Breadth Of Experience Within Higher Ed & Beyond

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Harvard
Boston College
Northeastern
Brandeis
Brown
Andesa Services
IneoQuest

We pride ourselves on the scope and variety of our work. We focus on strategy and technology consulting and implementation services at universities, related institutions, and beyond. Our consultants are experts in many areas, including but not limited to strategic planning, project management, e-learning, reporting, analytics, information security, CRM, as well as traditional and cloud software development and implementations. This allows us to offer a buffet of ultra-customized, cost-effective services to fit your specific needs.

Higher Ed Strategy

Academic Program Financial Data Analysis for a Small Liberal Arts College

In a recent consulting engagement, Optimal Campus principal consultants reviewed the academic program financial data for a small liberal arts college. The college faced major financial challenges that necessitated budget cuts approaching twenty-five percent. To learn more, Download the full case study here.

H1-N1 Virus Campus Response

One of our principal consultants was the business school dean at a medium-sized college in the northeast during the H1-N1 influenza pandemic of 2009. Well ahead of the flu season, they met with other top management to begin developing guidelines as to what the potential outcomes could be for the campus. Detailed response plans were developed for each of several scenarios. To learn more, Download the full case study here.

Tulane University School of Science & Engineering

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Tulane University closed several academic engineering and science departments. The remaining departments became a school of science and engineering. One of our principal consultants led the development of an integration strategy for this new school, uniquely blending science and engineering to address contemporary challenges.

Security Profile & Identify Management Analysis

Optimal provided analysis and recommendations for a private college’s security and identity management technology and processes. We proposed a multi-faceted identity management solution as well as improvements to processes, policy, and culture to help resolve immediate issues and address long-term challenges.

Aviation Flight Safety Program

As the business school dean at a New England regional state university, one of our principal consultants participated in pilot training programs that introduced them to the concepts of Safety Management Systems and Tabletop Safety Exercises. Operations manuals were referenced for proper procedure, and individuals outside of line flight operations commented on how their particular operations needed to be involved in an actual incident. These exercises helped prepare them for potential future crises. To learn more, Download the full case study here.

Academic Technology Strategic Planning

Optimal provided analysis of a private college’s academic technologies, including their current investments and recommendations for where to invest further in the future. We proposed an approach that leveraged collaborative partnerships and emphasized proactive support for faculty as they implement new pedagogical methodologies and technologies.

Higher Ed Technology

Canvas Learning Management Implementation During COVID-19

Optimal managed a $7.5 million Canvas Learning Management implementation at a 30,000 student university. Our consultant managed a team of forty individuals.

Canvas Learning Management Implementation

Optimal managed a $2.5 million dollar implementation of Canvas Learning Management system across a university with a team of between 20 to 25 individuals. This project involved major integrations with other university systems.

Research Effort Reporting System Implementation

Working closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Financial Systems department, Optimal managed a $2.5 million cross-university implementation of Huron’s Effort Reporting hosted system and the addition of Committed Effort functionality to the university’s internal systems.

Data Mart And Cognos Reporting Environment Implementation

Optimal managed the implementation of $1.7 million Data Mart and Cognos Reporting Environment through all phases of the project life cycle. This included daily management of a team that fluctuated between 5 and over 15 people across ITS and Institutional Research, managing relationships with Vice-Provost sponsors, developing a project plan and budget, recommending staffing skills and levels, and communicating with stakeholders at varying levels. The project was delivered on time, per the agreed-upon scope, and within budget.

Web Application Development Management

Optimal managed the development of several web applications for the Graduate Schools of Nursing, Education, and Social Work. The team delivered industry-leading software.

Failing Project Recovery

Optimal salvaged a troubled Oracle Application Express development project from impending failure by building a new team, improving client relationships, and implementing better processes and enhanced oversight. The project turned into a great success.

Data Warehouse Analysis And Recommendations

Optimal co-authored a multi-year Data Warehouse roadmap and made recommendations at the request of the Associate Vice President. Optimal also led analysis and made recommendations for the Data Governance implementation research project.

Assorted Project Management

Optimal has also worked on many other projects, including the implementation of a custom web application for the management of university-wide email and security groups and the implementation of NetIQ’s identity and access management software. We also oversaw the upgrade of the Tivoli Directory Integrator and multiple other department systems implementations.

Beyond Higher Ed

Migration Of J2EE Application To Wildfly

Optimal migrated multiple full-stack J2EE applications developed for the Red Hat JBoss 4.2.2 server to the latest Wildfly version. Applications continued to evolve in parallel with the migration and, in the end, all changes were integrated into the latest application codebase.

Upgrade Of Legacy Java Application

Optimal performed the migration of a large legacy Java EE application (over two million lines of code) focused on the offline processing of insurance datasets for a top Insurance Services Cloud Provider. Our team of consultants worked closely with developers from the client organization to ensure continued cooperation and project success.

Government of the Azores

Optimal worked with the Society for Economic Development of the Azores, an agency of the Government of the Azores to promote entrepreneurship and economic development.

Northeastern University

Nuno, our founder, works pro bono within Northeastern University’s IDEA business incubator as an advisor to student startup companies. Several of the companies advised have moved on to successful launches including one that recently received millions of dollars in venture funding.

UMass Dartmouth

Optimal is involved in several other projects at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Nuno Couto is the driving force for a new student mentorship program as well as an advisor for a new student entrepreneurship support program. He also advises in the Business Innovation and Research Center and in the Center for Portuguese Studies.

Building Global Innovators

Optimal has collaborated with MIT, the government of Portugal, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, and Caixa Capital to help stimulate entrepreneurship in Portugal. Our founder, Nuno Couto, works personally as an advisor and mentor on this project.

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