Migrating to the Cloud? Instructure’s Melissa Loble Wants to Get to Know You First 

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

By John McCormack, Writer, NET+ Program 

Cloud Superhero Spotlight

Editor’s Note: This profile continues our series of interviews spotlighting the wonderful contributions that research and higher ed community members make to the NET+ Program.

Be on the lookout for additional interviews, and email Apryl Motley if there’s a Cloud Superhero you would like us to spotlight in the future. We’re grateful for all our community members and appreciate all they do to move our work forward.

— Sean O’Brien, Associate Vice President, NET+, Internet2

Melissa Loble spends quite a bit of time thinking about customer service. Specifically, she’s pondering how she can create the best experiences for her research and higher ed customers.

“As the chief customer experience officer at Instructure, I am responsible for every touchpoint that a customer has with us,” Loble said. So, support services, product documentation, community and services organizations – all of it.  And, then I’m also a conveyor of customer feedback back into our organization.”

The best way to serve these customers is to truly know them, according to Loble. Fortunately, the Internet2 NET+ Program makes it possible for Loble to understand the challenges that her research and higher ed clients face on a day-to-day basis.

“For many years, we’ve had a very strong NET+ service advisory board where we meet monthly with a core team of about 10 of our customers, and they give us feedback. We bring strategy questions to them. We pilot and beta test products. We have a really close relationship and quite a few changes, decisions, and innovations have come out of conversations that we’ve had with that advisory board,” Loble noted.

Finding Their Way to the Cloud

While these meetings give Loble added insight to do her job, they also help research and higher ed organizations better navigate the technology world.

Melissa Loble smiling for a photo.

Fun Facts about Melissa

Number of Years in Current Role:
5 years (9.5 years at Instructure)

What You Like Most About Your Job:
I love working with our customers. We bring software that’s making a difference in education, and that is ultimately making the lives of teachers and students easier, so they can focus on the learning and not the technology necessarily.

Favorite Song or Book:
Fever by Peggy Lee

Best Advice About the Cloud Ever Received (& from whom):
It is less about the cloud and more about the fact that the cloud creates assumptions of uptime that we’ve never had, especially in education. And, we have to be ready for that. (Steve Townsend, SVP of engineering at Instructure)

The NET+ service advisory board  acts as a “a neutral party and brings reliable information to customers. And so things like the Internet2 Cloud Scorecard and the Institutional Profiles give Internet2 members a place where they can learn and make good technology decisions without being influenced by aggressive sales processes,” Loble said, “so we feel like customers can make the right choice for themselves as opposed to being influenced by things that may not end up impacting them.”

For example, Loble hopes that through their interaction with NET+, research and higher ed leaders will realize that there are many advantages to leveraging cloud-native technology solutions, such as those offered by Instructure.

“Being born in the cloud means that the technology was structured in such a way that it could be optimized for scale much quicker,” Loble said. In addition, with native cloud technology, users do not have to worry about which software version they are using as they will always be on the latest iteration.

Perhaps most importantly, though, vendors and higher ed organizations need to put their proverbial heads together to fully leverage the cloud and other technologies in the future.

“Overall it’s important to have both institutional and vendor voices because it’s only together that we will be able to solve the major problems facing us,” Loble observed. “If one tries to solve problems in a silo, we’re never going to be able to move innovation in research and education forward.”