Making business process transparent with users – Interview with HIS, GmbH in Germany – (1)

HIS_LOGOOn June 21, 2013, Kenji and I took a trip to beautiful Hannover, Germany to visit HIS (Higher Education Information System) GmbH, one of our loyal costumers who uses Astah very heavily to learn what HIS GmbH does and how Astah has been used there, and also gather their feature requests for Astah.

HISinOne_Blog8_lineJan_HISBritta_HISPeople in this interview: 
Jan(Left) and Britta(Right) work for HIS GmbH. They provide integrated “Campus Management System” to enable German higher education institutions to work and function more effectively.
HISinOne_Blog8_lineThis interview is split into the two posts below:
Interview (1) HIS GmbH and their Campus management system – “HISinOne”
Interview (2) Customizing business process to every customer’s needs
Introduction of HIS GmbH

Kenji: Hello, it is very nice to meet you finally. I’ve wanted to see you in person because we are so humbled that HIS GmbH, the most influential institute has been using our product Astah for a very long time.

Jan: Hello Kenji, nice to meet you too.
Britta: We are also happy to welcoming you here in Germany.

Kenji: Thanks. First of all, could you briefly describe HIS GmbH and who your customers are?


There are 16 states in Germany

Jan: HIS GmbH was founded as a non-profit organization in 1969 and is jointly owned by the Federal Republic and the 16 German states. The company is divided into three divisions:

  • IT for Higher Education: Information technology for higher education, customer is universities
  • Research on Higher Education: Research on studying, teaching, research, funding, customer here is states
  • Higher Education Development: Buildings, resources, organisation, customer is both for states and universities

Campus Management System “HISinOne”

Kenji: So your customers are universities in Germany and you are developing this Campus Management System for them. I see “HISinOne” on some of your materials, what is this HISinOne?

Britta: HISinOne is the name of the integrated higher education administration system that we develop. Most higher education institutions in Germany (universities, universities of applied sciences and colleges of education, theology and art) have used the previous generation of HIS-software since the mid-1990s. The current software generation called HISinOne meets new IT standards and uses a holistic approach.

Kenji: I see. What is new about HISinOne from the previous HIS-software?

Britta: Now it is a technically and functionally integrated and completely web-based solution with a service-oriented architecture, which is independent from platforms and operating systems. HISinOne supports all the major processes and structures at universities of any size and any type of organizations.

Kenji: I see, all the major processes meaning main processes that students take in their lifecycle at the university from the enrollment through the graduation, there must be some segments at each stage of the students, right?


Segments in Lifecycle in HisinOne

Britta: Yes, exactly. Campus Management segment in HISinOne covers the student lifecycle and accompanies every process from application to alumni management. The student lifecycle starts with the prospective student’s application for a course of study (product area Application: “APP”). It proceeds with the administration of students and PhD students (product area Student management: “STU”). There is one comprehensive product area addressing the administration of courses of study, academic classes, and examinations (“EXA”). Once the student graduates from the university after his exam, he becomes an alumnus. The product area Alumni management (“ALU”) addresses all issues of alumni management.

Kenji: I see. What is the advantage of using HISinOne?

Britta: The purpose of this concept is to make information available for all the stakeholders anywhere at any time. All of the objects are entered once and centrally stored in one common database. A consistent role and rights concept ensure that all the users have access to the data and services according to their requirements.


HisinOne website

HISinOne digitizes the whole process of application and enrollment, manages examinations, grades and certificates, and interconnects with common e-learning systems. As a result, the system enables the smooth communication and data sharing between all the stakeholders. Additionally, HISinOne is compliant with the European Bologna Reform requirements; e. g. the examination management is explicitly designed to handle modularized courses of study. With HISinOne, we design process standard for higher education institutions. But there are several variants caused by software customization for each university.

HIS Reference Model

Kenji: So you customize your software to meet every university’s needs. How do you do that?

Jan: Yes, first we have developed a reference process model, which describes all the processes in our software. We’ve got five levels with different views as below:

Level 1 is the global view and there would be more detailed descriptions down to Level 5. With this model, we’re able to carry out a process design as shown in the picture below with university processes with one hand and the HISinOne processes on the other hand.


Kenji: Okay, in this figure the left is the reality and the right is the reference model you prepared and you are filling the gap between them by using process design, right. What is your customization process like?

Click below to read next:
Interview (2) Customizing business process to every customer’s needs

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