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Tamkang University

"With M-Business Anywhere we have been able to start realizing our mobile campus vision far more quickly and easily than we imagined during the planning stages of this project."

Hwang Ming-Dar
IT Director Information Processing Center
Tamkang University

Driven by its triple objectives of globalization, information-oriented education, and future-oriented education, Tamkang University has become Taiwan's first academic institution to establish a mobile campus environment. Sybase iAnywhere technologies and services are helping Tamkang University students, faculty members and administrative staff access a content-rich portal from any device, anywhere, any time.

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A Revolutionary University
Founded in 1950, Tamkang University is the oldest private university in Taiwan. Renowned for its research activities and academic excellence, the university now consists of 12 colleges, 47 graduate programs and 53 departments spread across four campuses, including a cyber campus. Tamkang was the first university in Taiwan to set up the Information Processing Center and pioneered many computer applications in teaching, research and administration.

Leveraging Mobile Resources
As an early adopter of information technology, Tamkang University was keen to participate in the Taiwan Government's M-Taiwan Program, announced in 2005, which aims to leverage wireless technology to shift Taiwan from being an "e-Taiwan " to a "M-Taiwan." Although the university had wireless network coverage at its three campus sites and a great deal of Web-based content, it lacked the means to fully leverage these resources to deliver content to heterogeneous mobile devices. 

"We faced a number of challenges including back-end system integration, the time and cost of adapting existing Web-based applications and content, and the difficulty of supporting all the different mobile platforms," said Hwang Ming-Dar, IT Director of Tamkang University's Information Processing Center.

Rapid Delivery
Hwang turned to Sybase to help address these issues. Sybase iAnywhere offered a complete technology framework for the Unwired Enterprise, enabling Tamkang University to make their desired transition. Specifically, the Sybase iAnywhere product M-Business Anywhere provided a cost-effective means for Tamkang University to rapidly deliver Web-based content and applications to a broad range of mobile devices with minimal recoding.

Using M-Business Anywhere, Web developers were able to leverage their existing skill sets and develop and deploy fully interactive mobile Web applications with sync-and-go and wireless capabilities. For a privately-funded academic institution like Tamkang University, mobile Web applications and content need to be rapidly developed, deployed, and maintained with a minimal cost of ownership.

A New Mobile Campus
Having decided on M-Business Anywhere as the mobile content and application delivery platform, the Tamkang University team did not waste time implementing the first release of the mobile campus portal. With the help of Sybase Professional Services, the portal was up and running within a month. The initial set of applications included student class messaging, general campus services, student performance, library book status updates and student club activity updates. All applications are accessible using Palm, Symbian, and Windows CE mobile hand-held device

"With M-Business Anywhere we have been able to start realizing our mobile campus vision far more quickly and easily than we imagined during the planning stages of this project. It's a testament to the maturity of the platform and its strong support for Web standards that our development team were able to become productive and extend our existing content and applications so quickly," said Hwang.

Innovative Partnership
In evaluating the development and deployment options for its mobile campus portal, Hwang and his team researched many mobile solutions from a number of well-known vendors, including IBM and Microsoft. However, a close relationship with Sybase, pre-dating the mobile campus portal project, meant that Hwang was aware of the leadership position Sybase iAnywhere holds in a range of mobile technologies.

"There really doesn't seem to be anything else on the market that compares to M-Business Anywhere in terms of being a complete solution for mobile application and content provision. It was not a hard choice to make and Sybase iAnywhere has proven to be both a dependable and innovative partner," said Hwang.

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