Ellucian has announced a new initiative called the "Ellucian Inspire Awards." With the goal of recognizing their customers who have made "measurable improvements" at their institutions using Ellucian's solutions or services, the new award offers a $3,000 prize. The new awards program focuses on projects that "achieved measurable results during the past two years in any of three categories:"
- Operational Excellence –administrative, infrastructure, or business process innovations or improvements.
- Constituent Service –innovations or improvements to the constituent experience (internal or external), including constituent engagement.
- Student Success –innovations or improvements that directly foster student success.
According to the press release from Ellucian, winning institutions will be recognized at the company's annual user conference -- Ellucian Live.
Now I was tempted to write up an Onionesque satirical piece about how a lot of institutions have come up with innovative solutions to using enterprise-level solutions because the solutions aren't always "solutions." However, even if this award is a PR maneuver / market intelligence exercise, it's still valuable for Ellucian's massive customer base. For example, let's say that there is an academic advising office that's doing amazing things with Degree Works. Other advising shops could benefit from learning more about their activities. The same idea holds true for admissions, financial aid, and registrar offices. Sharing our most-innovative uses (and/or workarounds) is helpful for the greater community at large.
Sure, you can submit your innovation story with the hope of winning $3,000 for your school, but the real winner will be everyone else who gets to benefit from your ideas. Ellucian will surely use submissions to improve their services, and that is a good thing.
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