Oracle Student Cloud: Times, They Are a-Changing

By Anastasia Metros posted 03-08-2016 11:52 AM


Oracle is building the next generation of its student system, Student Cloud, in the Cloud! Built for higher education from the ground up, Student Cloud is being designed in tandem with customers to deliver a comprehensive student system solution.

Student Cloud is the umbrella name for all 5 pieces of the Student Cloud: Student Engagement, Student Recruiting, Student Support, Student Management, and Financial Aid. Each piece may be purchased independently as Oracle is supporting    co-existence strategies and recognizes that Cloud technology is about meeting transformative university objectives vs. a ‘rip and replace’ technology change. The pieces of Student Cloud are being released over time with Student Engagement and Student Support available now.

In this discussion of Student Cloud, I want to highlight Student Management which provides core student information system capabilities. Delivered in phases, Student Management will initially deliver key business processes central to a University’s student system of record. Universities may find the version of Student Management targeted for release in 2016 helpful in providing support for Continuing Education and non-traditional programs. Future releases of Student Management will bring additional functionality to enable full SIS capabilities across the entire campus. Student Management is designed to either stand alone as a new SIS of record for a campus or can co-exist with Campus Solutions. You don’t have to choose between Campus Solutions and Student Management. Yes, you can have both working simultaneously and leverage their complementary capabilities for the good of your campus. For example, your institution may choose to utilize Campus Solutions CS 9.2 as your core SIS and also use Student Management specifically to support your Continuing Education department and/or for a non-traditional program.

Even if you are heads down focused on upgrading to CS 9.2 next, the time is still ripe to start thinking about Oracle Student Cloud and the right path for your campus to a modern student platform. So, what is the recommended pathway? It depends, in part, on institutional readiness. You can start strategically based on your particular campus needs. For some campuses, a good place to start is documenting existing systems, business processes, and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of the student experience at your campus.

Other universities may be ready to employ Cloud solutions for a few key functions such as Student Recruiting, Student Engagement and/or Student Management. Still other universities may already be using some Cloud solutions and are now ready to expand these more broadly at the institution and/or bring on additional Cloud solutions.

While the advantages of Cloud are numerous, the road to Cloud needs to be paved with considerable Change Management efforts in order to realize project success and maximize user adoption and utilization. Change management is key to Cloud success, as touted by Boise State University, which used it to streamline business processes for efficiency.

Business process review and redesign is one of the foundational readiness activities your campus can undertake now to get ready for the Cloud. The Cloud presents an opportunity to transform your campus through reducing customizations and targeted business process redesign. When moving to the Cloud, don’t merely migrate old business processes. Instead, harness the benefits of the Cloud by engaging users in collaboratively reviewing business processes and considering more efficient and streamlined approaches that will set the foundation for aligning with Cloud software capabilities. Moving to the Cloud means working in a world that is configurable. Early definition around how the Cloud will be configured will be much easier with standardized business processes.

Another activity you can undertake now to prepare for the Cloud is to clean up your customizations. Take a look at your existing customizations and identify those that can be significantly pared down or eliminated and get to it. Doing house cleaning on your customizations will provide for a fresher start in moving to the Cloud.

Lastly, you can start preparing for the changes your existing IT team will undergo. Moving to the Cloud changes the day-to-day jobs of your IT team. Engage in strategic planning as to how job responsibilities will shift and evaluate whether your team has the right skill sets. Then provide retooling opportunities to the team to fill the gaps so that you are prepared for the Cloud.

Not sure which path to the Cloud is right for your institution? Want assistance with evaluating institutional readiness and/or Cloud options that are right for your campus? Want a roadmap for detailing a practical path for adopting Cloud solutions on your campus? Sierra-Cedar can assist you with all of this and much more.

Contact Sierra-Cedar:

  • Ben Santelman: • Vice President, Higher Education, Oracle Practice
  • Elizabeth Malmborg: • Vice President, Higher Education, Oracle Strategy and Delivery
  • Anastasia Metros: • Senior Project Director, Higher Education, Oracle Strategy

About the Author

For over 20 years, Dr. Anastasia Metros has dedicated her career in higher education to serving as administrator, faculty member, consultant and Board member of The Higher Education User Group.  Dr. Metros is passionate about the convergence of higher education and technology and is a recognized expert in Oracle for Higher Education and Research.  Dr. Metros has been collaborating with Oracle for over 10 years, most recently contributing to product development and strategy on cloud for higher education.  In her spare time, Dr. Metros enjoys gardening and nature walks.