Portalization and Personalization. Learning
enterprises are dramatically enhancing their capacity to interact
effectively with learners through the creation of portals. Enterprise
portals are gateways that can be personalized to fit the information
and communications requirements of individual learners. Institutions
like the University of Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Weber State University,
Monash University, and the University of British Columbia are using
their portals to establish active, intimate relations with alumni
and learners for a lifetime of better relationships with learners.
At EDUCAUSE 2002, Kenneth C. Green reported that roughly half the
institutions reporting on his survey had developed or were planning
enterprise portals. (Green, 2002) Other learning enterprises are
using the tools of CRM to add value to and streamline their managed
learning and/or knowledge environments. Some university teaching
and learning departments, such as University of Wisconsins
Learning Innovations Department are turning their LMS into a Relationship
Management System (RMS) through building administrative relationship
support to students.
The portal movement is powerful in other sectors.
Corporations have used organization intranets to develop powerful,
flexible platforms for organizational, team, and individual learning
and business development. Association portals are creating powerful
communities of practice constructed around the body of knowledge
for the industry, profession, or craft represented by the association.
Today, many individuals are using portal capabilities from their
employers, associations, and universities. Tomorrow, even more powerful
portal-based experiences will be available.
In the future, individuals will use personal
portals to manage daily interactions with enterprise portals from
their employer, university, associations, civic organizations, and
other sources of information, insight, and interactivity. Portals
will be selected based on their value and ease of use.
New Generations of ERP and CRM. Companies
like Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, SCT, Datatel, and Jenzabar are enhancing
their existing ERP offerings in a variety of ways to accommodate
portalization, communities of practice, and LMS interaction. In
addition, some are incorporating customer relationship management
tools. Future ERP will need to integrate with LCMS and other knowledge
management tools. The next generations of Student Information Systems
(SIS) developed by software companies such as Oracle, PeopleSoft,
and SCT are likely to have more of the characteristics of CRM systems,
focusing on relationships in addition to transactions. Consortia
involving universities and software companies, such as Uportal,
are also collaborating to deliver extra-institutional portal technology
that is positioned for longevity and (open systems) interoperability.
From the individual users perspective, these trends in portal
development also complement the growth in nomadic computing technology
(laptops, palm tops, wireless devices) that will provide for true
device independence where personal information services will follow
the person not the device.