Industry Trends – 2008 was a great year for Oracle Higher Education

Happy New Year 2009!

I hope your holiday season was enjoyable with a chance to reunite with family and friends. I also hope your favorite team won its bowl game!




All the newspapers and magazines do year-end recaps and remind us of interesting events. That got me to think about the undeniable and persistent tide of good news that our Oracle Higher Education team, along with our customers and partners, experienced in 2008.

Analyst Acclaim

The community of analysts who track and study information system providers to Higher Education prominently rewarded the Oracle-PeopleSoft results with praise in 2008. Oracle was rated in the 2008 “leaders” quadrant in the Gartner Magic Quadrant ™ report. Late in the year, an exciting new analyst report was issued by Synergy3 that revealed quantified and verified new Student Information System (SIS) selection results: momentum in all U.S. segments has shifted to Oracle! If you have not followed this knowledgeable firm before, I recommend that you take a look at their recently introduced web site. I highly recommend that you join this higher education community. Membership is free, and it will give you access to information about your peers, peer institutions and the entire ecosystem participating in higher education.

Customer Success

In 2008, more early Oracle customers came Live on the new PeopleSoft version 9.0 software. University of Wisconsin – Madison has posted its announcement online – the Badger folks are always among our trailblazing customers! DePaul University’s upgrade to Campus Solutions 9.0 received congratulations in an Oracle Press Release. Indiana University went to 9.0 while featuring the 360-degree view via the Student Center and the Faculty Center facilities of Campus Solutions.

Scalable Solutions for Institutions of All Sizes

One of the most impressive change evolutions among our customer base has been the rapid growth, with successful implementation projects, of new small-to-medium sized institutions. Oracle calls this initiative “Scalable solutions for institutions of all sizes”. The advice and mentorship from longtime existing customers has been much appreciated. You can read about successful upgrades by Gettysburg College and Maryland Institute College of Art at the online site—and hearty congratulations to MICA’s Ted Simpson, who was appointed to the HEUG Board to lead the communication efforts among the smaller institutions. Ted’s group has published its first guideline document and they remain open for more ideas. George Fox University in Oregon is among the newcomers with a fast implementation of PeopleSoft ERP and Campus Solutions. They are drawing a lot of attention with their iPhone innovation. Anderson University (Indiana) led the way earlier in 2008 with its Campus Solutions go-live, introducing self-service across its campus. Accomplishments in the “scalable solutions” space are important; the Synergy3 report discussed above found that institutions in the 2,500 student range have been the most active in modernizing their SIS.

Recruiting and Retention - CRM

Another significant area of progress for Oracle customers in 2008 was the evolution of Constituent Relationship Management (CRM for Higher Education) techniques. Campus Technology magazine has followed CRM adoption in Higher Education. In an October interview with Campus Technology, [excerpt] analyst Nicole Engelbert cited DePaul as an institution on the cutting edge in successfully using CRM. Of DePaul, Engelbert said, “In a word, they get it. I was blown away by the types of things they are doing there.” Engelbert, a lead analyst with research and analysis firm Datamonitor, cited DePaul for quantifying student satisfaction with regular surveys, then taking proactive steps based on the data, resulting in improved retention and better alumni relations, for example.

Audrey Bledsoe was quick to attribute part of DePaul's success to institution-wide buy-in--something that Engelbert cited as a critical success factor in implementing CRM. DePaul's approach illustrates the importance of that factor. In fact, the impetus behind the original rollout, Bledsoe said, came from a vice president of IT "who was passionate about CRM and saw a vision and need for implementing a strategy and philosophy [around CRM]...."

Campus Technology
DePaul Sets the Bar in Student Relationship Management
Nov. 20, 2008
By Linda L Briggs

Campus Technology has also featured web seminars on Student Retention (University of Central Florida) and Student Recruiting (University of New Orleans). I recommend listening to the replays, because this is an even more important topic in 2009, as early innovation on how to leverage CRM techniques fits into the strategic planning that is underway at many colleges and universities right now.


The Oracle ecosystem of partners also enjoyed a robust 2008. CedarCrestone received great news when both public systems of higher education in Nebraska selected them for implementation consulting. Another aspect of the new Nebraska project involved Oracle’s partnership with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). I suggest that both public and private institutions familiarize themselves with the MHEC facility for advanced contract terms that helped serve as a model for Nebraska. In times of scarce funding, a streamlined contracting process saves time and money.

An unusually productive partnership developed during 2008, involving University of Maryland University College and Hershey Systems, Inc. Hershey is an Oracle Alliance member as an independent software vendor (ISV). UMUC and Hershey announced significant process improvement in admissions through high volume transcript articulation. Hershey’s “Singularity Suite” product features an advanced integration with the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Academic Advising and Admissions modules. UMUC is working with other institutions to exchange information about this new “best practice." The UMUC press release states:

With the implementation of the program, UMUC will be able to streamline all transfer student transcript and credit evaluation processes across the entire university within 48 hours. As a university with campuses on three different continents and dozens of alliances with institutions nationwide, this new system integrates the entire transfer and articulation process—from admissions to financial aid—taking 90,000 student records and uploading them digitally into a worldwide database.


So are you growing weary of reading glum predictions about our economy and life in general for 2009? As you can see from the recap above, there is great momentum in Oracle’s Higher Education practice, its customers, and partners. 2009 is our best opportunity yet to use innovative technology and business process improvement. Effectiveness is the universal goal of our community. Congratulations on our mutual progress in 2008 and now, how about a repeat for 2009? Best wishes for your success.


Thank you, Jim. Yes, the HEUG continues to demonstrate its interest in smaller institutions. We will have an informal meet-up at the Alliance conference this year (visit the conference site to register We also have a small institution community on the HEUG site ( Happy New Year to everyone! -Ted

Posted by Ted Simpson on January 06, 2009 at 07:16 PM PST #

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