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Migrating Core Enterprise Applications to the Cloud

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This presentation was given in the "Cloud and Mobile" track at the 2011 Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC).

This presentation was given in the "Cloud and Mobile" track at the 2011 Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC).

Published in: Technology, Business

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    • 1. MIGRATING COREENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS TO THE CLOUD ROGER VALADE Executive Director of Information Technology Interlochen Center for the Arts
    • 2. PRESENTATION OVERVIEW• Introduction and Background• Adopting: o Google Apps for Education o Enrollment Rx o Convio Common Ground o And a few other cloudy solutions• What We Would Do Again o And What We Would NOT• Q&A 2
    • 3. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND Interlochen Center for the Arts is an 85-year-old summer arts camp, a nearly 50-year-old arts academy, two NPR stations (music and news), a summer concert series, and a summer adult-education college. Basically, we’re a small liberal arts college — and a city.
    • 4. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUNDSome of our IT goals are: • Align with our institutional vision. • Energize staff — both inside and outside of IT. • Employ an agile-oriented pilot process to ensure fit. • Maximize cost performance. • Uncover practices and opportunities via business process mapping.The first project-specific priority was to replace an antiqueCRM / ERP solution. 4
    • 5. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND• The CRM / ERP provided services to: Admissions  Inquiries, applications, and enrollments. Education Programs  Grades, attendance, and an online portal. Fundraising and Alumni  Prospects, donations, and engagement.• We realized early on that one solution would not meet the requirements of every department.• We also wanted to take an agile, pilot approach. 5
    • 6. PROJECT ROADMAPThe tools we began to adopt, in rough chronological order, along withwhat they replaced (in parentheses): • Google Apps for Education (Exchange and SharePoint) • Salesforce.com o Enrollment Rx (Jenzabar Admiss) o Convio Common Ground (Jenzabar Fund-Al) • ADP (Microsoft Dynamics / Great Plains) • Aspen (Jenzabar Student) • Intacct (Microsoft Dynamics / Great Plains)There was an interesting shift in momentum and scope as the projectswere implemented. 6
    • 7. ADOPTING GOOGLE APPS• Piloted with IT and selected other core users using a test domain and some forwarding rules.• The pilot become so widespread at a grassroots level that the eventual cutover was very anticlimactic.• Extensive training was provided for everyone.• Email IS STILL the killer app. (Yes, it helps that it is free for educational institutions.) 7
    • 8. ADOPTING GOOGLE APPSSome of the questions we wrestled with included: • Browsers vs. “fat” / rich clients. • Labels vs. folders. • Storage space. • THE CALENDAR and institutional resources. • Rapid releases (the good and the bad). • Docs vs. SharePoint. • Forms. • Google Apps as a platform: Mojo Helpdesk. 8
    • 9. ENROLLMENT RX FOR ADMISSIONS• Became interested in Salesforce.com (SFDC) based on previous corporate experience and the SFDC Foundation.• Found ERx on the SFDC platform and selected it after an extensive pilot process.• Introduced an online application app using SFDC Portal.• Drawloop.com: Automated document creation across complex SFDC objects.• SlideRoom.com: Dramatically improved the media-centric audition submission and review process required for artistic 9
    • 10. COMMON GROUND FOR FUNDRAISING• Tried to build a custom solution on the SFDC Non-Profit Starter Pack but became stuck in the complexities of donation entry.• Found Convio Common Ground, which looked to have solved the donation component, and executed a two-month trial with significant user (especially supervisory) engagement.• Implementation began in June and ended December. Extra time was due to extreme data integrity and complexity.• Decided that the SFDC Foundation pricing alone vs. extra cost of Convio was a justifiable investment because we ended up having to spend time on data migration rather than functionality.• Having both Convio and Enrollment Rx gives us the best of both worlds: products that meet individual departmental needs but that reside on the same technical platform. 10
    • 11. WHAT WE WOULD DO AGAIN• Business process mapping — as a structured approach to change management. Started with Visio but moved to Signavio.com.• Pilot everything. They provide confidence to end-users — and IT.• Use an agile-inspired project management model.• Spend time on culture and habit; it is never wasted.• Find the path of least resistance in determining what biz unit(s) to migrate first.• Tailored departmental training is critical.• Celebrate server-less-ness and paper-less-ness. Both open up funding other things. 11
    • 12. WHAT WE WOULD DO AGAIN• Let users migrate their own data, with support.• Celebrate the browser(s) and the platform-independence it can enable. Interlochen has adopted an all-Apple policy.• Work with Finance to explain the migration from capital funds to the operating / expense budget.• The lower cost of acquisition and the subscription-based model make the purchasing process amazingly simpler.• Platforms are key: Development is still the hardest thing to do in technology and our goal is not to be a development shop.• Obtain executive buy-in: o Not (necessarily) about saving money, but leap-frogging our internal capabilities to match our board-driven vision. o Risk-tolerance was also a key cultural tone. 12
    • 13. WHAT WE WOULD NOT DO AGAIN• Underestimate the complexity of our data.• Overestimate the technical capabilities of our users (in a positive way).• Underestimate how hard change is when it comes to work habits and processes. Fear runs deep.• Accept dysfunctional data-hoarding. Instead, challenge it.• Try to push just one browser. o (IE + Chrome + Firefox + Safari) - IE = better.• So: cloudy projects are still hard for the same reasons IT projects always were. The technology doesn’t really matter. 13
    • 14. OTHER OUTCOMES• We moved our website from a dedicated RackSpace environment to their new(er) cloud solution.• Bandwidth and redundancy are particularly critical for us given our remote location.• Our location is also another reason cloud solutions are so attractive. The internet is relatively ubiquitous; our servers aren’t.• We are hoping that we don’t have a local data center within three years. Or that it fits in our pocket.• We are not-unintentionally moving power generation toward greener and / or cheaper regions and sources.• We have a better understanding of the variety of cloud solutions. 14
    • 15. THANK YOU! And thanks to the Interlochen CRM and Google teams for their effort and excellence:David Bondurant, Curt Ensign, Margaret Fako,David Limer, Andrew Schmitt, Michael Slawnik, Michael Smith, and Jeremy Stringer. QUESTIONS? roger.valade@interlochen.org interlochen.org (work) | failfast.com (blog)