Datatel Users Head to DUG
Tuned in and tuned up
Almost 2,000 representatives from roughly 350 institutions convened in Washington, DC this past March at DUG 2005, the annual Datatel Users' Group conference. Since 1982, when 11 IT users from seven higher education institutions forged the group, Datatel has billed the conference as an exercise in collaboration-an idea underscored this year by keynote speaker Boris Brott. A veteran conductor and director of world-class orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Ballet, Brott coaxed DUG attendees to "harmonize" efforts to attain business goals.
Datatel President, CEO, and soon-to-be Chairman Russ Griffith set the tone of the DUG in his opening remarks: "With mutual trust, we can collaborate and succeed beyond our expectations." Datatel considered DUG input in its development of Colleague Release 18 (now in beta), which supports database independence-including the option of integrating Microsoft's SQL server. After his remarks at the opening general session, Griffith told Campus Technology, "The technology of Release 18 supports our strategy to provide choices to our clients while protecting their investments in business applications."
DUG users kept tabs on business back home in between sessions. The users themselves programmed more than half of the conference's 250 sessions. General topics included electronic student records management, paperless purchasing, and workflow. Technical session topics ranged from directory services and identity management solutions, to text messaging and generating reports with PERL.