CASE STUDY - Efficient & Effective Collaboration at Stillman College

During November 2017, when we were getting ready for our Thanksgiving break, Stillman experienced a ransomware hack that crashed our ERP, Ellucian Colleague. Over the summer, we recruited a consultant to compare the costs and efficiency of moving from Colleague to a new ERP; and decided the costs were prohibitive and it would take 18 months operating both to get a new system onboard.

The first call we made was to Ellucian and then we followed all of the reporting requirements for our insurance carrier and state and federal agencies. We met with Ellucian consultants shortly after Thanksgiving to discuss the next steps, and the hourly billing to resolve the issue was going to be ridiculous. I had learned about the HESS consortium share ERP and SIS services using Oracle and started searching the Web for a similar consortium for colleagues. Ellucian denied any knowledge of such a consortium, but I was able to “google” a hit to the Independent College Enterprise consortium of 8 private colleges housed at the University of Charleston (UC), West Virginia. I contacted their CEO, who was Shelly Nason, at the time, and we scheduled a meeting and joined the consortium in December.

Stillman had to operate everything manually (finance accounting, registration, financial aid, etc), except payroll and our learning platform, Canvas, which were operating separately from Colleague. We established a timetable for ICE to build the Stillman ERP in 9 months! Within 4 months, we were able to launch Fall 2018 pre-registration, and most operations were up and running by June. This was a collaborative effort that was efficient and cost-effective. Now, after being part of Independant College Enterprise for almost 5 years, we are raking up the benefits from the Independant College Enterprise staff’s over 20 years of Colleague experience, who provide training, support, and new innovations to keep us ahead in technology for managing most campus operations, including Blackbaud Razor’s Edge, and student self-service. Our students can see their bills, grades, and register for classes on their smartphones. It also helps to have partners at similar campuses we can call and/or visit to see how they manage various areas like enrollment management and academic success. Our Independant College Enterprise membership has paid off and we’re excited to be moving together into the future and into the cloud.