American University of the Middle East
The American University of the Middle East (AUM) located in Eqaila (Egaila) is a top ranked higher
education institution and the biggest private University in Kuwait offering bachelor degree programs
in Business and Engineering as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).
AUM strives continuously since its founding to meet the highest academic international standards,
aiming to create a solid learning environment that facilitates the development of committed, ethical
and professional young leaders through its various programs that are being delivered by widely
experienced faculty members coming from different educational and cultural backgrounds.
AUM focuses on its students by applying the “Learner Centered Approach” emphasizing on the
acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge as well as students empowerment, enabling them
to not only apply this knowledge, but to also benefit from it in both their professional and
In addition to its modern and well-designed Library that allows access to high profile online
academic databases, AUM campus includes a Sports Center, sports indoor and outdoor playgrounds
comprising of a FIFA certified football field, a Cultural Center that comprises of the AUM Opera
House and AUM Conference Center, a Student Affairs and Counseling Department, a Student Activities
Center, Student clubs and societies. This is in addition to a Nanotechnology Research Center and
several technical lab facilities that use the highest available technologies. Research and faculty
development related seminars and workshops are ongoing at the university and departments level.
Business Needs & Challenges
At the beginning of each semester, the University opens its doors for student admissions. Having
automated much of the Admissions Process using a home-grown, web-based application, the University
reduced a significant amount of effort and time required to process thousands of applications
received every semester. The University realized that it was taking the Admissions Officers a long
time to enter the details of every application. Officers would have to enter the Applicant's
demographics (i.e. Name in English and Arabic, Gender, Date of Birth, Nationality, Address, Phone
Numbers, etc.), as well as their educational background. This time-consuming and error-prone process
became the bottleneck to an otherwise optimized process. This challenge is rather seasonal, as it
only occurs during the first week of every semester. The rest of the semester is business-as-usual.
Later in the process, when applicants have completed the necessary paperwork and Placement Tests,
the Admissions Office would invite the applicants to complete their Admissions. Upon arrival, the
Admissions Officer would need to find the applicant's record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and based
on data contained within this system, needs to instruct the applicant to either retake placement
tests, submit further documentation, or declare their acceptance into the University Program.
This decision is made according to clear business rules that may change over time. The University
realized that this process was also time-consuming and error-prone.
When a student arrives at a cashier to make a payment, it is imperative to identify the student
and specify her/his balance. The University uses Banner technology to keep track of the student's
dues. Here, helping identify the student takes time and hence, disturbs the University's processes.
This process is seasonal, too, as its peak loads usually occur during the first few days of a
semester, whereby thousands of students arrive at the cashiers to pay their dues.
Social & Financial Aid
Students seeking Social Allowance or Financial Aid are required to present their credentials at
the specialized desk in order to apply. A home-grown, web-based application automates the process
of managing the social and financial aid applications by student. However, it is important to keep
accurate, up-to-date information about a student. This is, again, time-consuming and error-prone.
Characteristics of a viable solution
The University estimated that the process of entering an applicant's demographics takes a few
minutes. Due to the enormous number of applicants, the time and effort required to serve all
applicants becomes very significant. Any amount of time saved in this process would allow the
University to serve a larger number of applicants in a given day, and/or reduce the required
As it can be noted, student demographics data is central to the operations of the University.
A viable solution should make use of this fact to ensure that a student can benefit from all the
facilities available to her/him while having to carry nothing but their Smart Civil ID. The
solution should have the following characteristics:
- Capture a Student's demographics using their Smart Civil ID.
Transform this data and make it available to the Online Admissions, Banner, Dynamics CRM,
Social & Financial Aid systems, etc.
Allow a set of flexible business rules to be applied, based on a students preferences, Placement
Test results, GPA, High School scores, etc.
- Save students and University Staff members time and effort in managing student data.
- Reflect a positive image about the University's internal processes and systems.
- Provide the University a competitive advantage in its ability to process more student applications.
The American University of the Middle East decided to team-up with Sharper Software to develop a solution that
could address the aforementioned challenges.
Using Smart Civil ID Integration, instead of
manually typing an applicant's demographic data, Admissions Officers save their time and effort by inserting the
applicant's Smart Civil ID into a reader device. The Applicant's demographics, including but not limited to: Name
in both Arabic and English, Sex, Date of Birth, Nationality, etc. are automatically filled into the home-grown
Online Admissions application within 1-2 seconds.
Using an optical scanner, the Admissions Officer can also scan the High School certificate and/or any other
supporting documentation and attach it the application. This increases the efficiency of the admissions process by
reducing the time and effort required to capture demographic data and make it practically instantaneous.
Once an Applicant completes her/his Placement Tests, their score is saved into Dynamics CRM. The applicant is
then requested to complete the Admissions process by arriving at the Admissions Office. Students present their
Smart Civil ID to the Admissions Officer, who in turn insert the Civil ID into a reader. The system updates the
records automatically, while applying flexible business rules, that can be updated from a central location and/or
changed without having to re-compile any code. This helps reduce the overhead during Admissions and ensures the
application of the correct business rules.
Cashiers request the student to present their Smart Civil ID. They insert the ID into a reader and the student's
record is displayed automatically, alongside the due amounts. This saves time during payment processing and improves
the productivity of cashiers, increasing the quality of service at the University.
Social & Financial Aid
When applying to social or financial aid, a student presents her/his Smart Civil ID to an officer, who in turn
inserts the ID into a reader. The student's record is updated with the latest data and any relevant information
is provided to the officer within a fraction of a second.