Recently I attended and presented at Campus Management’s Users Conference, CampusInsight. To give you some background on Campus Management, over the last year the company has experienced significant change including a new management team. Back in 2011 – 2012, I thought Campus Management had the best vision of CRM in Higher Education. In particular, they appeared to understand the role of CRM, the role of SIS, and how they could/should interact. With Talisma, they had one of, if not the first, full lifecycle CRM solutions for Higher Education. Although I thought the vision was good, each year the “new” solution would be delivered next year, which I believe prompted the replacement of the management team.
The key message of the conference was: We will deliver our commitments and we will not announce the software until it is ready for release. Based on my previous experience with Campus Management and my discussions with customers, I think this message was well received and highly anticipated.
The Challenges Facing Campus Management
The challenges Campus Management must address are not unusual for an existing software business, especially in Higher Education. They include, for example:
- a strategy requiring an update
- delivery of promised software
- old technology
- a changing market
- customer expectations
Fortunately, all of these challenges can be met with the right strategy and management. It has only been a year for the new management team, but based on my observations and customers’ responses, it appears they are establishing their credibility.
Thoughts on Technology Roadmaps
As you would expect, the technology roadmaps were a key element in CampusInsight. I was happy to see the addition of several items on the roadmap that I thought were needed. A few of my observations were:
- CampusNexus Roadmap. It appears the strategy is to leverage the data structure and implement the new technology and capabilities for both CampusVue and Talisma. Providing value to schools early will help with future adoption.
- Event-Based Architecture. In addition to the technical advantages, this style of architecture will allow schools to extend the platform to meet their needs.
- Workflow. The implementation of a workflow tool signals a significant change in approach by permitting schools to define their workflow. I always thought the desire to control all processes limited the value of the technology and extended the time to add new features.
- Upgrade approach. The understanding that most schools will implement the new technology incrementally.
With the event-based architecture and the workflow tool, I sense a new openness in Campus Management. Previously, I felt Campus Management thought they knew the right way for schools to work and they wanted to control all aspects of the process—a major reason, perhaps, why the new software was not delivered. Such openness should speed development, introduce new capabilities, provide flexibility to schools, and provide additional value. Again, it has only been a year since the changes in management, but it appears they are listening and beginning the execution of their strategy.