Prestigious, private, four-year liberal arts school Southern Vermont College recently selected Three Rivers Systems Inc.’s CAMS® Enterprise, the disruptive technology choice, as its new academic management system. A disruptive technology is an innovation creating a new market that “disrupts” an existing one by displacing earlier technology.
SVC had employed a legacy client-server based system from 2005 for its Student Information System along with an amalgam of interfaced solutions for financial aid, learning management and fundraising. Administrators knew, however, that the college required a better alternative to meet its growing demands for online access and the full breadth of department-level functionality.
In late 2011 it became apparent SVC’s ERP was hindering many future projects. A selection committee looked at inexpensive systems, but these provided far less functionality than required. The committee was determined to find a single-vendor, integrated solution that extended to financial aid, learning management and integrated portals. Committee members knew the most cost-effective solution would do this within a single, easy-to-use integrated ERP rather than a patchwork quilt of multi-vendor systems.
Initial search results led to a vendor with a reasonable product that lacked critical components like financial aid and LMS. As a compromise, the committee was entertaining a move forward with this system when a member of the board advised that he had an excellent experience implementing CAMS Enterprise at another local institution. As the committee looked further into CAMS Enterprise, it found not only did the system have financial aid and LMS, it also included full document management, portals and many other features that would have had to wait for future purchases as stand-alone features with the other less-robust system.
According to Southern Vermont College Chief Operating Officer and Interim President Jim Beckwith,“Our staff has given CAMS a thorough review and it is clearly a superior solution to what we had and what we had been looking at.” With full implementation planned for early 2013, SVC will have access to all the tools it needs in a single integrated ERP system.
SVC recently gained national attention for its innovative Pipelines Into Partnership program that helps deserving at-risk students from neighboring urban areas in Schenectady, Brooklyn and Yonkers, N.Y., succeed in a rural private college environment. According to a recent front-page news story in The Chronicle of Higher Education, SVC’s program features intensive group mentoring and monitoring with emphasis on student success and retention. Given SVC’s progress with its program, and generally high retention and graduation rates for at-risk students at small private colleges, The Chronicle reports the Pipeline project could become a model gaining policy-makers’ attention.
Interim President Beckwith said initiatives like the Pipeline program require close scrutiny of student data in real time, and that this need factored into SVC’s selection of CAMS Enterprise. “As a fully integrated system built around a single, secure MS SQL database, CAMS give us the reporting and analytics horsepower we need for these types of innovative programs,” Beckwith said.
CAMS Enterprise is a unique solution for higher education. Totally browser-based and designed from the ground up to leverage the Web, it is unlike older conventional systems that use the Internet as an afterthought. CAMS is fully optimized for mobile apps, so students and faculty alike can interact with their institutions around the clock from mobile devices on the go, anytime and anywhere. New enhanced user interfaces in CAMS Enterprise reflect the latest in Web 2.0 collaborative and shared applications for greater ease of use and user friendliness.
Portals look modern and institutions can save settings to personalize pages while also showing widgets, social networking and other interactive screen elements as part of their portal displays.
CAMS Enterprise requires minimal maintenance and provides information anywhere, anytime, and its complete integration yields unparalleled productivity and flexibility. IT staffing requirements are much lower than with competitive legacy products. Achieving maximum efficiency and productivity to deliver the ultimate student learning experience is of vital importance and is every institution’s goal. With CAMS Enterprise’s Business Analytics feature, they can achieve all this along with the lowest total cost of ownership and highest return on investment of any academic ERP.
“Managing the complexities of a well-rounded liberal arts college today requires an equally nimble academic ERP solution,” Three Rivers Systems Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Jami Morshed said. “CAM Enterprise yields much-improved business performance by containing and reducing costs while standardizing and automating business processes. CAMS is a revolutionary system with the power to boost campus-wide productivity today, while preparing institutions for optimum performance tomorrow and generations to come.”
SVC is a member of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges and affiliated with the Vermont Campus Compact, an association of colleges that include community service, hands-on learning and civic engagement as academic requirements.
About Southern Vermont College
Southern Vermont College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located on the 371-acre former Edward Everett Estate near Bennington, Vt., in the southwestern corner of the state bordering New York and Massachusetts. It has its roots in Saint Joseph College, which was established in downtown Bennington by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1926. In 1974, the sisters turned the college over to an independent board of trustees and the college moved to its current location on the Everett Estate. Within a few months the name was changed to Southern Vermont College, and it became a private, independent college with no religious affiliation. Southern Vermont College is a career-enhanced liberal arts college offering 17 majors. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
About CAMS Enterprise
CAMS Enterprise’s disruptive technology makes it a fundamentally different academic ERP unlike all others that were designed for the past and are incapable of operating efficiently in the modern world. CAMS Enterprise is an easy-to-use and implement, totally integrated, Web-native management system with everything in one place — admissions; student information; financial aid; student services; fiscal management with HR and payroll; fund-raising; alumni relations; document management, learning management, a full suite of portals, and more for managing the entire student life cycle. With an out-of-the-box configuration and self-service customization, CAMS Enterprise removes all barriers to success seen with conventional systems. CAMS’ affordable licensing, off-the-shelf configuration and easy implementation translate into the lowest total cost of ownership of any academic ERP while yielding the quickest and highest ROI.
About Three Rivers Systems, Inc.
Three Rivers Systems, Inc. (threeriverssystems.com) is the only privately held, independent, debt-free, one-stop company focused solely on high-quality academic ERP solutions exclusively for higher education. For more than 25 years from its St. Louis headquarters, the company is keenly focused on innovation and service to its worldwide customers.