Effecting real change: it starts with your SRS

Effecting real change: it starts with your SRS

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 20 years working with Student Record Systems is that people want peace of mind. Their questions when considering a new implementation invariably follow this pattern:

  • Will it meet our needs?
  • How difficult will it be?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?

Not only have I heard these concerns voiced by customers, I’ve asked them myself during my time in house running an SRS programme for a university.

The answers that everybody wants to hear are: yes; not very; not much; not long. In reality, I know a lot of stakeholders in HE might not trust those answers, having undergone complex, expensive or time-consuming SRS implementations. But nobody enters into a project thinking those things will happen.

What this means is that there’s a bigger question, behind the other questions. How do you take the uncertainty out of the process, and make it faster, less expensive, and more agile? The challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic have put an even brighter spotlight on the need for efficient, effective processes and systems, and I know from talking to customers since joining Ellucian that there’s a real desire for change, a new momentum in the sector to make decisions and get things done. We’ve all learnt a new way of working and it’s bringing benefits.

In order to effect real change in Higher Education, it’s important to adapt, and that means understanding the customer. Ellucian is well placed to do that: we only operate in HE, so we speak a common language. We don’t have pressure on our resource from other sectors, our developers don’t switch between commercial, finance and High Education. The day-to-day requirements of a UK institution are second nature to us. But the more we speak to customers, the clearer it is that we also need to evolve and bring new solutions to market, new ways of working and clearer justifications for projects and spend. We do this with you.

We recognise the different approach required for different UK universities, we recognise that non-Russell group universities traditionally are wanting a faster time to value. If you’re in the middle ground of the marketplace, you likely want something less tailored, more ‘off the shelf.’ A fast and agile solution that allows you to focus on what it’s good at: student success, graduate-level employability and overall excellent customer service.

Sure, you may want to sprinkle the occasional added feature or extra functionality, but the core specification doesn’t change widely from institution to institution. So that’s the starting point. The essentials, done well. That provides a solid foundation for the implementation strategy, which simplifies the process from Day One.

That, in turn, allows a much more rapid timetable for implementation. Nobody wants the uncertainty of starting an SRS implementation, without the reassurance of an end date in the near future. The biggest change we can offer is to combine speed and direction: a clear goal, within a clear timeframe.

That’s why we’ve launched a new method of SRS implementation, designed specifically for the UK Higher Education community. It’s a cloud-first, best-in-class solution that is based on well-known and well regarded UCISA framework, details can be found here.

Backed by Ellucian’s experience in Higher Education technology, it means you can be live on current technology in just 12 months.

Compared to the lengthy project plans the region is accustomed to, this is a major shift, but one that comes from aligning the core functionality to a purposeful onboarding process. Because we’ve done the homework about the key capabilities you should align to and mapped them into our solution, the only question is to decide where room for flex is needed. We’ll listen to what’s important to you as an institution, and accommodate your specific business goals into the SRS — but the essential building blocks are already in place.

This process saves a lot of time. We can demonstrate the benefits — and the cost — of the project, and fast-track implementation without you needing to collate requirements. Because, ultimately, what you need is a solid strategy, a familiar framework, and a functional baseline system without any hidden information or service costs.

By adopting this process, together we can:

  • Focus on capabilities and outputs.
  • Reduce the complexity of a typical SRS project.
  • Reduce the cost of deploying an SRS project.
  • Substantially speed up the deployment of the solution and thereby establish a quicker time to value for the customer.
Meet the authors
Andy Garner
Andy Garner
Account Executive

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