Small and Mid-Sized Universities Continue to Adopt Oracle Cloud to Improve Operations

HESS Consortium Collective standardizes on Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications to help more than 50 member universities and colleges save money and boost efficiency

The Higher Education Systems & Services (HESS) Consortium Collective has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite as the group’s single enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and student information system platform. Oracle’s cloud technology will enable collective members to streamline their finance and human resources processes on a shared technology platform that can help improve efficiency and cost savings.

The HESS Consortium is comprised of chief information officers, chief business officers, and other technology leaders from more than 225 private, non-profit colleges and universities. A growing group of 57 of the consortium members joined to form the HESS Collective with a goal to lower costs and increase collaboration between private institutions in the area of administrative systems and services. With the help of E&I Cooperative Services, HESS Collective chief information officers spent 18 months developing a competitive request for proposal for cloud-native enterprise solutions. Then, starting in 2019, the group undertook a 14-month-long evaluation to find a complete and scalable platform that would be financially sustainable for the group’s small and mid-sized institutions. After reviewing a number of cloud-native offerings, including Workday and UNIT4, HESS Consortium’s member institutions selected Oracle Fusion Applications as their single, shared provider.

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“Private, non-profit colleges and universities are facing serious challenges. Their current legacy systems just cannot meet their needs for operational efficiency, analytics, and cost containment,” said Keith Fowlkes, Executive Director and co-founder, HESS Consortium. “The HESS Consortium Collective institutions saw that Oracle Fusion Applications Suite was the most complete, cloud-native software available, while also being extremely affordable for all sizes of institutions. We believe that our selection of the Oracle Cloud solutions, along with our model of staff collaboration and sharing, will help our HESS member institutions gain modern functionalities while lowering costs.”

With Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), and Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM), HESS member institutions will be able to take advantage of the cloud to break down data and organizational silos, standardize processes, and manage financial, planning, and workforce data on a single integrated cloud platform. Some member institutions will also adopt Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) and Oracle Student Financial Planning. Oracle Fusion Applications’ common and intuitive interface enables rapid user adoption, delivers enhanced employee experience, and improves productivity.

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Another key factor was Oracle’s ability to collaborate with the HESS Consortium community in creating a support and resource network for participating institutions. Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) members Mythics and Drivestream will help to ensure smooth and cost-effective procurement, implementation, and training for member institutions.

“The past year hit higher education hard. But incredibly, many colleges and universities responded with a spirit of innovation, eager to rebuild more agile, resilient, and secure institutions,” said Rajan Krishnan, group vice president of product development, Oracle. “Moving business processes to the cloud enables organizations to rapidly optimize operations, reduce costs, and create new opportunities for growth. We’re thrilled to work alongside the HESS Consortium and its members as they prepare their institutions for what’s ahead.”

“This type of project – shared technology operations – has never been attempted on a national scale because of technological limitations,” said Fowlkes. “With cloud-based technologies, the shared services model is attainable. Oracle and their partners offered something that was truly groundbreaking to our private colleges and universities, and we anticipate this will be a game-changer in private higher education technology.”

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