Just days away from hosting nearly 6,000 higher education professionals at its annual user conference, SunGard Higher Education points to 2009 successes as the momentum for 2010 and interest in the company’s new Open Digital Campus vision.
“We have identified three strong trends that have emerged over the past year that affirm where our customers are headed, and how we can better serve them through our Open Digital Campus strategy,” said Ron Lang, chief executive officer, SunGard Higher Education. “These three trends include: an emphasis on the value of collaboration and community; an intense focus on improving and extending existing technology investments; and a growing interest in alternative delivery methods. At SunGard Higher Education we attribute our successes over the past year to how well we have delivered against our Open Digital Campus strategy and our quest to become more than a vendor to our customers – to become a true, valued member of the higher education community. SunGard Summit will be an ideal venue to move forward with these and many other exciting opportunities.”
SunGard Higher Education’s Open Digital Campus vision and strategy is designed to give customers new flexibility to shape technology choices. It combines modern technologies, modular assets, and alternative delivery models to provide customers with a faster time to value, and to help them create more scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective digital campuses. The strategy has quickly become a driving force with new product initiatives and development directions, and supports the three identified trends:
EMBRACING COMMUNITY: In 2009 SunGard Higher Education saw continued demand for software sales to new customers. In addition to solution fit, desire to be part of a collaborative and influential customer community is reported as one of the most important selection criteria. Another key point is the confidence in aligning with a large vendor with a sole focus on higher education rather than other industries. Lastly, building a relationship with the company that offers a wide range of products, services and expertise for education provides solutions today and provides options for shaping the digital campus of the future. SunGard Higher Education has a strong focus on customer satisfaction and community. New Open Digital Campus initiatives reinforce this:
· SunGard Higher Education Commons - a new online forum for information, dialogue, collaboration and networking across SunGard Higher Education’s global customer community.
· Community Source Initiative - a forum for customers to share and submit enhancements and add-on modules for possible inclusion in SunGard baseline solutions. Using an open-source methodology, structured control boards composed of both customer and SunGard representatives review submissions to help ensure wide community and technical applicability.
EXTENDING THE DIGITAL CAMPUS: Institutions of higher education continue to place their confidence in SunGard Higher Education, with nearly 700 existing customers choosing to purchase additional software and services in 2009. Customers point to the economic environment as a factor in redirecting planning inward to extend their existing investments and digital campuses with products and services that help improve efficiencies and effectiveness, such as PowerCAMPUS Document Management, Banner Flexible Registration, Banner Enrollment Management, DegreeWorks and Help Desk services, among others. New Open Digital Campus approaches also include:
· Aurora - a common platform to support consistent navigation across products, regardless of technology. The first component in the Banner Self-Service user interface modernization, it is delivered as a light, modular and fast upgrade to Banner 8 rather than as a major release.
· Infinity Process Platform (IPP) - a combination of integrated application components that help institutions tailor functionality to solve specific business problems or increase operational efficiency.
· Course Signals - a new solution focused specifically on the pain point of student retention, and adapted from an application built by PurdueUniversity? that has been remarkably popular with faculty members and students.
ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY MODELS: A renewed interest in finding new ways to consume and manage technology, including hosting and outsourcing, is apparent with an increasing number of institutions choosing SunGard Higher Education for its technology management expertise. In 2009 the number of new customers choosing to outsource their IT departments to SunGard Higher Education was greater than in the past three years. New services, such as application hosting, are also aiding chief information officers as they work to meet acute strategic, technology and business challenges. New solutions addressing this trend include:
· PowerCAMPUS Hosting - an alternative to traditional on-premise implementations where a hosted approach is a better fit for the customer’s needs and priorities.
· Federal Methodology Need Analysis Calculation - a cloud-based service that replaces multiple mandatory annual upgrades to SunGard Higher Education financial aid modules.
This momentum carries into SunGard Summit, the company’s annual user conference. This year more than 6,000 higher education professionals will gather in San Francisco, April 11-14, to network with their SunGard Higher Education community and discuss how the Open Digital Campus strategy can benefit their institutions.
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