Unit4, a fast growing leader in enterprise applications for service organisations, today announced it is the first to deliver full student administration capabilities in the cloud for large, complex higher education institutions.
Unit4 has successfully deployed enterprise applications to over 1000 colleges and universities globally including 75 of the top 100 largest public universities in the UK. Customers include, the Singapore Institute of Management, the University of Bristol, HEC Paris, University of Liverpool, American University of Paris, University of Nottingham, Robert Morris University, University of York, Baylor College of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, and Kings College London.
The first to market with a cloud Student Information System (SIS) covering all core capabilities of institutions, Unit4’s Student Management system has become the fastest selling enterprise solution for Higher Education in the company’s 35-year history. Unit4 has added API integrations and Superstructure capabilities supporting institutions to run multiple, independent configurations from a single instance.
The University of Aberdeen is an example of Unit4’s early success. An ancient institution consistently ranked in the top one percent of the world’s higher education institutions, it will roll out Unit4 Student Management, on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, to over 16,000 students and staff. It is expected the solution will stimulate growth in the number of applicants, improve student retention rates and enhance the effectiveness of student operations.
Eduventures study: An overview of cloud-based Student Information Systems (SIS)
In a new report from Eduventures, Unit4 is described as “the first cloud SIS that delivered on 100 per cent of the core capabilities for institutions”; and one of the only vendors that can provide this feature coverage in the cloud today. “Its ability to tie CRM-like workflows to non-traditional students, informed by analytics and predictive tools, is unparalleled across the platforms reviewed for this report… The scalability afforded through Unit4’s partnership with Azure Cloud Services means Unit4 Student Management scales for institutions of any size and transactional volume, including large online programs.”
First to deliver full student administration capabilities for large, complex institutions
Unit4 is bringing 21st century innovation into the hands of students, faculty and campus administration. Built on Microsoft Azure, institutions benefit from the smart technology in Azure’s PaaS platform components including predictive analytics, machine learning, event stream analysis and complex event processing and Microsoft Office 365 integrations. The software becomes self-driving by making intelligent suggestions based on smart patterns. Users are supported to take better decisions, or tasks are automatically executed with permission from the user. Unit4 Student Management is the only next-generation Student Information System on the market supporting robust, campus-wide capabilities with an innovative “touch-first” interface.
On the back of significant global success, Unit4 is making its cutting edge Student Management system available to larger, more complex institutions through new simple to manage Superstructure capabilities. A “superstructure” capability allows customers to run multiple, independent configurations of the product with a single instance of the software. Whether they want to run separate configurations for individual schools within the system (e.g., business school, medical school, law school, etc.) or for individual campuses across a multi-campus system, they can do this all from a single instance of the software, including roll-up reporting capabilities for all.
New functionality also includes API integration, enabling Learning Management System integration, and enhancements to Block Registration, Requisites (courses and non-courses) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to manage relationships at an organisational level. Uniquely, institutions can manage most CRM, degree audit and student engagement/service delivery tasks from the Unit4 system without additional products or integrations. In many cases, complex customisations when migrating from legacy platforms can be eliminated entirely through its off-the-shelf workflow.
Showcasing innovation at EDUCAUSE 2016
Unit4 is at the forefront of Higher Education technology innovation. Unit4 will showcase a new Student Chatbot for Higher Education at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2016 (booth 1311) in Anaheim, California, October 26-27. Built for Unit4 Student Management on Azure it’s the first of its kind. Taking advantage of Microsoft’s Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services, it has the ability to change the student college or university experience and help institutions better serve students. Bot innovation will be a big focus over the next few years.
Comment on the news
“Unit4 Student Management will deliver a service to help the University stand out from other institutions,” said Professor Peter McGeorge, Vice-Principal for Learning and Teaching at the University of Aberdeen. “This new technology will enable potential and enrolled students to interact with timely, personalised information no matter where they are in the world. Their contact with the University will benefit from the same easy-to-use digital experience they get outside of University with social media and other retailers. By removing the burden of paper work, and delivering a digital experience, they can focus on learning. Additionally, University staff will have the tools they need to better understand and deliver student-focused, personalised support.”
“New information sources and digital technologies offer new opportunities for institutions to reveal insights, improve processes, and deliver unique and differentiated services,” said Jami Morshed, Vice President, Global Higher Education at Unit4. “Our Student Management system is the only one on the market that really embraces advances in technology, delivering institutions a new experience and making things possible that weren’t before. Institutions of all sizes can truly benefit from the transformative nature this technology offers to improve learning outcomes, improve access, and even reduce institutional overhead costs.”