Presented by

  • Benito Gonzalez

    Benito Gonzalez

    Benito Gonzalez is a Software Architect, with 30 years of professional experience. Benito has been at Unicon since 2015. Mr. Gonzalez has knowledge and experience in enterprise software development, especially around higher education. Supported clients range from community colleges up to major universities. He has experience with end-to-end management of institution web services. Mr. Gonzalez's uPortal work supports a variety of higher-ed institutions, from community colleges to major universities such as University of California, Riverside, and Texas A&M. Work ranges widely as well. Some efforts are simple maintenance and small enhancements. Other client projects have included complete major upgrades and redesigns. With web development evolving quickly, Benito has become adept with the latest standards like Web Components. He is also a regular presenter at Apereo Foundation events. Mr. Gonzalez is also a member of the uPortal Steering Committee and the chair of the Apereo Incubation Work Group. Benito has branched out into Ed-Tech evaluations and technical due-diligence reviews, along with developing various technology rubrics to evaluation software systems.

  • Laura Fernandez Moran

    Laura Fernandez Moran

    Laura is a Strategic Project Manager and Software Developer at Unicon. She specializes in strategic initiatives and joined the company in 2022. With over 15 years of experience in software development and academic administration in higher education, Laura has worked in various domains such as marketing technology, teaching and learning, student information systems, and identity management. Prior to joining Unicon, she held the position of Manager of Student Systems at Rice University. In this role, Laura was responsible for overseeing student administrative software and technical processes for multiple offices, including the Registrar, Cashier, Financial Aid, Admissions, and Academic Advising. Since 2008, Laura has been actively involved with the Apereo Foundation, contributing in various capacities as an advocate of Open Source Software and Communities. She has served on the Board of Directors, acted as Chair of the Conference Planning Committee, participated in the uPortal Steering Committee, and contributed to the Incubation Working Group. Her dedication and contributions to the foundation led to her receiving the Apereo Fellows Award in 2012.


In this session, we will explore the impact of open standards and their absence on interoperability and vendor lock-in within higher education. When there is a lack of standards, vendors and open source projects must develop custom integrations for different systems. However, without these standards, these integrations may break whenever a connected system undergoes an upgrade. Standards allow for innovation. A prime example is LTI, which originated from open source and has facilitated seamless integrations with Learning Management Systems (LMS). Additionally, we will discuss some of the standard bodies that govern widely adopted standards in the field.