IT Services for Higher Education
Serensoft offers a wide array of interconnected and interdependent services designed to help you, your department and your institution.
We provide a fully-customized curriculum for your training needs. Our Training & Documentation uses concrete examples from your users' context, relevant to their specific environment using their own data in illustrations and examples. Our Providence MethodologySM requires that we fully customize any training — and documentation — to your institution's individual situation. This produces a curriculum tailored to users' department-specific infrastructure and data, ensuring that the concepts are immediately applied.
Documentation is a strategic asset, designed to assure optimal use of the system being documented. When you look at Documentation this way, you realize the importance of context. Each user goes through different stages in her/his learning; trying to cram everything into one generic document ignores the importance of context for the learner. Since any institution and/or office will have different levels of user, Serensoft requires that Documentation not only be fully customized, but that it be broken out into three separate and distinct levels:
- Beginnings: Gentle tutorials to introduce common features
- Foundation: A reference that reveals most of what any user will need to know
- Horizons: Advanced examples showing what the system can be made to do
With this documentation structure, filled with examples and data from your own institution, your personnel can pick up the basics easily, and then gradually ease their way in to using the more advanced tools — when they're ready.
This approach to Documentation also minimizes the impact of employee turnover: new employees can glean a great deal from this multi-tiered approach, making it a simpler task to bring them "up to speed" on the tools at hand.
Customized Capture and Distribution (Integrated with Enterprise Data)
Your current Administrative Computing system can be used more effectively by utilizing the Web for capturing and distributing information — directly to and from your enterprise data.
Web based capture and distribution can:
- enable prospects to submit applications on-line and monitor needed documents.
- enable students to register on-line, view billing information, and perform many of the administrative tasks that currently require a trip or phone call to the Registrar's office.
- enable staff to submit and monitor budgets as well as maintain time sheets and student employment information.
- enable donors to learn about — and learn from — the students they support directly and indirectly.
- enable alumni to utilize institutional resources to enhance their careers.
Using the Web to enhance both data capture and distribution leverages the institution's previous investment in their Administrative software. Access to data is significantly expanded and available from anywhere via the Web. Most importantly, the Institution's constituencies benefit.
For Business Intelligence reporting, Serensoft offers a wide range of services around Cognos® tools -- enabling you to extract the information most meaningful to your individual offices.
Administrative Computing Support
Serensoft can support institutions on varying levels.
- We can supplement your IT department to help reduce their workload and improve workflow.
- We can support your end-users directly, whether it's through email, phone or in person.
- Serensoft can act as the single point of support (or clearinghouse) for all Administrative Computing issues for the entire institution — as we have for one clients as part of a much larger Administrative Computing upgrade project spanning multiple years.
And when we develop a customized solution to help you solve a particular problem, we support that too, of course. For example, if we build a multi-dimensional analysis solution for the Development office in an institution, we will provide full end-user and IT support for the solution we develop.
Customized Interface Development
Institutions such as yours have unique information issues, distinct from those of corporations. They also have significant characteristic differences from each other. A tuition-dependent private college will have information requirements distinct from those of a public or research university, whose needs will differ from a two-year community college. Even two seemingly similar schools will have differing indicators to track in order to ensure the continued success of the institution. It's unrealistic to expect one piece of out-of-the-box software to be viable for the highly-specialized needs of all types of higher education institutions.
When the Administrative System interface does not meet department-specific workflow requirements, the offices often revert to using familiar means to capture and otherwise utilize data. Examples include desktop database applications such as FileMaker, or in spreadsheets such as EXCEL. This results in what is known as "islands of information" — data that is siphoned away from the central enterprise data, preventing departments from "cross-pollinating" each other's data.
Serensoft provides a fresh perspective on institutional or department-level workflow: we customize the interface to better meet the unique workflow issues of your institution. The goal here is to increase usage of the enterprise Administrative System and eliminate "islands of information".
All of these areas are interconnected in some way. You can't effectively address any one of them in a vacuum. By simply realizing their interconnected nature and addressing them concurrently, institutions will be taking the first step toward realizing the maximum value of their Administrative Computing investment. Serensoft can help — that's what we do.