SOURCE: UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software

June 04, 2013 11:31 ET

Six Best Practices in Selecting a Higher Education Software Solution

VICTORIA, BC and MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - Jun 4, 2013) - Graduation season accentuates the need for an accurate, real time view of a higher education institution's data, according to UNIT4 Business Software, the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, the global enterprise software provider for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC)™. Among the needs:

  • Reports monitoring student outcomes, financial obligations, transcript requests and more are required reading for administration and faculty.
  • Recruitment and retention data on new and returning students is necessary for the admissions and business offices, as well as the registrar and others.
  • Research spending and progress must be captured and shared with appropriate funding organizations.
  • Donor information on newly minted graduates must be compiled by the alumni office for annual and capital campaigns.

To help institutions navigate this complex, dynamic reporting environment, UNIT4 Business Software today shared best practices in selecting an integrated, agile, higher education software solution to support an institution's plan for growth and student success.

According to Rob Sparks, vice president, Product Management & Strategy, UNIT4 Education and Research, UNIT4, "A sea change is underway in higher education, with an increasing need for transparency in reporting, coupled with changing education models and more consumer-focused students of all ages.

"Even graduation season, which primarily occurs from May to June in North America, is evolving, as students now take classes to complete required credits faster than in a typical semester format. What this all means: Education institutions need the right business processes and academic and research management software solutions to navigate the changing landscape in the coming years."

Following are six best practices based on UNIT4 Business Software's years of experience in the transforming higher education market:

  • Choose a supplier who understands your business. Customers, such as Royal Roads University, tell us it is not just about the solution itself; the decision extends to selecting a partner who understands the business and genuinely is interested in addressing your challenges over the long-term.

  • Embrace change.  A solution that allows your team to make changes as you need them -- without hiring costly consultants -- will provide a lower cost of ownership and enable greater efficiency now and in the future. According to an Augsburg College spokesperson when selecting its ERP solution, "It was not about meeting the needs we see today; it was about meeting the needs we don't even know about yet."

  • Prioritize user-friendliness. University IT departments prefer solutions that allow them to save time in training and education. This allows them to work on higher value activities that support the organization.

  • Ensure flexibility in reporting. There often is a wide diversity in users, with some generating reports once a week or twice a month, to those who need them on an ad hoc basis. A flexible system that allows for a wide variety of output reports and consolidated reports will be more versatile for your organization in the long run.

  • Investigate integration with campus ecosystem. Many solution providers claim their products are integrated, but to what level? Drill down into specifics of what integration means across systems, as 100 percent integration can truly save your organization time and money in the long run. Everything from travel expense turnaround times to student admissions communications can be improved significantly with deep, open integration.

  • Evaluate cloud computing. The definition of cloud computing varies among vendors, and you want to make sure your selection of a public, private or combination of both public and private cloud is right for you. Additionally, select a vendor whose cloud solution empowers you to move whatever application you want, wherever you want -- on-premise or cloud -- as many times as you want. Your world is changing; shouldn't your software support that change, too?

About UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software is the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, a $624 million global business software and services company that creates, provides and supports software for Businesses Living IN Change -- delivered via the cloud or on-premise. It offers solutions that help these fast-changing public, private, non-profit and higher education 'BLINC' organizations embrace business change -- simply, quickly and cost-effectively. UNIT4 Agresso, the company's flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite and UNIT4 Coda Financials, its best-of-class financial management software, are used by 6000+ organizations in more than 100 countries. For more information visit our website or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and our company blog.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:

    Margaret Bonilla
    Birnbach Communications
    Phone: (603) 548-0693
    Email: Email Contact
    Twitter: @Marg_Bonilla