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Continuous Change and Education's Model of Delayed Innovation

Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel
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Like many vendors within the education space, we’ve recently reevaluated our technology strategy and landed on Salesforce, a Customer Relationship management system. After leading our team’s transition to this integrated platform, I came to a realization on change management that I wanted to pass along with today’s post.

Prior to moving forward with Salesforce, we leveraged an on-premise CRM platform. Unlike Salesforce, which features new releases every 2-4 months, this legacy solution was only updated when we installed an update. As a result, we could have perceived change management as a simple task because we controlled the change. And for those of us in the education space, this ability to control change oftentimes proves to be a disadvantage.

Why? Because, in education, we follow a model of delayed innovation. We simply move too slowly. We fall behind on updates that need to be applied, and become unable to take advantage of all the features available through the solutions our institutions utilize.

However, by leveraging solutions that follow a model similar to Salesforce, we are compelled to stay current. And, as these solutions are always improving and not waiting for us to make the changes, we are empowered to innovate at a faster pace. We receive more value from deployed solutions, to the potential benefit of both user experience and security, and we become more capable of constantly improving our business processes.

Recognizing the urgency of change management, IT departments are standing up business analysts, across the education space, as Softdocs and other software vendors move toward wider adoption of continuous release/continuous improvement models. When it comes to software, the world we live in demands continuous change to keep pace with rapidly shifting content needs, accessibility expectations and an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.

At Softdocs, we are focused on ensuring every customer has the means necessary to support continuous change. Among customers that have already allocated significant resources to change management, we’re seeing great customer success - while Managed Services are proving so valuable within institutions that may not have the resources or personnel necessary to handle change management in-house.

Like Salesforce partners, our Managed Services team can oversee change management - or at least a large part of it - on behalf of institutions leveraging Softdocs solutions. Through Managed Services, these institutions can bypass their need to hire IT Project Mangers, IT App Analysts, Release Managers and similar titles, by simply outsourcing the responsibilities of these positions to Softdocs and our Managed Services team.

Our Managed Services approach includes ongoing and iterative planning, strategic system growth and expansion, as well as after-hour production system upgrades. Discover the full range of available services in this Managed Services Overview.

We are proud to further the partnerships we share with many institutions across the education space, as we evolve together to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. At the EDUCAUSE 2019 Ellucian Partner Forum, Laura Ipsen, CEO of Ellucian, said “Our investments with customers are about being a strong partner, not just a vendor.” That is sage advice from one of the world’s foremost education technology leaders, and a sentiment that we, at Softdocs, share. We are working each and every day to be the perfect partner for your institution during this time of constant change.