It hardly needs saying that higher education, alongside all industries, is currently experiencing tremendous challenges. We at Oracle have been truly impressed and humbled by how our schools are working tirelessly to support students and staff to provide a high quality remote educational experience. We are so proud to be a partner to this incredible community.
At last month’s Oracle’s virtual Higher Ed Forum, which can be viewed here, executives representing three of our institutional customers -- Cheryl Gochis, Baylor’s VP and CHRO; Bob McCormick, DePaul’s CIO; and John Sauceda, Moody Bible Institute’s CIO – gathered last month to speak with Nicole Engelbert, Oracle’s VP of Higher Education Development, and share the ways in which they have been pursuing business continuity and innovation for their institutions via cloud services. (The Higher Ed Forum was originally scheduled to be held in person at Oracle’s Modern Business Experience conference, which has been rescheduled to be held in conjunction with Oracle OpenWorld in Las Vegas this fall.)
All three schools had been using at least one PeopleSoft or E-Business Suite system for their HR or finance needs, but have begun migrating to Oracle Cloud solutions. Baylor and DePaul are still in the process of implementing HCM and ERP Clouds, with Baylor’s go-live planned for June 2020, while DePaul anticipates their go-live to take place in January 2021. Moody Bible, an Oracle Marketing, Sales, and Service Cloud customer since 2016, has been on ERP Cloud for about a year — following just a four-month implementation!
As these higher education leaders shared their stories, one of their shared recommendations is for institutions to reframe their shift to cloud technology as an opportunity to enact newer, more modern business practices. As Bob McCormick puts it, “if you don’t walk into your cloud journey thinking of it as a business process redesign project, rather than a technology project, it’s not going to be successful.”
These panelists stressed the value of establishing partnerships between line of business and technology leadership in order to get team-wide buy-in and clarity of purpose. The close collaboration between Moody Bible’s CIO and CFO was a major reason the school was able to achieve their ERP go-live in four months. This cross-team partnership has also helped facilitate a smoother transition for changing job responsibilities: Moody Bible is now upskilling former EBS analysts by embedding them as IT analysts for different business units.
Another major lesson learned by these adopters is the importance of a flexible mindset and an appetite for continuous innovation. Keeping up with a quarterly release cadence will require institutions to provide more consistent training, to examine current and future business processes (and selectively test them as needed), and communicate about how these updates will improve staff and student experiences. In Baylor’s case, Cheryl Gochis says that “establishing better discipline or routines around giving feedback and clarifying outcomes has helped us ensure that our team is moving forward.”
These panelists had many other insights to share in this webinar; click here for more on their approach to data security and privacy, the benefits of moving from a capex to an opex model, and how they’re learning from other early adopters like Vanderbilt University and the University of Wyoming. You’ll also hear from a panel of Oracle executives about how our customers are planning for their cloud journeys, the key factors that contribute to their institutional success, and our Practical Path for cloud migration, as well as a “Day in the Life” demo of how our cloud platform is transforming the administrative and student experience. This webinar is a look into our higher ed solutions and strategy from both our internal, and more importantly, our customers’ perspective – please reach out in the comments to share your own questions, challenges, and stories!