Sunday, March 09, 2014

Hanging With The HEUG

So I'm hanging with the Higher Education User Group this week in Las Vegas; Alliance 2014.  It's been a year or so since I've gotten to Alliance, so it's pretty cool to be back here.  I'm also excited in general about working with Higher Education customers.  I've only been here for a day so far, but I've noticed some very obvious things already:
  • The people here are almost desperate to provide their students with a 21st century experience.  They feel the need to have their student systems match the excellence found in their academics and research.
  • Many of the schools struggle to implement well.  And it's not that they don't understand the technology.  The common theme seems to be one of organizational change management.
  • While total cost of ownership is obviously a concern, system quality seems to be an even great concern with these folks...a positive in my book.
  • Prior point notwithstanding, a huge issue for many international schools seems to be infrastructure reliability.  Things many of us take for granted (dependable electricity, broadband internet connections, physical hardware security) are huge issues in some parts of the world.
I've already heard some of this from my involvement in strategy and road mapping efforts for Io Consulting customers, but this conference is reinforcing all these themes.  I'm absorbing so much, especially in terms of this unique set of Oracle users, that it feels a bit like drinking from a firehose.  Lots of interesting stuff happening here.  I'll post more as the conference progresses, especially in light of what is shaping up to be a really big Monday. Stay tuned!

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