Wise up with Wisegate Insights: Scott LeSueur, Global Director of Education and Academic Medical Centers

Feb 08, 2016
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ScottLeSeur“Higher education can get stuck in recycling old ideas. These professionals come to Wisegate to hear perspectives from both inside and outside the industry so they can get fresh perspectives.”

In this “Wise Up with Wisegate Insights” series, we learn more about Scott LeSueur, Wisegate’s global director of education and academic medical centers, and what higher ed members are really looking for when collaborating on IT issues.

Can you tell us about your background and how your journey led you to Wisegate?

I started my career at an IT research and advisory services firm. I originally served at Burton Group for about 11 years where we focused on practical IT infrastructure and architecture research.

I had the opportunity to launch Burton Group’s higher education practice and it became their biggest vertical in regards to the number of clients that Burton Group had.

About six years ago, Gartner acquired Burton Group, and I worked in the higher education practice at Gartner until joining Wisegate. I am now at Wisegate, overseeing the higher education members and services because I have seen first-hand their need to fill the IT knowledge gap that comes from working at siloed IT groups in universities.

Many of my experiences working at Gartner and Burton Group all started with the same question: “What are you hearing that my peers are doing to solve this specific problem or challenge?” This is a question that Wisegate is best suited to answer, and I’m glad I can help higher ed members get exactly the information they need, right when they need it.

Why is Wisegate a good fit for higher education professionals? What Wisegate services are you most excited to share with prospects? 

Many higher ed IT professionals need an outlet for different perspectives and ideas outside of their industry. Typically, higher ed professionals only share insights and learn from others in the same industry. What this means is that the same ideas are recycled around and the industry is suffering from a lack of new, innovative solutions. Wisegate conquers this issue with the multi-industry platform. Wisegate enables professionals across different industries to bring fresh ideas into the mix that weren’t accessible before. It extends the reach of senior IT leaders to get qualified information that can be applied and customized to their issues.

Higher education is often understaffed and underfunded, but higher ed IT professionals still need specific advice and guidance to make informed decisions. Most of the higher ed tech leaders that I speak with are trying to find ways to retain and recruit top talent, but struggle because they are underfunded. Wisegate plays a large role in becoming an outlet to provide the extensive expertise without having to hire expensive consultants.

During my days at Burton Group and Gartner, I was accustomed to quoting clients exorbitant rates for traditional IT research and advisory services. The economical cost of Wisegate’s membership is something I love to share with future members simply because it is substantially less than traditional services, and even more valuable. The great thing about Wisegate is that tech professionals can receive vendor-neutral insight, and more practical, vetted, qualified information much more quickly and for a fraction of the cost.

Can you give us an example or show us how Wisegate goes above and beyond working with higher education members?

Our company’s motto is to do whatever it takes to get our members’ questions answered. In a recent poll submitted by a higher ed Wisegate member, we were tasked with getting different perspectives on replacing an ERP core system. The member wanted to know the order of cloud ERP modules that others would roll out if they were doing it for the first time or doing it all over again.

In addition to collecting Wisegate member insight regarding replacing ERP core systems, we decided to extend the question to several qualified IT leaders outside of Wisegate. In doing so, we pinpointed vetted experts and responses, and we provided the member with accurate benchmarks regarding the order of ERP modules. He was very appreciative and was able to apply the information he collected at Wisegate as he evaluated replacing the university’s core systems.

What is it like to work with the Wisegate team?

Wisegate is an amazing group of people to work with. Everything that we do is cognizant of the customer experience, and we truly live by that priority.

One of the coolest parts of the Wisegate service is that we are agile enough to quickly enhance our user experience based on real-time feedback. Our product development team is always working to improve the matching algorithm to get members’ questions answered more quickly. Wisegate works in two-week development cycles so there is always something new that enriches the user experience.

Also, Wisegate’s editorial team is outstanding. They publish several different types of content that align with how members want to consume content (another example of how our members drive everything we do). It’s important for us to know the best way that members want to receive their information. Wisegate recently launched the Monthly Wisegate Magazine, which members love because it encapsulates insights shared within Wisegate over the previous months. This research report is huge in giving IT professionals insight into trends that their peers are experiencing.

We all do everything we can to support the customer.

Can you share one of your most fun memories while working at Wisegate?

Every Thanksgiving, Sara Gates (co-founder and CEO of Wisegate) hosts a virtual company meeting where each employee shares one professional and one personal thing that we are thankful for. It’s a really great opportunity for us to connect and see what everyone appreciates and values.