will take notice.

- Cost.
This is a significantly expensive product and many smaller schools and schools with budget restrictions are shying away from it. Most feel that there isn't much bang for the buck.

- Unnecessarily complex architecture.
We still haven't figured out why this product distributes user information between a LDAP and a relational database. This requires more maintenance and support time than necessary. Most competitive products and in-house portal deployments are much leaner often relying on just a single database or none at all. Quite a few of these systems can leverage on an external directory service and/or just the Banner database. Many had hoped LP5 will do something about this but it has made it even more complex.

- Ellucian Support.
This has gone from bad to worse as far as Luminis is concerned. Experimenting with production systems, guesses instead of concrete answers, linking to outdated solutions that don't apply....and so on.

- Identity Services.
I think we all agree that the less said about BEIS the better it is. It's a shame that Ellucian hasn't been able to implement a simple yet robust identity protocol to use CAS and/or Shibboleth while individual schools have gone ahead and done just that modifying their implementation of Ellucian products.

- Lack of a Customizable API for web-services
The LDI is woefully limited. There are also issues about data encryption while using LDI that remains unaddressed.

- Flaky Responsive Design for Mobile devices
While the web-world runs on the "mobile-first" principle, Luminis still needs a lot of modifications to come even remotely close. This is not just LP5, even Banner XE comes up short in this area.

What are your thoughts, folks? Are you sticking with Luminis or moving away? I am still somewhat on the fence and will appreciate some honest feedback.

Luminis Version:

Comments

New Mexico State University has an experience much like the comments expressed by the gentleman from Arkansas State on a separate thread.

We moved away after a horrendous experience moving from LP3 to LP4, the lack of any substantial support from the vendor experiencing constant downtimes without any real means to solve the problems. We even engaged a third-party "approved partner" but were still unsuccessful.

We moved to Campus EAI (CEAI) in 2009 and haven't looked back. We have the hosted solution, currently sitting on an expertly scaled system, running CAS and portal services. Like any production services, there are occasional issues, but CEAI is quick to resolve them and our customer relationship manager is top shelf.

If any schools are looking to make the jump, I would highly recommend they give Campus EAI a serious look. Overall, NMSU has been very pleased with the services CEAI is providing.

Jtbohem,
I am with the CampusEAI Consortium and operate out of our Cleveland office. I feel compelled to respond to your post because asserting that CampusEAI Consortium is a funnel to CEAI-India you are disrespecting me and the many other CampusEAI Consortium employees that operate from CampusEAI Consortium’s US offices in locations such as Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey. :(

CampusEAI Consortium is not a funnel to CEAI-India. In fact, CEAI-India is serves as one of our 4 accelerator facilities for companies that CampusEAI Consortium’s EduTech Venture Fund funds.

Also, our India accelerator facility is not mismanaged, contrary to anonymous Internet gossip. For example, recently one of the startup companies we funded in the India accelerator was named top 30 startups in India. That achievement takes great management and great entrepreneurship.

Ever review Ellucian’s glassdoor? http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Ellucian-Reviews-E529143.htm. Or PerceptITS (now Blackboard) - http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Perceptis-RVW4953379.htm. Or Desire2Learn! http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-D2L-RVW2987676.htm To be fair, Glassdoor should really be called “vent-about-getting-fired”, but I’ve been guilty of reading the reviews myself. :(

Sarah

Berea College took a hard look at the CampusEAI offering last year but found it would take a significant amount of customization and add-on modules to have all the features of LP 5, particularly in the Banner integration area, making the cost higher than staying with Luminis. We are a small school so we don't have some of the performance management issues larger institutions may face with a local Luminis installation.

Ramsayb,

We are sorry that you felt that the CampusEAI offering last year would take a significant amount of customization and add-on modules to have all the features of LP 5. Based on the feedback from many of the clients that moved from Luminis IV to CampusEAI’s offering we made major enhancements to simplify/automate the customizations and add-on modules especially for Banner users. We have had tremendous success with this approach as it has lowered the cost of the offering, reduced the installation time and simplified the configuration complexity. Here are some example institutions that are small shops that are using the CampusEAI offering now:
1) Curry College (FTE: 3000+)
2) Cochise College (FTE: 4450+)
3) Lehigh Carbon Community College (FTE: 7000+)

Costs for the configured CampusEAI offering with cloud hosting and managed service upgrades tend to be lower than cost of Luminis support. In essence, dozens of previous Luminis users have lowered their operating cost of running a portal and arguably have a better platform with more features and integrations. Here are some examples previous Luminis shops that we would be happy to put you in touch with, as appropriate:
1) York College of Pennsylvania (FTE: 5200+)
2) Lakeland Community College (FTE: 8800+)
3) Southwest Tennessee Community College (FTE: 11000+)
4) Binghamton University (FTE: 16,000+)
5) New Mexico State University (FTE:16,700+)

It looks like you have already moved to LP5 but if you or anyone on LumDev would like to look at the updated CampusEAI offering we would be happy to do a walkthrough offline.

This thread has been unproductive and consists largely of rumors...
LDN should be a resource and a community for sharing ideas and helping each other...

-Tom