The HESS Collective Program

What is the HESS Consortium Collective Program?

A HESS Community using Oracle Cloud as a Common & Affordable Enterprise Software Platform

The HESS Consortium Collective Program is a growing group of private, non-profit colleges and universities interested in 1.) moving to a common, modern and affordable cloud-native enterprise solution, 2.) moving to world-class, multi-institutional contracts for software and services, 3.) developing a shared archive to ease migration and implementation costs and 4.) create a network of HESS Consortium Collective Program schools to share both staff resources and expertise to lower operational overhead costs and increase efficiencies.

The HESS Collective Program currently consists of 98 colleges and universities either implementing or evaluating implementing the Oracle Cloud for Higher Education solution in a collaborative model of implementation, support and licensing with our partners, Drivestream.

The Collective Program’s common enterprise platform and partners – Oracle (for Oracle Cloud and Drivestream – were evaluated by 33 HESS member institutions over the course of 18 months as a strong, modern, cloud-native platform that is affordable (15-year pricing) for small to mid-sized private colleges and universities.

Program Overview Video (12 mins)

Watch our Collective Overview Video (12 mins)

Current Implementing and Implemented HESS Collective Institutions

Why Collaborate on Enterprise Systems and Services?

There are major changes on the national higher education landscape affecting U.S. private colleges and universities related to enrollment, demographics and cultural shifts.  Private higher education institutions are looking at flat or decreasing net revenues over the coming years.  Enterprise administrative systems are one of the largest expenses for private institutions, many times with legacy systems that are no longer providing modern functionality.  In working together as a group with a common solution provider, we find cost savings in our numbers. This is not only with our chosen common software provider, Oracle and with our implementation provider, Drivestream and many other 3rd party software solution providers.

With the changes ahead, seriously impacting our private institutions, hitting hardest in 2026 and years after, our private institutions are trying to find ways to collaborate with other institutions to save money and time as well as ease staff constraints in ERP & information technology operations.

After Drivestream’s comprehensive and affordable 3-years of initial implementation and support plan, the HESS Collective institutions will begin to pool our support hours together. As the Collective schools pool our support hours together in larger blocks with Drivestream post-implementation, we will find great economies of scale for many years to come.

HESS ASSIST is the primary space for peer discussions as well as general questions from our program members. This site is also the point system to find best practices notes and whitepapers related to functional areas including finance, HR, student aid and reporting… and soon to be the student information system.

The HESS Collective ASSIST Community

CONTACT US!  If you are interested in finding out more about the HESS Consortium Collective Program, please contact HESS Executive Director, Keith Fowlkes at

Lowest Short and Long-term Costs

The HESS Collective Program has the lowest implementation, support and long-term licensing costs in the nation with our partner, Drivestream. The Collective enjoys up to 15-year pricing terms with the lowest contract escalation rates available. Drivestream even gets you ready with pre- and post-implementation services.

Cohort Group Communities

You are never alone in implementation with our Collective implementation CIO, CFO and CHRO cohort groups collaborating on implementation configurations, business practices, process automation and future shared services. Sharing reports, workflows, integrations between our schools drives down long-term costs even more.

Online ASSIST Community

The online Collective ASSIST community gives implementing institutions as well as institutions planning to implement Oracle Cloud an online collaboration community with peers and with our partner companies, Oracle and Drivestream. Ask a question, and get an answer quickly!

Group Support Plan

The HESS Collective will be pooling support hours through Drivestream to drive down the annual cost of support. In working together for first-level and top-tier support, long-term costs of support and innovation will be driven lower and lower as new institutions come into the program.

“The thought of changing the enterprise system at the entire University level is an overwhelming concept in terms of both cost and institutional disruption.  The cohort-based model provided by Oracle through Drivestream and the HESS Consortium provides reassurances in each of these areas.  With the 10-year fixed price model, the anxiety of receiving the annual software increase letter is eliminated, and the fact that the implementation is occurring simultaneously with other institutions in the cohort provides instant access to support at all levels of the institution.  Despite the understandable workload that is in front of us with the remaining implementation, all departments remain extremely enthusiastic about this significant step-change and upgrade in our institutional infrastructure.”  

