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March 19, 2014
Alliance 2014, Days 3&4: Closing night and Raffle Winner!

The third day of the Alliance 2014 conference kicked off with an inspirational keynote from Shawn Achor, a lecturer who is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. Achor, who teaches for the Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School and collaborates on research with Yale and Columbia University, delivered his keynote on “The Happiness Advantage.”

In 2012, Achor’s research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review. His TED talk has become one of the most popular of all time, with over 3 million views.  “The Happiness Advantage,” his newest lecture, recently began airing on PBS stations nationwide.The gist of his lecture is this; most people believe that once they become successful, then they’ll be happy. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology and neuroscience have shown that this formula is actually backwards: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.  In “The Happiness Advantage,” Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happinesspotential, both at Harvard and companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 51 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

For more information, check out Achor’s TED Talk: The happy secret to better work. Or watch the Google Talk : "Before Happiness."

After Achor’s talk, there were a number of great sessions throughout the rest of the day. Some highlights:

• Jason Shaffner, Managing Director for Student Information Systems Program at Harvard University, presented a great session: 376 Years in the Making: Harvard's Journey to Campus Solutions. During the presentation, he spoke about Stakeholder engagement and project planning, innovations in decision-making approach and technology. Following a two-year planning process (but 376 years of hard thinking), Harvard has embarked on an ambitious program to consolidate or connect dozens of independent student information systems into a common SIS platform, powered by Oracle's PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Oracle Business Intelligence – and even implemented in parallel! He also explained amoreModern approach to parallel implementation of data warehousing and business intelligence alongside transactions.

• John Hanna, Student Financials Application Manager for the University of Colorado, gave another insightful presentation: Getting Lucky with Workcenters.Hanna talked aboutdifferent ways to configure Workcenters in Peoplesoft (i.e., navigation collections, pagelets and worklists). He also demonstrated how the University of Colorado implemented Navigation Collections and Workcenters in the Student Financials Module and shared insights onwhat organizations can do to deliver dashboard-type pages in PeopleSoft with virtually no customizations.

• Jim Marion also gave a few helpful couple of presentations at Alliance. If you didn’t get the chance  to make it to his sessions, make sure to download them from Alliance’s website (33718 PeopleTools Developer: Tips and Techniques).

Following a number of useful sessions, Ataway took a break to announce the winner of our lucky raffle drawing. The winner was Janet Schalm from NorQuest College. Congratulations to Janet!


The closing ceremony was a success! The 2014 Alliance Team put together a great show with the “Beatles” which featured stunning animations and production work by iL CiRCo and FOCUS3D. It was a great evening for participants to relax and talk about solutions for their institution in a fun and laid back environment.

The Alliance Closing Ceremony.

Ataway was honored to take part in this year’s event and appreciates all the attendees who took the time and effort to participate in Alliance 2014. We would particularly like to thank all the customers who stopped by our booth to discuss and exchange their ideas and expertise. We hope the conference provided a great opportunity to learn more about solutions for your institution. Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions you have on Campus Solutions, Commitment Control, PeopleSoft Financials and HRMS, CRM or any other solution your institution is looking to implement.

Customers at the Ataway booth.

Tina Travis at the Ataway Booth.

And finally, Ataway would like to thank the Alliance organizing team for putting together an incredible event, maintaining everything from registration to sessions and booths. See you next year at Alliance 2015!

For more about information about the Alliance 2014 conference, visit

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