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oktober 20, 2011 / surfedu

At the Educause Board/Program Committee Reception

Wim Liebrand and I attended the Board/Pogram Committee Reception – not that we take part in either Board or Program Committee but Wim was invited just as other VIPs of faraway countries such as Japan.

The event was a kind of informal rehearsal for the Opening Session. Educause Board members stepping down were thanked by Diana Oblinger, new members welcomed, program committee members were recognised. The award winners were briefly spotlighted (americanism).

There was food and wine, and plenty of opportunity to meet Educause staff. We met JISC colleagues Malcolm Read and Norman Wiseman and other interesting people to talk to. One is Hirito Yasuura, Executive Vice President of Kyushu University who is setting up an Educause/SURF-like organisation in Japan; another is John F. Speer, president and CIO of DATATEL, the #1 ERP company in the USA, 2nd in Canada.

DATATEL is a 2.6 billion dollar a year company. They deliberately remained a North American company but according to John F. the economic crisis means opportunity. DATATEL will take over Sunguard and together they will do a thorough analysis on market potential worldwide (!). So Oracle/Peoplesoft be warned. “DATATEL offers Microsoft and Oracle/Peoplesoft solutions – cheaper and better”.

It was a pleasure to hear a 2.6 billion dollar CEO talk about the Occupy Wallstreet movement (insignificant), about democracy (not good for economy, Chinese system works better), and about the Netherlands (they’ve done one thing good – developed a character program to help dyslectic people to read more easily – John’s son is dyslectic). He was interested in European Higher Education (knew about Bologna declaration) and his company sponors Educause, because better education can elevate people to a better, more responsible approach to what they earn and can spend.

Next year I will attend this excellent reception again, then as a member of the Educause 2012 Program Committee. Will keep you posted.

Bas Cordewener

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