The Member Colleges of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium saw a need to embark on a project to determine the next generation Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for each college. Champlain’s and Saint Michael’s ERP is Colleague from Ellucian which handles student records, human resources and payroll, advancement, admission and other administrative functions. Many users interact with the ERP via Webadvisor or Knightvision. Middlebury uses Banner and BannerWeb, also from Ellucian.
This research effort started with a survey sent to faculty, student and staff to get an accurate understanding of what is working well in the current system, what are the pain points and needs for improvement, and what features users would like to see in the future to provide a better experience, better customer service and better reporting tools. The themes uncovered by the survey were further explored in on-campus listening sessions in May and June 2016 which had over 100 attendees at each college.
By December 2016, each school hopes to have a solid understanding of their ERP needs for the foreseeable future, which vendors can meet those needs, and at what cost. This information will be the basis for a thoughtful discussion around investments needed to continuously improve each school’s systems versus the resources needed to do so. As the consortium will play an increasingly important role for technology and systems at its members schools moving forward, the findings will also allow for a better understanding of where the schools can collaborate with their partners, for example in supporting the ERP system.