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Talis Keynote, David Errington – CEO | Talis Insight Europe 2016

Natalie Naik

The shift to digital was the key theme of Talis CEO, David Errington’s keynote on Day One of Talis Insight Europe 2016. He shared with us what Talis have achieved over the last year and what’s to come. He also gave us an insight into how technology is changing the way we do things and why we should expect changes in the Higher Education sector too. Are we just scratching the surface?

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David kicked off his keynote by explaining that we are only scratching the surface of what we are doing in the higher education sector in terms of digitisation, especially in the context of Teaching & Learning. He went on to explain that as a consequence of things becoming more and more digital, new challenges have been created and many opportunities have been exposed. We must evolve in order to stay effective.

Before explaining what’s next for Talis, David reflected on what has been achieved in the past year.

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Talis Aspire has been integrated with many products over the years, having come across most of the available integration points across a university. Talis developers work with APIs and LTIs to ensure a good connection with other services.

We are currently at 99.99% uptime, with 52min of downtime a year.

David compared the way in which we update our services to repairing an aircraft whilst it is flying. With Software-as-a-Service, you must keep it ticking along, making changes all the time. This is one of our biggest challenges.

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Another challenge we must overcome is the growing UX expectations of our users – many of which will likely use apps and websites as second nature – therefore our services must evolve too. This isn’t just about making everything look attractive, it must work effectively and be responsive across all devices, as the rate of mobile use is continually growing.

To put this into perspective, David used many examples of the way in which processes are becoming disrupted. We once went into a travel agents to book a flight – for many of us, going directly to an airline’s website has cut out the need to do this.

Spotify has changed the way we consume music, we no longer go into a store and buy an entire album. We no longer ‘own’ the music itself, instead stream individual tracks. This can be compared easily to the move over to more eTextbooks and digital versions of content. Are students using less textbooks, or is the reality just that they are buying less?

This ‘deep digitisation’ as David called it is becoming far more commonplace in our everyday lives, yet he believes we are only just scratching the surface in Higher Education. The more digital our lives get, the more we are forced to change habits. This will also force libraries to increasingly change how they work.

To round off his keynote, David explained what all of this means for Talis and introduced the Talis Player. We’ve seen how students access content in their day to day lives (BBC iPlayer, and so on) and Talis seeks to make consuming content from their library even easier and make this a far more universal experience.
The Talis Player is about consuming content, collaborating around it and collecting our footprints as we use it. This can be applied to many content types from chapters and documents to videos to podcasts.

Watch David Errington’s keynote in full to find out more about these topics and to discover the evolution of Talis Aspire and see what’s next:


Follow the conversation around David’s keynote on Twitter:

View David’s slides here.


Something to think about…
Have you noticed a digital shift within Higher Education? What do you believe is the next step? Tell us in the comments.

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