Mark Reed, Vice President for Finance & Administration – Moravian University

“Flagler College is excited to be a member of the HESS Collective Program. The benefits of a group of like-minded, similarly-organized institutions, working together to through a student information system replacement, cannot be overstated.  The ability to learn from each other, share expertise and adjust to the cloud environment may be the most valuable aspect of the Collective, which also includes world-class SAAS of Oracle Cloud and the strong and committed partner in Drivestream.”

Gwen Pechan, Chief Information Officer – Flagler College

“ERP, SIS and other major administrative system migrations may happen once every few decades, and can stretch small private colleges’ ability to execute on change of this magnitude. Working collaboratively and sharing knowledge with peers through the HESS Collective completely changes how we can approach and succeed at these projects.”

Kevin Davis

, Chief Information Officer

– Davidson College Technology & Innovation

Drivesteam CompleteCloud Program Now Available for 0% Project Financing

Program partner, Drivestream is now offering 0% interest financing plans for 5 and 10-year subscriptions for licensing, implementation and support of Oracle Cloud for our HESS Collective institutions. Now, small and mid-sized private colleges and universities have options to finance their migration to Oracle Cloud software and wrap in all of the associated costs in one program.

Solution and Partners Evaluated & Price, Terms & Conditions Negotiated
by 33 Private Colleges for Total Transparency

Chief information officers and technology leaders from a group of 33 HESS Consortium member institutions created an extensive HESS Collective Program RFI process and chose Oracle Cloud for Higher Education as its new, common cloud-native enterprise systems platform with partners, Oracle and Drivestream.  A negotiated contract with our exclusive implementation, support and licensing partner, Drivestream was created through the Coalition for College Cost Savings (the Coalition).  Under this contract vehicle, the initial 33 HESS Consortium Collective leadership and member institutions negotiated a pricing that is unmatched nationally.

RFIs, RFPs, and an extensive review of the vendor/system landscape, when approached by a single institution, are helpful in understanding what is possible and which software could best meet your needs.  However, these processes are expensive to conduct for the institution and its community.  

The HESS Consortium has taken a great deal of the burden out of your decision path. Having already validated the choice of Oracle Cloud, Oracle and Drivestream with a process engaging 33 of our private college members, your campus can move directly to validating the Oracle Cloud solution and how it can work for your institution. Your institution can immediately take advantage of our group negotiated pricing, contract terms and conditions, our standards methodology, and our collaborative cohort-based implementation options, providing a host of benefits beyond a single institution decision and implementation. You will find the value of this collaborative effort between other private institutions will be significant.

Tambellini Group positions Oracle Student as an Industry Leader

On August 8, 2023, the Tambellini Group released a new report entitled Tambellini StarChart™:  2023 Student Systems  – with Oracle Student placed the highest among student systems currently in development and generally available in the US market. 

The Tambellini Group is a leading higher education analyst firm whose StarCharts are “designed to help traditional higher education institutions, including private; not-for-profit; public, four-year; and public, two-year, visually navigate their current technology landscape through the lens of usability and innovation—which Tambellini research shows are the two biggest drivers of how institutions make technology investments.”    

Click here to read more about Oracle’s Tambellini StarChart™ placement.

Solution Platform Selection Criteria

After reviewing a number of the major cloud-native software solutions, the group made the choice to select Oracle Cloud for Higher Education based on

  1. Ability to partner with the HESS Collective Community in the program’s vision to create a support and resource network among participating HESS Consortium member institutions
  2. Modern product design and functionality in finance, human resources, financial aid and student information systems
  3. Reporting, analytics and tools available out of the box for the software products
  4. Ease-of-use of the functional area systems and documentation available from their customer community
  5. Implementation partner and their ability to scale with a large number of schools
  6. Initial and long-term affordability for the member institutions as well as best-in-class terms and conditions for software and services
  7. Ability to allow member schools to share resources including reports, workflows, integrations and automations
  8. Ability to engage with partners and members to train, promote and enable the HESS Collective user community to be productive between peer institutions as a first line of support
  9. Stability of the companies involved and their vision for the ongoing funding, product development, product support and operation of their companies

Steps to joining the HESS Collective Program

STEP 1: Join the HESS Consortium

Your institution must be a member of the HESS Consortium in good standing to be a part of the HESS Collective Program.

