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 six pieces of Student Cloud: Student Engagement, Student Recruiting, Student Support, Student Management, Advancement and Financial Aid. Each piece may be purchased and used independently or in any combination 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 all but Student Management and Financial Aid available now.
Student Engagement & Student Recruiting
In this discussion of Student Cloud, I want to highlight Student Engagement and Student Recruiting. Student Engagement broadly encompasses student outreach and engagement with current capabilities for: social listening and engagement, and multi-channel marketing campaigns with automation. Student Recruiting broadly encompasses the student recruiting and student admissions functions of a campus. Current capabilities include: recruiter and territory management, lead management and pipeline forecasting. These two Cloud solutions use sophisticated capabilities that can be customized to assist in enhancing your marketing and recruiting pipelines to find the right students at the right time who are the right fit for your campus.
Student Cloud Pathways
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 and/or Student Engagement. 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. Hybrid Cloud is a very popular and effective way to move to Student Cloud.
Preparing for Student Cloud
While the advantages of Cloud are numerous, the road to Cloud needs to be paved with readiness efforts in order to realize project success and maximize user adoption and utilization. I have identified three key areas for universities to consider, plan, and prepare for Cloud success.
- Business Process
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, campuses can 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. Executing house cleaning on your customizations will provide for a fresher start in moving to the Cloud.
- Governance and Organizational Structures
Lastly, governance and organizational structures for the campus will likely need to be evaluated and revised based on the new model of operations that the Cloud invites. For example, the business process owners will be taking on different roles with the Cloud, having more responsibility in regards to configurability and a more collaborative working relationship with IT. The campus will need to be organized to take advantage of the benefits offered by Oracle Cloud Applications.
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.