Choose a technology partner that listens
Improve efficiencies and support students with IT services
- A technology partner should listen and learn about the unique needs of each customer, then tailor its approach accordingly
- For small institutions with small IT teams, managed services can be the answer to directing resources toward the core mission
- Managed technology services let staff members focus on student support
What the University of Arkansas System eVersity looks for in a technology partner.
Michael K. Moore, Chief Academic and Operating Officer, University of Arkansas System eVersity
So, we took a hard look at “What is the core function of a university?” And that really comes down, in my mind, to the academic stuff, the curriculum, the teaching, how you support students and their learning. And the rest of it, we wanted to look for ways that we could find private-sector vendors that might be more efficient at doing what we're doing, and also able to scale with us and that bought into our mission.
We needed somebody that was willing to pause what they were accustomed to doing, listen to us, and understand that they have a solution that may be needed to be sort of adjusted a little bit to fit our unique business case and were willing to sort of go on that march with us.
That, to me, was the real appealing thing about Ellucian from the very beginning. It began with the sales conversations. We looked at other vendors as well. Everybody does. It's no secret. But from the very beginning, it was clear that they were willing to listen to us, and more importantly, weren't going to sell me things I did not need.
And then the consultants that came on site—absolutely outstanding. They, too, listened. And they knew our story before they got there, so we didn't have to waste precious time trying to explain to them the unique business model that we were trying to do.
We are an entirely online university and I have an IT staff of one. And when we began this project, we had zero, no IT. Ellucian is our IT office. So, they manage all the bundles and all the upgrades, all the patches, all that stuff that needs to be taken care of. They schedule it. They make sure everything's working. We have a problem, we talk to them, they solve it.
That's the kind of thing I want. I want somebody that can be held accountable, that understands what we're doing, and is able to take care of all of our needs and let us focus on what is at the core mission of the university, which is teaching and learning and supporting students.