During the past few months we have noticed a decline in the number of participants to the APAC SaaS Virtual Group. Part of this was because the old meeting invites from last year ended in December 2018, which led some participants to think we were not running the user group this year. I also suspect that several clients are just busy with the start of the semester, or have already completed their move to SaaS and don't think that joining these calls will be beneficial to them anymore.
We think that these calls will be beneficial to all clients in region and we are committed to get more participants involved. We are meeting on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
Join us to share your experience and hear more from other administrators from Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
If you are an administrator at an institution that hasn't moved to SaaS yet:
You are missing on a large amount of valuable information. During these meetings clients share their experience during and after their move to SaaS; what issues they had, how to avoid them, how to plan, and what to expect once on SaaS.
Your institution has already migrated to SaaS and you think this might no longer be beneficial to you?
Join the next few meetings! As more and more clients have already moved to SaaS, the next big step is to enable Ultra. Hear from other clients what they are planning to do, what issues they are facing and what their success stories are.
Last but most important, Kathy Saville from Saint Mary's College brings in her own experience as one of the first SaaS users. She's the mind behind this user group and regularly attends both the US and the APAC meetings, keeping us up to date on what is being discussed and presented overseas.
To make sure no one is missing these meetings, I have created events on this group's calendar until the end of 2019. You can add them directly to your calendar from the Actions menu > Add to Calendar. Unfortunately you'll have to repeat this for the ~20 individual events. Alternatively send me an email at Angelo.Rossi@blackboard.com and I will forward you the Outlook meeting invites.
First and foremost I want to apologize for dropping off the session seconds after I joined: I had to help coordinating communication for an ongoing datacenter outage. It wasn't Learn, so nothing this group to worry about!
Thanks everyone for joining the call today. Along with individual clients' updates topics we touched briefly on the recent issues, now resolved, with production Postgres ugrades and a potential workaround to users in China having issues to access content on SaaS systems.
Unfortunately we forgot to record the Collaborate session! The following items were discussed during the meeting:
1. Flexible Deployment Option
During the past few months we have been focusing on Continuous Delivery as it introduces a paradigm shift for most Managed Hosting and self hosted institutions. While discussing FDO with clients that are migrating to SaaS, however, we realized that the FDO model needs to be discussed further, to make sure that everyone is aware of the impact as part of their move to SaaS. I will bring this up again during the next few meetings to make sure everything is clear.
2. Shared test plans
Something that Bill (Charles Darwin University) and I discussed during the past few weeks. Schelly (Southern Cross University) is also on board.
We think that most institutions spend a large amount of time and resources testing core functionalities as part of their upgrades. This is a huge amount of duplicate work and effectively a waste of resources. While it is sustainable for 1-2 major upgrades/year, this will not be the case for monthly upgrades with Continuous Delivery
The idea is to come up with a common checklist that clients can contribute to, based on existing test plans that all institutions already have.
The workload could then be spread and shared among the community so each participant only tests a subset of functionalities, and shares the outcome with the others.
This will save time that could be used for testing non-core functionalities like custom integrations.
I will post a separate article/poll to see if anyone else is interested and to come up with idea on how to setup a common work-space (E.g. community site, GitHub..)
3. JSHacks for hiding course availability lock
A new functionality in Q2 2018 allows instructors to make courses available/unavailable, something that most institutions would rather control centrally. Schelly has been able to hide the using JSHack
4. Voice recording tool - when will it be available?
Announced in the Q2 2018 release notes as available in specific regions. Initial testing shows that this is not working in Australia, Angelo to follow up internally to find when this will be available in region.
5. Collaborate Ultra conversion issues
Bill (CDU) and Craig (QUT) pointed out that the long delays in uploading/converting documents are causing end users to move to other tools like Zoom.