Center for Enterprise Architecture receives $300K donation from NetApp

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Center for Enterprise Architecture (EA) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) has received a donation valued at $300,000 from NetApp, a company that creates storage systems and software that help customers around the world store, manage, protect and retain their data. The donation includes a suite of storage systems and software that will support a new EA research laboratory that is being built at the College of IST.

“We are excited about this donation from NetApp,” said Brian Cameron, executive director of the Center for EA. “This is the only donation of new equipment that NetApp gave in the nation this year. It is a testament of NetApp’s interest in the Center for Enterprise Architecture and its interest in supporting our efforts.”

NetApp, a Fortune 500 company that has more than 150 offices around the world, helps enterprises of all sizes achieve a competitive edge by enabling them to innovate faster and more affordably than their competitors. Globally, service providers support more than a billion customers—including media, Internet and gaming companies, banks and educational institutions—with services built on NetApp. The Great Place to Work Institute recently named NetApp #3 on its "World's Best Multinational Workplaces List 2011”—the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. Fortune also ranked NetApp #6 on its "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for 2012.

“We like to think of ourselves as a very innovative company,” said Regina Kunkle, vice president for State & Local/Higher Education, U.S. Public Sector. “We’ve selected Penn State to work with because we believe Penn State is innovative like us.”

Enterprise architecture, Cameron said, is the process of translating business' vision and strategy into effective operational planning. People who enter various industries need to understand the business aspects of information technology, Kunkle said, while also having the ability to design information systems that support a company’s strategic goals.

“You need to understand how it all comes together,” she said.

The purpose of the Center for Enterprise Architecture, which was launched in January 2011, is to gather intellectual resources across Penn State to address research concerns and questions that span the design, functioning, and governance of contemporary, information-driven enterprises. In April, the College of IST launched the master of professional studies program in enterprise architecture, the first EA program in North America and the first online EA master’s program in the world. The center’s goals include achieving efficiencies in operations across company and network activities, and leveraging aligned enterprise technology to drive innovations in products, services and business models.

“We were just so enthralled with the program,” Kunkle said. “What Penn State is doing is so unique and so needed in the industry.”

As educational institutions continue to face tight budgets, she said, managing growing data stores becomes increasingly difficult. Last year, NetApp donated storage systems and software to 100 schools as part of an educational outreach program. The information storage system that NetApp is donating to the Center for EA has a central repository in which data can be backed up, which helps preserve critical information in the event of a system crash while allowing a greater volume of information to be stored.

Kunkle said that NetApp and the Center for EA have compatible goals and will continue to collaborate.

“To me, it’s just the beginning,” she said.

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Last Updated August 08, 2012