Christine Dumont | Senior Director of Enterprise Applications | Salve Regina University
As an early adopter of document imaging and management, Salve Regina had already made headway toward reducing paper inefficiencies. But with their legacy document management system being on-premises, the University still faced automation, security, scalability, and maintenance challenges inherent to having on-site servers. IT leadership began evaluating cloud-based solutions that offered higher reliability and support. “What I liked about Softdocs was you had forms and content with everything encapsulated and available within the cloud,” said Christine Dumont, Senior Director of Enterprise Applications.
As with most higher education institutions, budget constraints were top of mind for Salve Regina. “We are trying to be as fiscally conscious as possible because all our costs are funded by tuition,” said Dumont. “When we look at products that are going to drive success for the institution, it's always good to try to find a good fit for our size and scale.”
When Salve Regina approached their legacy document management vendor about expanding the use of online forms and workflow, they were given an “a la carte” pricing model, rather than more predictable bundled options. “Nothing was bound together,” said Dumont. “So, it quickly became apparent their approach wasn't going to fit our needs anymore.”
“We felt that Softdocs was a better model for us in terms of getting the cloud storage, support, forms and workflow, and not have it be four different products we had to purchase and pay maintenance on,” said Dumont.
Regarding scalability and expanding Etrieve functionality, the Softdocs support team has proven a valuable resource. “They are very good about working around our schedule,” said Josh Carvalho, Application Programmer/Analyst. “They are quick to connect me with a next-level resource if needed. I’ve had nothing but good interactions.”
Before Etrieve, Admissions would grab a manila envelope, place all the copies of student documents in it, and manually send it to the Registrar. Not only did it make for a slow process, but space-wise, where do you put all the paper? Now, Admissions imports all the documents into Etrieve, and the Registrar automatically has access to student documents.
For parents, the ability to securely upload required documents to Etrieve using Google or Microsoft authentication options has made the Financial Aid application process noticeably easier and quicker.
Salve Regina uses the Pathify student portal to provide students with easy online access to helpful content, documents and forms. With Etrieve integrated into the Pathify portal, students can now access those tools with a single click.
“We've also embedded a shortcut in the Ellucian self-service application, so students can access forms from that menu as well,” said Dumont. “One of our goals for the next year is to look at creating even tighter Pathify and Softdocs integration.”
With their legacy system, Salve Regina’s information access was limited to a certain team of document managers. The flexibility of Softdocs user licensing structure has allowed IT staff to give appropriate access levels to faculty, staff and students, so everyone who needs it has visibility into the forms and information they need to know. Meanwhile, dedicated content managers maintain the elevated access they need to administer the solution properly.
“We saw a huge benefit of moving away from the paper,” said Dumont. “Then when you layer Etrieve Forms on top of that, your transactions between students or faculty and staff aren't happening in one person's email box. Your transaction and historical auditing are not lost if someone leaves, because it's integrated with your ERP, and it’s in the cloud. You don't have to worry about losing any data.”
“That's the beauty to me of Etrieve; you have all this metadata that can integrate from your ERP system, whether that's your SIS or purchasing or HR system,” said Dumont. “Now it's all in one place and searchable. If a student has a question about something, now the Registrar isn't going, ‘Oh, where's that file?’ Because it's all online, it's at the touch of their fingertips.”
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