July 14, 2016                                              Trey Buck
1:30 – 2:20pm                                           Product Manager, learn
Venetian J                                                  Blackboard

  • General SaaS Questions
  • How does SaaS apply to Blackboard Learn
  • How do I get to SaaS
  1. What is Blackboard’s experience with SaaS?
    10 years of experience across multiple data centers
  2. What is Blackboard Learn with SaaS Deployment
    -Largest most established integration infrastructure in the LMS business.
    -A Single continuous version.  (code unified across deployments)
    -Flexible deployment option – control your local version
    -Available with original experience and Ultra (nothing is functionally different)
    -You can pilot Ultra with a particular set of courses/departments/colleges etc..
    -Multiple Tiers (SaaS Standard, SaaS Plus, SaaS Advantage.
  3. What does architecture look like?
    – Sophisticated and complex (partnered with AWS and IBM) able to automate and scale on demand
  4. What are the tiers of SaaS deployment mean?
    -Advantage: SLA 99%, Base Storage 1 TB, Interface: Ultra and Original, Continuous flexible deployment, Learning core, learning essentials, learning insight, full building block support, Full LTI web services and rest api, Test instance, staging instance, direct data access, service delivery mgmt
    -Plus – staging instance optional and direct data access optional, no service delivery mgmt
    -Standard – Full LTI’s – Optional, No staging, no direct Data, no service delivery mgmt.
  5. Why SaaS?
    flexibility, elasticity, scalability, resilience, innovation & change mgmt, Big Data
  6. How will my institution benefit from moving to SaaS
    – Enhanced Quality: fixes and maintenance more quickly
    – Rapid Innovation: Enhancements and features more quickly
    – Improved experience: Zero downtime updates
    – Easier Change Mgmt: Smaller, continuous, delivery updates
    – Better Support: Less variety of versions being supported
    – Peace of Mind: Experienced Bb Staff managing operations
  7. Which Critical Factors should I be considering when it comes to managing my online learning environment
    – Physical and Network Security
    – Scalability
    – Data Security
    – People and Processes
    – Redundancy
    – Monitoring Practices
    – Reliability
    – Change Management
  8. What are the main benefits of SaaS Plus & Advantage
    – Full Building Block support (includes custom and homegrown)
    – Flexible deployment options – determine when changes occur to your system
    – Support all learning solutions
    – Additional Services (advantage)
  9. Will all of our existing integrations work with SaaS
    – Building Blocks (all 3, but Ultra has exceptions)
    – SOAP Web Services (not in Ultra, yes in SaaS)
    – IMS LTI 1.2 Yes
    – Partner Cloud and Restful API – Yes
  10. What is continuous delivery and flexible deployment option?
    – Continuous delivery: developing software and releasing in small chunks (like apps on your phone) cadence is approx every 2 weeks (fixes enhancements and new features) default methodology.
    – Flexible delivery: Unique Bb offering: Release Candance – Q2/Q4 release Cadence (once or twice a year is fine) Still have cumulative updates, releases are larger and contain more code changes (optional delivery methodology)
  11. How do you know which is right for your Institution
    – Continuous delivery: less training, benefits of bug fixing (quicker)
    – Flexible deployment: controlling when releases come out (good starting point)
  12. What is Direct Data Access and how does it relate to OpenDB?
    – uses real replica of exact copy of db on production db
    – Direct Data is copied and up to date of productions in minutes..
    – Same schema and queries will work.
    – Security built in
  13. What does move to SaaS entail?
    – Prepare: Plan for Transition
    – Execution of Plan
    – Prepare Data, test migration and integration setup confirmation, final migration and cutover
    – two migration options:
    1. Course Based Migration
    2. Full Data Migration
  14. What is the difference between two migration options?
    Course based – start with a fresh instance and bring over archived courses, limits downtime, configurations and settings would not be brought across
    Full Data Migration – Clone current environment and file system, Restore info to new SaaS instance, Requires downtime, Maintains existing Data, configuration and settings
    For both options Blackboard provides: Project planning, test migration, final production migration, all for no additional charge
  15. Do you have an example of Project Plan?
    (Takes about 5 months on average – migration occurs in a much smaller window)
  16. What is Blackboard’s experience in helping us migration
    lots – 100 migrations a year, been doing it for years have a team that helps
  17. What consulting and training services are available if I’d like more help?
    ATP, Training program development, Building Block Evaluation, SIS Framework mentoring and grades journey services
  18. Does moving to SaaS mean that I have to take ULTRA
    No! you can optional upgrade certain courses etc.. It is an option
  19. So then where does Ultra Experience Fit IN?
    Wherever you want it!
  20. What does Transition to Ultra look like?
    Transition to SaaS Deployment with Original experience, then implement Ultra as needed/wanted.
  21. Why two Milestones?
    Two Words: Change Management!

 

 

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