Over the past few months, we’ve been eagerly getting acquainted with our Veracross siblings across the sea. When we heard about a trip to Australia for Jessica Wallis—Senior Vice President of Product Management at Veracross—we thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce her to our clients, too!

Having spent her entire career in EdTech and the last 17 years leading product management in EdTech companies, Jessica is no stranger to the nuances of our industry. She started her career right out of university as one of the first employees with Diamond Mind. Here, Jessica was able to help build a leading provider of payments for K-12 private schools in the USA. Eventually becoming Diamond Mind’s Head of Product, Jessica worked directly with Community Brands on adding product management processes, helping them to decide which products would have the most business impact. 

Following Diamond Mind, Jessica went on to even more mission-driven work for Hobsons' Naviance, where she helped students connect academic achievement to long-term goals, including college applications or entering the workforce. Armed with over a decade of experience and the wisdom that comes with it, Jessica decided to reach for the industry leader, securing a position at Veracross, where she is now the Senior Vice President of Product Management

Here, we sit down with Jessica for a Q&A to learn about life at Veracross, service, security and a chihuahua named Vada! 

Jessica Wallis

What do you love most about working with Veracross?

Veracross is unlike any of the companies that I’ve worked with before because of our core values of humility, excellence, inclusion, and service. Over the past five years, I’ve not only seen how our teams live and breathe these values but how these values come to life in the product that we build.

Tell us a bit about Veracross entering the Australian market. 

Veracross was built to meet the needs of schools no matter their location across the globe. It’s been wonderful to see how much Veracross’s existing foundation can benefit Australia. In speaking with schools in Australia, I’ve been really surprised by the extent they are underserved by their technology. I joked to one Australian school that it felt like their IT office had as much operational overhead as the US government just to get access to their school’s own data! 

That’s what really excites me about how Veracross can help. Our goal is to unify school communities around the world with best-in-class information systems that support the quality of education. I think Veracross is uniquely positioned to help schools in Australia achieve their mission. As the only SIS that's completely cloud-native, we offer schools a single solution with just one record for every person.

We hear you have a trip to Oz coming up?! 

I most certainly do! Thanks to Zoom, I already feel like I know the Veracross staff in Australia, as well as lots of people on the Digistorm team! But nothing can quite replace being in the same room, hence I’ll be over this month! 

I can’t wait to spend more time with Chris Pantlin in Melbourne, who is an Account Executive for Veracross. Chris was the first Veracross employee in Australia, and given his background, both working in schools and in the Australian EdTech space, I’m looking forward to more collaboration with Chris, but in person!!.. I’ve also got the ASBA conference on my agenda, giving me the chance to meet with school Business Managers and answer any questions they have about the future of SIS platforms in Australia. 

What kind of product features and enhancements will Veracross offer Australian schools? 

What makes me really excited about serving the needs of Australian schools is how energised the Product teams at Veracross are to learn about and develop features specifically for this region. We’ve been localising the language in our product in a really innovative way and we’ve added support for payment acceptance local to Australia. In academics, we’ve built a new markbook and we’re adding really nice features to make Australian Government reporting a breeze. 

This is all in addition to Veracross’s existing functionality, which we’ve learned will really benefit Australia compared to what’s available now. That includes features like our robust querying capability that allows schools to access and act upon their data in super powerful ways, as well as some of our key accounting features for budgeting and purchasing. This all builds on the strong offering we have for fee management. 

Tell us about data and security when it comes to Veracross’s operations in Australia?

Data security is our number one company priority, and we’re proud to provide industry leading standards to our customers around the globe, with 99.9% uptime supported 24/7/365. 

We know how important this is to Australia; that’s why Veracross’s Australian data is stored in Australia. Our Sydney data centre went live in July!   

What integrations does Veracross have in store for Australia? 

Veracross has hundreds of integrated partners using our open API, including many used by Australian schools, such as Canvas, Microsoft, Google and Wonde. In addition to this, we’ve already added integrations just for the Australian market, like Digistorm, Pixevety, Schoolbox, Reach, Orah, and Clipboard. 

These partners are all working with Veracross to enhance their integrations, to ensure we provide an even better experience to our shared customers. We’re also investing in further integrations, such as Alii and LISS, to make sure across campus Veracross provides an integration off the shelf.

What kind of service and support can we expect from Veracross here in Oz?

Our customers tell us that one of the things they value most about working with us is that we always put people first. I’m excited to see us bring this service value to Australia, as we know it's as important for you as it is for us. We’ve hired in-country implementation and support staff to bring our industry-leading support and services to Australia, meaning we can provide support during Australian business hours. 

We’ve also hired an in-country sales team. By the end of September, our Veracross Australia team will be eight people strong, backed by our global network of Veracross experts to ensure we’re providing in-depth and wide-reaching support. 

Ok we've had a lot of business chat. Now tell us about Jessica Wallis outside of Veracross.

When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my chihuahua, Vada, and travelling overseas. My favourite trips were to India, followed by a more recent trip to Korea. I also lead a Girl Scout troop, which I find very rewarding as a lifelong Girl Scout myself. I’ve mentored some of my current year seven girls since they were in Kindergarten. 


Intrigued by all things Veracross? Book a demo with their team to find out more.


Meet Jessica
Keen to meet Jessica at ASBA2023 and have your SIS questions answered? Use the button below to pre-book a time that suits you.
Published 12 September 2023