Low Sales and High Expectations

Students are arriving on campus with mobile devices and they’re expecting them to work. In fact, as we discussed in our previous post, 2013 is a pivotal year for any organization’s mobile strategy because it’s been fingered as the year that sales of mobile devices will overtake that of laptops and PC’s. Recent sales data from HP, Dell and Lenovo only seems to confirm this prediction. Lenovo seems to be having the best year among the PC makers and its year over year sales are flat.

While laptop and PC sales plunge, student expectations for their mobile devices are rising. Shortly, if not already, they’ll feel entitled to access their course schedule from their mobile phone as well as use it to find their way across campus and to the right building for class. This will especially ring true during the first couple of weeks of the term when students are still finding their way around campus and getting used to their schedules. Sure they’ll continue to use laptops and PC’s to make transactions like apply for financial aid; pay bills; research, write and submit assignments; and more. But you can be certain they’ll be checking their grades from their mobile devices throughout the semester.

Making the Grade and Building Loyalty

US News Most ConnectedAs if bringing together content from multiple systems into a single unified portal experience that was also optimized to deliver a mobile-friendly experience wasn’t a daunting enough task for CIO’s at higher ed institutions, those who publish college rankings are also weighing in with a new grading system.  Just take a look at this new rating methodology from US News and World Report where they’re ranking colleges for portal and mobile connectivity. Some key points from the methodology include:

  • Ability for students to use Web portals to access transcripts
  • Determine progress toward achieving degree requirements
  • Register for courses, submit class assignments,
  • Make tuition payments, apply for financial aid.
  • Providing access to the system from a mobile application
  • Access for family members and the capability to monitor all courses students are enrolled in from a single interface.

Rankings clearly influence prospective students’ (and parents’) perceptions of an institution so faring well in the rankings is important and directly contributes to growing net tuition revenue. In addition to enticing new students, however, deploying a well-designed campus portal has the potential to transform casual browsing into the type of community building that will keep students engaged long after they’ve graduated. Personalized self-service is a key component of building the type of loyalty that turns undergrads (and their parents) into future donors.

Is that a Portal in Your Pocket?

We’ve encountered a lot of organizations that have both a portal strategy and a mobile strategy. Each one tends to lean on different technologies and different vendors. But why? After all, an iPhone really just represents a portal in your pocket. Having separate strategies and using separate technologies to deliver on them not only adds IT complexity, but it’s certainly inefficient and more costly.

That’s why, rather than running alongside one another, your mobile strategy should be an extension of your portal strategy. Ideally, you’re taking the content and functionality you’ve already endeavored to integrate into your intranet portal and you are extending it from there out to mobile devices in a way that displays the right information in the right way.

Using a single technology to achieve these goals would streamline your IT stack, lower your total cost of ownership and expedite the delivery of your portal and mobile strategies. To learn how you can use InFlight to kill two birds with one stone, check out the below replay of our latest webinar. Then check out our new ClearView for PeopleSoft Employee Self-Service because this out-of-the-box integration into SharePoint can be pre-packaged for mobile devices.

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