Profile

Ms. Nikki Gaertner Eaton

University of South Australia

Contact Details

University of South Australia

 

Bio

After graduating from university, I first started in the IT industry as a PeopleSoft consultant. PeopleSoft was the first technology I was introduced to outside of those from my studies. This is why I've always maintained that, even though I've now had extensive experience with other systems and technologies, when it all comes down to it, PeopleSoft is "my thing"!

As a consultant, I worked on implementation projects of Student Administration 7.6 for several years, both as a Technical Developer and Technical Project Lead.

I have now worked at the University of South Australia (UniSA) in the area of Student Information Systems for the past 14 years. I started out as a PeopleSoft Developer and Team Lead, and have been the Manager of the team for the past 13 years. The team supports all 'student administration' focused systems at the university, and so our focus is not only on PeopleSoft, but also other systems, such as in-house built web applications supporting self-service functions like enrolment and graduations, as well as both cloud and package products supporting functions like industry placements, applications and admissions, and Customer Relationship Management, to name a few.

Throughout my time at UniSA I have remained very close to PeopleSoft and it has been amazing to see the technological changes in the product from when I was first introduced to it as the 640x480 gray screen system!  It's an exciting area, and I'm always keen to try out the new developments that emerge as the next version of PeopleTools is released. We just recently went live with Campus Solutions 9.2/PT8.55 and it's great to start exploring some of the new tools this provides us with.

Over the years we have also adopted more Oracle applications, and have implemented PeopleSoft CRM for Higher Ed 9.1 (which we are now phasing out), and we recently went live with the Oracle CX Suite as a CRM solution. This has given us opportunities to work with more new technologies, and has presented some exciting challenges, such as integrating with SAAS/cloud solutions using Oracle OIC. In fact, whether on premise or in the cloud, I think integration has always been a key task and challenge, as nothing every comes perfectly 'out of the box'! For the past ten years, we have done extensive development using web services from PeopleSoft, and were on the cutting edge of the technology when we first started out. Each project since has also presented a new integration challenge, some smaller, and some very large(!) - and I think we are all in the same boat with this.

I think all of these changes in technology, and the implementation of new products, always present us with challenges, but the experience also gives us so many opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another. This is why I was very excited to join the TAG in 2015 (which transitioned to the TRAG in 2018), as it enabled me to share my experiences with the wider community, and advocate for change and enhancements in products I have experience in - but it also provided a platform for me to help others share information with each other.

Across my time on the TRAG I took on various roles, culminating in my role as Chair in 2019 and resuming that role for the second half of 2020.

I also used my role as the ANZ Representative on the TRAG to establish a Technical Special Interest Group in ANZ in 2017 to promote more communication and collaboration between technical staff in the region, and I'm very happy to see this up and running and working well!