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The Importance of Integration in Education Digital Transformation

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Why look to integration to deliver the best possible education experience

Global digital transformation is pervasive in every industry and facet of modern life – and the education sector is no exception. Whether you’re a student or staff member, it’s impossible to go about your day without interacting with some form of technology.

However, while these digital transformations are often undertaken with the best intentions, the outcome can sometimes fall short of the mark. It’s rarely due to the chosen application but rather the lack of effective communication between it and the existing systems. Poorly integrated solutions can make or break the student and staff experience and impact reputations and enrolments, recruitment, and funding.

This is where integration comes in.

Integration – the good glue

Integration specialists are experts in connecting different education applications to maximise the potential of each application to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Digital solutions for education systems can be complex; from managing grades to enrolments to scholarships, it’s impossible to find a single application that can handle all these things effectively. So, education institutions will often seek out multiple vendors to provide best-of-breed solutions for each requirement.

However, despite the importance of applications communicating with each other, many underestimate or even overlook the challenge of getting disparate solutions to ‘play nice’. As a result, you can end up with an application hodgepodge that requires data to be handled twice, delivers inconsistent data depending on where it’s coming from, and results in an unimpressive student and staff experience. Not to mention stakeholder disappointment.

Double handling of data introduces human error, which inevitably will lead to mistakes which eventually need to be cleaned up, leading to added costs. Erroneous data also impacts the ‘customer’ experience, damaging the reputation of the digital platform and the education provider.

By comparison, a well-integrated group of specialist solutions reaps great rewards.

When each solution effectively shares information, it drives down costs, increases efficiency, and provides a seamless user experience. In other words, a return on investment that will please everyone. Having reliable, robust and highly available integrations improves the quality of the digital platform while also saving the company money by getting the data transfer done right the first time, every time.

All of this underscores the importance of solid integration to act as the glue between the different solutions. Having the right integration strategy to start with, followed by expert implementation, is integral to a smooth user experience and maximising the potential of the overall digital transformation.

Look and learn – Victoria University of Wellington

Adaptiv has worked with the Victoria University of Wellington since 2019 to help them with their wide-ranging digital transformation strategy. The university adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE (a CRM system) and needed to connect it to all their existing database systems and the other proprietary applications that supported the digital solution.

We leveraged the tools provided by Azure’s Integration Platform, including Logic Apps, Function Apps, API Management, and many more, to create a truly modern digital solution. As a result, students now have real-time access to grades, courses, and just about anything else they need, all on one streamlined self-service platform. This drastically improved the quality of life of students and facilitated what ultimately mattered, their education.

It isn’t just the students who now enjoy an improved day-by-day experience. Victoria University’s staff can now easily view student records, manage scholarships, or perform administrative work in one convenient place. They no longer need to visit multiple websites with different structures and maintain all the data across all those platforms. Not only does this make life easier for staff but have removed the need for double handling of data between the university’s different platforms, saving staff time and, therefore, money.

Get more out of your education (systems)

The prospect of giving more weight to the value of integration in your education digital transformation may seem daunting at first. But you need only look at the results achieved by the Victoria University of Wellington to see how you can drive more value out of your enterprise applications when they are fully integrated.

Adaptiv has real, tangible experience in the education sector. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you.

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