Software Infrastructure: What to Know Before Buying

  • April 29, 2015

The importance of leveraging the latest technology has begun to take the higher education industry by a storm. Institutions are looking to make sound decisions when it comes to purchasing software. Thousands of companies have started to market their software to the higher education realm, making integration a hot topic. Each individual department has their own needs that they are trying to solve but an area that is also critical to address are the needs of the IT department.

Many decisions need to be made when it comes to purchasing online orientation software. So what questions should you be asking? Here are a few key questions to keep in mind:

 

Does the software connect with your SIS (ie Banner, Datatel, Peoplesoft, Jenzabar)? Does the company provide support in the integration process?

Ideally, you’ll want the software to allow users to authenticate themselves through your institution’s portal. Comevo allows for this, feeding the completion data back to your SIS to facilitate the auto-release of holds.

Along with being able to integrate, you’ll also want support to ensure it is done correctly. When a client wishes to integrate, Comevo provides sample code and IT references to help set up portal integration and the SIS interface.

 

Is there a dedicated app or is it mobile friendly?

If software is coded in Flash, it won’t be viewable on an iPad or iPhone. According to comScore, more than 42% of U.S. smartphones are iPhones. Many users access information from their phone, and having a dedicated app or mobile friendly version of the website can be extremely useful. Comevo offers a responsive template that formats to the display size of your device.

 

How is it coded?

Comevo’s @school Online Orientation™ is built on a flexible framework that allows it to easily be updated as web standards change. Also, being a hosted application, the software is nimble and can quickly be altered. This is very beneficial in today’s ever shifting technology.

 

Is student data at risk?

For security reasons, you will want to know if the software will be processing, transmitting, or storing level 1 data. Often times, IT may not approve of software if it is storing level 1 data or doesn’t take proper security measures.

Comevo does not require a “data dump” of all students, making it very easy to utilize the software without data breach threats. Instead of accessing all student data, Comevo uses a unique identifier (typically the Student ID) to create a unique record for each student.

 

Where is the software hosted?

This is an important question for IT in terms of workload and security. Ideally, the company will host the software themselves through a secure network. Comevo hosts and maintains its software and provides administration with unlimited support with a 24-hour business day response.

 

Can the software’s code be edited without IT?

IT departments in educational institutions are often extremely busy and put the majority of project requests on a waitlist. Having a software that can be edited by non-IT staff can be much more efficient. Comevo’s CMS can be edited by administrators without IT support or paying a third party to make changes.

Above all, you want to be sure the company provides the necessary support to ensure the software is used to the best of its ability. Websites like capterra.com provide software reviews and features that are very useful when deciding on software for your institution. Also, connecting with the company’s current clients can be a good way to gauge the company’s support level.

 

If you have any technical or support-related questions regarding Comevo’s software, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-748-0975 or at support@comevo.com.