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Center of Excellence Transformation for ISAC


The Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s (ISAC) mission is simple: Making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students. At every stage of the financial aid process, ISAC is there, acting as a centralized source of information and guidance and offering a comprehensive array of programs and services from Grants and Scholarships to Student Loans and Prepaid Tuition Programs.

Client Needs

With complex business processes revolving around financial asset management functions & the distribution of grants and scholarships, there was little room for error. However, legacy applications and redundant, manual processes prevented ISAC from effectively servicing customers. ISAC was in need of enterprise IT modernization. ISAC chose Sofbang for their experience and proven methodology in this space.

Sofbang’s first step was to spend time with the ISAC team in outlining pain points, current business processes & objectives of the agency. With a need to reduce their overall IT cost footprint and a need to advance their monitoring systems to track investments and trading activities, the Sofbang team worked with ISAC IT & Executives in the following areas:

Enterprise Architecture & Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)Strategy: Developed a SOA initiative, including legacy modernization, SOA roadmap, business case definition, services definition, framework & reference architectures to help ISAC quickly respond to changes in the market

Unified Web Architecture: Worked with ISAC to develop a Web Architecture & Consolidation initiative to consolidate several websites, streamline content, implement an easy-to-use CMS & generate a unified brand for ISAC

Organization Health & Transformation:Organization realignment, creation of a Center of Excellence (CoE) & IT Governance team. Sofbang worked with ISAC to assist in managing the overall enterprise organization health and creating several new internal service groups as well as developing an enterprise wide training plan.

SOA Training: Sofbang provided a SOA business & technical training to ISAC The Sofbang team found the best open source solutions available & customized the business architecture to fit with these technologies. Sofbang developed a single brand, which helped stakeholders manage all three groups under one name.

ISAC performed massive restructuring and reorganization to meet the new business processes, CoE and unified web brand, giving them a more efficient method of managing their various lines of businesses and program offerings. The software cost savings through the Sofbang approach gave ISAC an incredible return on investment and a more robust, reusable platform that can be used today as well as into the future, as their business needs change over time. This entire transformation was completed under budget and within the time frame set by the team.