2019 HEUG Cloud Symposium

By Criss Laidlaw posted 02-11-2019 06:37 AM


The HEUG held its second Cloud Symposium (#HEUGCloud19) on February 4th & 5th in Redwood Shores, California.  This year’s symposium attracted more than twice as many people from higher education institutions as the 2017 Symposium, due to the growing interest in and adoption of cloud applications for higher education.  

Representatives attended from 40 institutions.  Many are live and/or implementing Oracle ERP or HCM Cloud applications, including Boise State University, Central State University, Rutgers University, Stanford University, the University of Kansas and Vanderbilt University.  Early adopters of the Student Cloud Butler University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison were also present.

Others attended to learn and to ask questions about Oracle Cloud applications and how well they work for higher education.  In addition to U.S. institutions, the HEUG was happy to welcome representatives from Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The first day focused on Oracle’s Cloud ERP and HCM applications.  After a welcome by HEUG President Jane Broad and opening remarks from Oracle Group Vice President Vivian Wong, Vicki Tambellini of The  Tambellini Group spoke about the research her independent consulting firm has done on preparing institutions for a successful migration to cloud applications.

Vicki’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion on “Life after go-live”, with panelists Colette Gillespie, Director of Financial Management Systems at the University of Kansas, Jennifer Martindale, Executive Director of Boise State’s Office of Continuous Improvement, and Laura Shevling, Director, Systems and Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Wyoming.

Next, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and Nicole Engelbert, Vice President of Higher Education Development, presented a Q&A “fireside chat”, the main theme of which was Oracle’s strong commitment to higher education.  Among other things, we learned that Mark Hurd is an alumni of Baylor University and serves on their board of trustees.

The first day concluded with a session titled “Putting it all together - lessons learned on integration and cloud solutions”.  Moderated by Max Davis-Johnson of Boise State, presenters included Jen Chavez, Director, Applications and Database Services at the University of Wyoming, Ben Frazee, Director, Process and System Optimization at Vanderbilt University, Michele Norin, Senior Vice President/CIO, Rutgers University, and Josh Vincent, Senior Director, Process and System Optimization at Vanderbilt University.

For day two, the primary focus was on Oracle’s Student Cloud application suite.  

The first session focused on Oracle’s Student Financial Planning (aka Vocado, aka SFP) application.  Vice President of Higher Education Product Management John Refila provided an overview of the product and how it can be configured and used for financial aid planning from the perspective of students, advisors and administrators.  Butler University is currently implementing SFP and Butler’s Pete Williams, CIO and HEUG Board member and Senior Information Systems Analyst Michele Thibodeau spoke about their institution’s decision process, their expectations, and progress to date.

The second session of the day focused on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an early adopter of the Student Cloud application suite.  Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and HEUG Past President Steve Hahn described the strategic goals that led to the university’s decision to migrate their SIS to the cloud. Stu Churchill-Hoyer, Cloud SIS Program Manager, explained their overall project plan and progress to date.

The last session of the morning was titled “Lessons Learned from First Movers with Cloud: How to make the right early decisions?” Mike Gower, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer at Rutgers University and Jo Ellen Dinucci, Associate Vice President, Finance and Administration, Boise State University spoke at length on the strategic drivers for their respective institutional transitions and provided insight into how to help ensure success.

The Symposium concluded with a very thorough presentation and Q&A on the Oracle Student Cloud by Susan Beidler, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Susan Hoagland, Principal Sales Consultant.

The success of the 2019 HEUG Cloud Symposium reflects the interest in cloud applications and the desire to understand the opportunities and challenges of adopting them and maximizing their value.  The symposium serves as another example of the HEUG’s commitment to education and advocacy for its members.

Criss Laidlaw
HEUG Board & Director of Administrative Information Systems, Williams College

1 comment
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02-11-2019 11:16 AM

Great article - thanks for the update

Thanks for the update Criss - very informative