STEP 2: Register your school to participate

To access our program information and exclusive pricing for Oracle Cloud software and implementation services, click the button below to register as a participant in the HESS Collective Program. HESS will then contact you to schedule a introductory session with program pricing, contract details and product information.

*Please note that there is no buying commitment to your member  institution by joining the Collective Program. Your institution is simply joining to explore the information, pricing and possible future move to Oracle Cloud with our group of HESS member institutions.

STEP 3: Contact us to get a cost estimate and contract terms and conditions for software and implementation.

Email Keith Fowlkes at to move to the next step and do a pricing estimate session for Oracle Cloud software licensing as well as implementation/support pricing through Drivestream. See below for information needed for your pricing session with HESS.

STEP 4: After this, when you are ready, you can schedule a Cloud Transformation Assessment (CTA) with implementation partner, Drivestream.

See the information below to learn more about the no-cost Cloud Transformation Assessment (CTA) session and how it can help your campus understand the implementation, configuration and engagement and what is expected of your campus community during an implementation.

STEP 5: Let HESS know when you are ready to move forward and engage in the Program

After your campus is satisfied with the conversations, pricing and planning with all of our partners – Oracle and Drivestream – let HESS know you are ready to move forward.  We will bring all the parts into place to start your licensing and implementation through the contract.

STEP 6: Join a HESS Collective Cohort Group & Start Implementation!

We will put you into an implementation cohort group (optional) to help your institution connect with other HESS institutions moving into the Oracle Cloud product. Joining a cohort group will help your campus learn from others going through implementation, share and solve challenges and work with our partners to resolve issues…. together.

Still have questions?  Contact Keith Fowlkes, Executive Director of the HESS Consortium at today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What guarantee do we have in pricing?

Our partners, Oracle and Drivestream, have given us a 15-year pricing path that includes a very affordable 15-year pricing and escalation plan for both Oracle Cloud software licensing (FULL CATALOG) as well as Drivestream implementation and a 3-year total implementation and support subscription.

Do I need to do an RFP?

NO, all program details and pricing are fully transparent and RFP and RFI processes were carried out by our initial 33 Collective institutions in HESS. We do have assessment partners that can help you assess your current campus’ capacity and capabilities and help you through what you need to know to get started. We encourage you to join then explore the program details and pricing FIRST before spending time and money on a full RFP process. All pricing is confidential between our members and HESS. Consultants are not allowed to review our pricing given it’s exclusivity to our members.

Why do you use only one implementation provider?

The HESS Consortium Collective uses Drivestream as our single implementation provider. The reason is simple. Our institutions wish to have a common “collaborative model” for our implementations. This not only allows our institutions to share the best operational models and practices between our institutions but enables all of our institutions to have a common database schema required to share reports, workflows, integrations and automation saving hundreds of thousand of dollars per year in operational costs. Over the coming 15 years, our institutions will find savings in working together in a common environment while still having the flexibility in configurations and processes unique to your institution. Having one, world-class implementation provider like Drivestream help us coordinate this “collaborative model” makes all this possible.

Does Drivestream have the capacity to scale with the expected number of Collective implementations?

YES, Drivestream was chosen because of their efficient implementation methodology as well as their massive ability to quickly scale. Drivestream seems to be a mid-sized company on first review but they have a global partner in Wipro, one of the world’s largest Oracle Cloud consulting, implementation and support companies. Drivestream has the ability to scale with far greater capacity than nearly any other Oracle services partner in the U.S.

Is there a support plan after the initial three years of implementation support?

Yes, we are working on a pooled support hour plan with our partner, Drivestream as our provider. Pooling support hour costs between our schools pushes per hour support costs down greatly and will benefit our schools greatly over the coming years. Also, first line support will be available from our peer privage institutions through the HESS Collective ASSIST site for shared resources and expertise.

We hear that the Oracle Cloud Student Management software isn’t ready. Why did you choose Oracle Cloud?

Our initial 33 member institutions did a thorough evaluation and demos of the cloud-native companies, their architectures and development progress of their individual student information systems and felt that Oracle had a more stable development methodology and were more open about the practical readiness of their software. Our Collective members have quarterly meetings with Oracle’s student management product development teams and Oracle has consistently kept their target date for early release at Q4 2023. While all of our members are implementing ERP, HCM and other products first, our institutions feel strongly confident that Oracle is on-track and will be on target for our early schools in Q4 2023.

