What You Didn’t Know You Were Getting with CampusNexus - Q&A
Q&A with Ray Blackwood
Vice President of Product Management, Campus Management
During this recent webinar, attendees went behind the scenes to see what went in to creating CampusNexus, including the expansive web services catalog, financial aid automation and auto-awarding capabilities, and other integrations. At the end of the event, attendees participated in a Q&A session.
Is the student portal experience that you showed during this webinar offered to those plans not currently on the SharePoint®-based portal?
What you saw today was actually the portal without SharePoint. So it will be available for both. But it does require the CampusNexus license and technology. If you’re a CampusNexus customer and want to take the bootstrap portal, you’ll install that and it will just upgrade your current environment. You’ll get your current configurations, but with mobile capability.
What’s the timeline for rolling the new interface out across the entire product?
We have almost all of the list items available and have built out all of the forms from contact manager all the way down to financial aid. We’re expecting to see some student accounts updated by the December release. By CampusInsight 2017, our goal is to have the entire view menu and some key functions in the daily menu done. For your front-end daily users we should be completely done with the entire roll out of CampusNexus Student by December of 2017.
Do the data views work with any reporting solution?
Yes. As it relates to the data views, the data views are driven by what’s called OData. OData is a standard data service. If you go into Excel and your data tab and click on the data feed you’ll see OData there; so you can actually build a query inside data views and use that in other products. You can pull it directly into Excel. Likewise other data views or other OData feeds can be used to aggregate data.
You mentioned Microsoft PowerBI. Can you clarify whether Campus Management offers it and how we get it?
We do not resell PowerBI licenses for a couple of reasons. One, most of our institutions have a campus representative or an account manager for Microsoft. And for education, the licenses are deeply discounted. So if we sold PowerBI you would actually be paying a higher premium than what you pay on your own.
So we don’t sell PowerBI licenses and we don’t charge an additional fee for the warehouse; it’s included in the CampusNexus license. But typically, the easiest pathway is for most of our customers has been Office 365. With Office 365, they typically do a synchronization between your on-campus active directory. And typically that can also be bundled or synchronized with powerBI.
Once you have that, we ship what’s called a PBIX file with our solution. You just open the free desktop version of Power BI and publish it to your organization as a content pack. Then you get all those reports out of the box.
We have a small but skilled IT staff. Which of these features would we need help implementing?
If you have a really small IT staff the first question I would ask is if you have thought about moving to the cloud. Some of the things are pretty easy to manage and some of them are a challenge.
The web client for example is pretty easy. It’s part of the installation manager that ships in CampusNexus. It connects directly to your existing campus database and configuration. In contrast, Forms Builder is a tool that works with our workflow tool, so there is some work in designing the business processes before deploying the forms. We have a team of people that can do that for you or if you have a web staff that does some development work they should be able to do it as well.
The portal upgrade is just an upgrade; so that’s pretty simple. With other features like financial aid automation we highly recommend you go to CampusInsight for preconference training as well as do an engagement.
So when you make the decision to upgrade, decide what things you want to take advantage of. Is it about student experience? Okay what is that experience, how do we get this up and running? How do we deliver this for you right away? What do you want to do in the next six months, the next 12 months, the next 18 months?
We really want you to take advantage of all the new capabilities and provide a lot of value if we help you. There are definitely easier and harder ways to get these new features and capabilities implemented quickly.