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this page is part of the Educause wiki: IT Communications: Virtual Coffee Shop

Talking about the Cloud, also online Annual Report

How are you explaining the cloud to your customers?  It seems there are as many different descriptions as there are members of Educause.  Join us for the March 2012 coffee shop to get ideas about how to talk "Cloud" at your college or university.

LSU describes the cloud as "externally hosted".

Case Western - calls anthing cloud related or off site as a "service."  Look how we are saving costs, reducing carbon footprint by using these services.  All part of our university executives' strategic goals.

LSU is moving facutly off Exchange, into MS Office 365 service, talking about building efficiencies, marketing it as a way to ease the transition of not having onsite email.  In transition now, moving deparment by department.  You can still use Outlook.  A few quirks, working out bugs. Web client is better. Students are using Google tools; have been on different systems for a long time.  The reason we went with Office 365, we wante the people using Outlook to be able to continue using it the way they had been using it.

LCC - looking for ways to reduce cost, upkeep, maintenance - we're looking at things all the time for the right opportunities, but people do ask us about the cloud "buzz"

NC State - differences in terms of savings (when talking with board) - capital expenditures versus operating expenditures.  Article

In Campus Technology article, Brad Wheeler from IU is talking about cloud being a terrible metaphor for funding model-based conversations.  Aggregate: instutiionial sourcing, consortia sourcing, external sourcing.  (see link in Chat notes)

The Cloud isn't really a cloud, there is no "single" location, no single cloud.

Texas A&M - the only cloud services we us is some software as a service, a project management tool.  Our challenge with the cloud is in a lot of instances is how we read and interpret state law, we're not allowed to have a lot of our data outside the state of Texas, and that limits our options.  Another challenge is when the consumerization of services (dropbox, cloud storage, FERPA data), they don't understand that it is not safe. Then how do you provide services that are convenient and provide what your customers need?

Moodle has moved rooms to Texas recently!

How or what are you doing to address HIPPAA in cloud storage.  Can't use cloud storage for HIPPAA documents or data, right?  That means putting onus on the users to not email without encryption, etc.  For FERPA, it is the same as when faculty had a Gray book in the 1980s with every student's SSN in it.

How to partner with NIH grant collaborators?

What other institutions are running cloud services or providing those type of services?  NC State is a virtual lab that is an internal cloud and our high performance research computing set up is in an internal cloud.  Using a blanket term "cloud" may not be very helpful.  It has more to do with helping folks understand where their data is stored, specific services.

Existing policies on using Amazon policies or storage?

What about the "as" Software as a service, infrastructure as a service, etc. - not widely talk about that as a rule, our customers don't understand that.

Texas A&M - helping people realize how to keep their data secure isn't the same as talking IAAS, SaaS, etc.  Our CIO is really good at communicating with campus executives, butwe do get confusing emails and we make a lot of phone calls.  We rely heavily on our advocate group to take our message back to their colleges and departments.  We have about 25 representatives that meet twice a month, very give and take - they tell us what is working and what is not, we talk about directions, new options or services.  That group is about 4 years old and it is helping a great deal.

Texas A&M University's Online Annual Report

Only a few notes here as we asked Texas A&M to talk about their report at the last minute and didn't have screen sharing set up before the coffee shop opened. 

Allison Oslund's team spends 500 man hours to produce the report that is their primary project for the year and which their CIO uses as he talks with executives and other university stakeholders.  Copy 80% written in September and October, Infographics plotted through November, in December everything is turned over to web team.  Web version primary, has all info, PDF is streamlined version (one story per page so can print all or print only a single page)  Xavier found a tool for Macs called Hype by that can be used with someone who has basic Flash experience.  Allows you to create HTML5 animations, everything exported in HTML code, just have to place images and files in appropriate place.  The animation is scripted by Xavier to not begin until the reader scrolls to that part of the page.  The actual design or structure of the annual report is based on the CIO's 5 year strategic plan and then stories are explored and grouped in those categories.  It is an end-of-academic year report but published in late January (academic year ends in August or September).

Chat Notes:

  • Stan: Here's the Campus Technology article:
  • Stan:
  • Alison Cruess - Univ. of North Fla: background noise/static is stepping on speaker
  • ITCOMM CG Leader 1: yes - very hard to hear. If you're not speaking please mute your phone
  • Dawn Sadler - TCS Education System: if we mute our phones, will you hear music?
  • ITCOMM CG Leader 1: no
  • Sheri Thompson - LSU: .Mute is not the same as hold
  • ITCOMM CG Leader 1: only if you put us on hold
  • Dawn Sadler - TCS Education System: Randy is cutting out
  • Stan: really breaking up....
  • Tiff - Pepperdine: yeah your breaking up
  • Dawn Sadler - TCS Education System: whoever is typing should mute
  • Susan Cherry, Ferris State University: I'm hearing typing coming though and I'm thinking that might be causing the cut outs
  • Tiff - Pepperdine: yup
  • Stan: That person is likely not watching this chat window, so it may need to be mentioned over the phone line.
  • Carlyn - Rice: OH, I bet it is me.  Carlyn trying to scribe the notes in the wiki. I will stop typing and do notes later.
  • Kristen Kolenz (CWRU): is alison in the presenter role?
  • ITCOMM CG Leader 1:
  • Tiff - Pepperdine: nice report
  • Tiff - Pepperdine: How long did it take to construct your report?
  • Lynn-UGA: What tools did you use for the infographics?
  • Chuck Aikman (IU): excellent work - very inspiring!
  • Lynn-UGA: Do you have any specific tools you use to gather your content?
  • Linda - Princeton: Allison and team.  Wonderful job.
  • Randy Jobski - LCC: Very nice!  And good discussion on the "cloud" too.  Thanks again for continuing to organize these!  It is greatly appreciated.  Take care.
  • Linda - Princeton: Needing to run.  Great to connect with you all again.  
  • Xavier Porter - Texas A&M: The infographic animations was created using Hype
  • Kristen Kolenz (CWRU): awesome!
  • Chuck Aikman (IU): Thanks you!
  • ITCOMM CG Leader 1 2: Texas A&M - amazing, incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!



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