What contracts are involved in the Collective Program?

All formal contracts are between your institution and our partners. Software licensing for Oracle products is through Drivestream as is our implementation/support agreement is through our strategic private institution partners, the Coalition for College Cost Savings. There is a 3% rebate for institutions who sign into the program in 2023 and a 2% rebate for schools signing in 2024 for implementation services only.

What do I have to buy to be part of the Collective?

Being a part of the Collective Program is free and there is no commitment to buy in registering for the program (see below for registration form). When you are ready to purchase, you are required (at minimum) to purchase and implement the ERP (financials) and the HCM (human resources) products. All other components are optional: enterprise performance management (EPM), student financial planning (SFP), student management cloud (SMC) and customer experience CRM (CX)… among other software in the catalog. The full catalog of Oracle Cloud products are available through our program.

How do we join?

It’s easy to join but you must be a HESS Consortium member before joining the program. See how to join here!

What is a Cloud Transformation Assessment (CTA)?

The first step to introduce your campus to the HESS Collective Implementation Process with partners, Drivestream.

The Drivestream Cloud Transformation Assessment (CTA) is a highly interactive, informative, and structured workshop that will help HESS member institutions to clarify their strategy, identify business value, and lay out a roadmap for migrating to Oracle Cloud applications. It will help members to determine their overall readiness for migrating to the Oracle cloud.

CTA is one of Drivestream’s Strategy & Advisory service offering with costs that range from $50K to $100K depending on size and complexity of the institution. However, as a special promotion for HESS Consortium members this is being offered at NO COST.

Completing a CTA Workshop is the first step towards a holistic cloud transformation. After completing the workshop, Drivestream will provide a report that:

 (scroll down to see news releases)

What will you need for your HESS Collective Program Pricing Estimate Session?

Once you have registered as part of the HESS Collective Program and signed the non-discloser agreement (NDA), your institution will be able to go through a detailed pricing estimate session with HESS. This session will go through licensing and implementation costs that have been negotiated on behalf of the HESS institutions. The session will help your institution assess whether the costs of the program will be feasible for your institution. The following information will be necessary for you to do a pricing session.


  • How many people at your institution get W-2 (including students)?
  • How many people are in your HR department (including payroll)?
  • How many people are involved with submitting, managing and approving departmental budgets?
  • How do you keep up with health and safety incidents for federal reporting?
  • Do you currently have an employee portal solution?  (benefits, W-2s, etc.)
  • Do you currently use an online recruiting service/portal solution?
  • How many hourly employees do you have now (including students)?


  • How many people work in the system now in your business office?
  • How many people at your institution do online purchase requisitions, approve orders and other departmental procurement activities?
  • How many people in your organization will need to enter budget requests, manage budgets, approve budgets outside your business office? Department heads, deans, etc.
  • How many executive-level people in your institution will need access to online dashboards and other online reports?
  • Do you have a full-time procurement person(s)?  If so, how many?


  • What is your student headcount (IPEDS)?
    How many students are on financial aid at your institution?
  • Do you have a third party student success software solution?
  • What are you using for admissions and advancement CRM solutions?


One of the most important aspects of the HESS Consortium Collective Program is collaboration between our private, non-profit institutions and our business partners. With our Collective program partners Oracle and Drivestream, participating institutions will be working together to develop integration resources and implementation templates for Oracle CRM products that need customization for use in our institutions. 

Building integrations with other campus systems

ALL integrations built by Drivestream for HESS Collective members during implementations will be shared at no cost to all other implementing members. This cuts thousands of dollars and months of time from the process of integrating other systems at your institution with the Oracle Cloud software platform.

Building CRM for Private Colleges and Universities

Institutions will be working together with Drivestream on building customized installation and operational templates for the Oracle CX CRM and Eloqua marketing software for advancement, institutional marketing and admissions. The Oracle CX and Eloqua software is included in our negotiated pricing and Drivestream will be offering these templates at very low pricing to institutions partnering to build the new framework for our private, non-profit colleges and universities.

CONTACT US: If you are interested in finding out more about the HESS Consortium Collective Program, please contact HESS Executive Director, Keith Fowlkes at