X4U Higher Ed Focus – exploring transformative change in colleges and universities
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X4U Higher Ed Focus – exploring transformative change in colleges and universities

from  October 19, 2021 | 4 min read

Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at what we’re offering for each of our primary customer verticals at our upcoming global virtual event, Experience4U. We’re kicking off with Higher Education. In keeping with our theme of A Better You, this track will focus heavily on the theme of embracing opportunities for transformation and capitalizing on interrelated technology trends to eliminate back-office redundancies, automate processes - and boost people satisfaction across your campus.

This year’s Higher Education track at X4U consists of 4 sessions. We’re very pleased to be able to bring you some excellent use cases from 4 of our customers in the sector, and an outside analyst perspective from both The Tambellini Group and Third Stage Consulting.

Higher Ed Industry Keynote: An opportunity for change: modernization in higher education

The last few years in higher education have been marked by an increasing awareness of the need for change in an industry that’s usually extremely cautious and risk-averse. But trends from rising student expectations to increasing administrative burden and the inability of brittle and inflexible legacy systems to cope with either have prompted forward-thinking institutions to explore new approaches. The impact of COVID has accelerated these trends, along with the pace of change in the industry.

For this session we’ll be joined by Dave Kieffer, Vice President of Research and Analysis at The Tambellini Group. He’ll be taking us through a discussion of why institutions are working to modernize their administrative technologies. Dave will explore how the following trends and needs align to the core opportunities institutions can capitalize on to secure their futures:

  • Moving enterprise systems to the cloud.
  • Establishing data management practices.
  • Implementing financial planning systems.
  • Adopting CRM across institutions.

Panel discussion: Higher ed in high gear: what’s changing next?

Over the past two years, higher ed has proved that despite its reputation for moving slowly, it can deploy changes at top speed in order to make sure students and staff stay safe. And still deliver quality education and research in the process. But now we’ve proved this (to ourselves as much as anyone else), what is next on the horizon?

In this session, we’re joined by three of our customers in Higher Ed – Fiona Yardley (Finance Director, Birmingham Metropolitan College), Vaughn Ravenscroft (VP Strategy and CIO, Bow Valley College), and Pierre-Yves Vasener (Associate IT Director, The American University Paris.)

They’ll be discussing how we can handle future possible disruptions, and what operational opportunities revealed by the COVID crisis we can leverage with more challenges coming our way already. Join this session to consider:

  • The changing expectations for the experience of work in higher ed.
  • The need for agile scenario planning – and replanning – at a moment’s notice.
  • New criteria for cloud, remote access, and system integration.

Overhauling operations to transform student experience – a work in progress

When Vancouver Island University (VIU) set out to replace its homegrown administrative systems with a next-generation ERP solution, their goal was to transform the student experience by modernizing the infrastructure supporting the institution, and help their people work as one integrated team.

In this session, VIU’s Co-CIO and Director of Enterprise Systems, Andrew Speed, joins us to celebrate the university’s recent go-live, reflect on a transformation project that came together in the tumult of a global pandemic, and share some lessons learned about expectation setting and change management. Join us to hear about VIU’s ongoing journey toward:

  • Enabling integrated team collaboration for improved student service.
  • Championing data-driven decision making.
  • Moving to the cloud and committing to configuration over customization.

Digitizing the higher education, nonprofit, and public sectors: what are their unique needs and what too often goes wrong?

Public sector, higher education, and nonprofit organizations have unique needs that must be considered during their digital transformations. People, process, and technology strategies that work in the private sector are not necessarily applicable to the third sector, so it is important to navigate these nuances carefully.

Since digital transformations often fail to deliver the expected business value, public sector organizations need to go into their initiatives with eyes wide open. 

In this session we’ll be joined by Eric Kimberling (CEO, Third Stage Consulting) for a discussion with our own Mark Gibbison that will outline the things most unique and important to digital transformation initiatives in these sectors. It will also address the 7 things that most commonly lead to failure in transformation projects – as well as what organizations can do to avoid these common pitfalls.