The power of teamwork

The power of partnerships

Key takeaways

  • Ellucian believes in seeking a holistic understanding of each institution and its needs
  • Customer Success Managers (CSMs) provide tailored insight and assistance to enable effective strategic planning
  • Howard Community College has forged a valuable partnership with Ellucian through its CSM

Ellucian is passionate about higher education—it’s a part of our DNA and has been from the beginning. It’s all we do, and we breathe it day in and day out. We have a singular goal, and it aligns with our customers’: to make sure each institution thrives so that it can help every student obtain a solid and successful education.

To help make that happen, Ellucian believes in seeking a holistic understanding of each institution and its needs, and that means building a more enriching and rewarding customer experience, one that is built on trust and a shared belief in the transformative power of higher education.

An integral part of the equation is the collaborative relationship between institutions and Ellucian Customer Success Managers (CSM). CSMs are tied directly to specific accounts, providing the necessary resources and communications so that the institution can get the most out if its technology. CSMs become intimately familiar with the institution’s goals and priorities, while providing valuable insight and assistance.

One institution that relies on Ellucian CSMs to keep its campus technology running in top form is Howard Community College (HCC), located in Columbia, Maryland. HCC offers associate degree and certificate programs, in addition to workforce development and continuing education courses. The institution leans on its technology solutions to ensure student success and to help the college operate more efficiently. “We are very innovative and fast moving,” says Linda Wu, director of administrative information systems at HCC. “We like to keep moving forward, so having an Ellucian CSM who understands and keeps track of our solutions has been wonderful. That really makes a difference."

A relationship built on trust

Higher ed is facing changes on many fronts—from budget shortfalls and rapidly advancing technology to changing student demographics and decreased engagement. To meet these challenges and re-shape higher education, technology must play a central role. And Ellucian’s Customer Success Managers are key to making sure an institution’s technology strategy not only hums along smoothly, but also aligns with the institution’s goals. “One of the things that I really value about the relationship with our CSM is that he will bring things to my attention that maybe I didn't know about, or he'll put things in place that I didn't even realize was a possibility,” says Wu. “We've built a really good partnership, and even more so I feel like he's attuned to what we're doing.”

As HCC has been implementing new cloud technology, that relationship with the CSM has helped make the transition smooth. Wu notes that her institution’s CSM was instrumental during the college’s move to the cloud. “I feel like the partnership with our CSM has been beneficial because he can take the feedback that I've given him in our meetings and work with his teammates to incorporate it into Ellucian’s solutions,” she says. “To work with someone who knows my account, what's going on, our strategy, the ups and downs—that’s been a tremendous support for our institution and part of our success.”

A strategic way of thinking

Wu views the relationship between HCC and the CSM as important to the success of current and future projects. “When building our technology strategic plan, knowing where we want to be at the end of our current implementation or five years down the road, I have found the CSM valuable during the process,” she says.

Howard has also recently initiated a new technology implementation and Wu is confident that the CSM will be an invaluable asset for today’s projects—and for the future. “Our CSM has been very strategic, not only with what we do today, but what we're thinking about doing tomorrow,” she says. “That's important. It's not just thinking about the partnership today, but also moving forward and thinking about next steps.”

Communication leads to success

At Ellucian, communication is paramount—it’s the cornerstone of the company’s success. Ellucian’s customers want assurance that we are as deeply committed to higher education as they are—and they want to know that we are truly listening to them and their concerns, not just looking for an opportunity to sell more products.

Wu notes that open communication has been crucial for the successful partnership between HCC and Ellucian, and the collaboration with their CSM, in particular, has been an important part of the puzzle. “You have to be very open about where you want to be, willing to talk about what is difficult for or what roadblocks your institution is facing,” she says. “That helps the CSM to see if he or she can help build a bridge over that.”

We’ve learned some valuable lessons from our customers. We’ve been listening, and we will continue to do so. But in the end, we are humbled and proud that so many world-class institutions like Howard Community College have chosen Ellucian as their technology partner.

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