I’m listening … Learning more about the information management needs in higher education

I have an enviable job. For the next 100 days, my first priority is to listen to the voices of our current and prospective customers. I’m listening in on phone calls, watching video testimonials, reading case studies  and attending sessions that Hyland customers are presenting at conferences. And I’m hearing a lot.

Let’s start with the bad. In prospect calls, I’m learning that, on average, students are showing up with three transcripts that need to be evaluated and reconciled.  I’m hearing that institutions continue to struggle just to keep up with the volume. Many are experiencing their longest turnaround times ever for transcript evaluation. In fact, just this week I heard one institution say they’ve hit a four-week turnaround. Another institution shared they’re at an eight-week turnaround.

But, here’s the one thing I heard that really scares me: On separate occasions multiple institutions admitted that their school’s course articulation database is “stored” in the head of one person.

One person!?

Someone please hand me the bubble wrap, because whoever that one person is needs to start walking around wearing that – or a suit of armor.

I’m risk averse – I admit it.  But these conversations lately leave me downright squeamish about the amount of risk institutions are assuming, what, with one person keeping course equivalencies in his or her head and transcript evaluations taking longer and longer. Meanwhile, students wait. They wait to learn if they’ve been accepted to an institution. They wait to find out what credits transferred. They wait to register for classes.  That’s a lot of waiting.

Okay, time for some good news.  I’m hearing about the ways OnBase is helping our customers. OnBase customers are telling me how they’ve eliminated risk and reduced their turnaround times for transcript equivalencies by implementing our Transfer Course Evaluation.

Some processing times have shrunk to just three business days! I’m hearing that institutions are using fast transcript evaluation as a recruiting tool for the applicant pool.  I love that idea. (Full disclosure here: I’m the parent of a high school senior who has leveraged Ohio’s PSEOP program. He’ll go off to college this fall having taken courses at Kent State University for dual credit this past year. He’ll arrive with a transcript that needs to be evaluated and I’d like to know before he chooses a school what credits will transfer.)

One institution is crediting OnBase for helping them meet the aggressive  goal of expanding their out-of-state student population by 40 percent. Another institution is able to easily change their OnBase workflows to roll out a smart process around Curriculum Management.

And, by the way, these stories are coming from customers who use Colleague and Banner and PeopleSoft as their ERPs. It’s great to know they’re extending the value of their ERP.

Oh, I like what I am hearing. You can hear it, too. If we didn’t cross paths at Ellucian Live, I’ll be at AACRAO where our clients are presenting. Email me at Laurel.Stiller@hyland.com for details. It’s worth a listen.

Laurel Stiller

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more than 20 years of experience working to map proven solutions to higher education challenges, Laurel implemented ERP solutions at Dickinson College and University of Oregon Foundation before joining the sales and marketing team at Datatel, now Ellucian, Inc. Laurel offers a deep understanding of higher education, dedication to transparency and a fondness for candid conversations about the solutions Hyland develops and delivers to the market. You may reach her at Laurel.Stiller at onbase.com.

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