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Colleagues,
My advancement department is currently campaigning for a new advancement software and have been asked by our advancement board to come back with two software options. Our advancement VP has chosen Razor’s Edge (i) enterprise and DonorPerfect Online. I am reaching out to all of you who use or have used one of these two products. I am interested to know why you moved to or moved away from Razor’s Edge or Donor Perfect.
In short, I am looking for your uncensored opinions about these software packages. If you prefer to share your feelings offline I understand and appreciate your willingness to share.
 
Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.
 
DEREK DENSBERGER
Chief Information Officer / vucio@vanguard.edu
 
 
 

  ­­   ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Comments

Derek Advancement offices seem to overwhelmingly prefer Razor's Edge to any integrated solution provided by the major ERP suppliers. I am at an Ellucian Colleague school and we use RE for all development records and information. We batch information exchange between our Colleague system and RE, seems to work well. We do manage the updates and patches, Advancement manages the rest. Tom Thomas H. Carnwath Vice President Technology and Information Services Hamilton Hall 320 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Tel: 215-717-6440 [cid:604873C5-AD8C-4B26-A51D-96A6359DF44D] Need Assistance? Call Oops (215-717-6677) to get answers. OTIS will never ask for your personal information or password in an email. Never share this information with anyone. This message and any attachment may contain confidential or privileged information and is intended for the intended individual named as addressee. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete this message and all attachments from your system. Any unauthorized disclosure, use, distribution, or reproduction of this message or any attachments is prohibited and may be deemed unlawful. Please consider the environment before printing this email. From: , Derek > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:52 AM To: "CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" > Subject: [CIO] Advancement Software Opinions Colleagues, My advancement department is currently campaigning for a new advancement software and have been asked by our advancement board to come back with two software options. Our advancement VP has chosen Razor’s Edge (i) enterprise and DonorPerfect Online. I am reaching out to all of you who use or have used one of these two products. I am interested to know why you moved to or moved away from Razor’s Edge or Donor Perfect. In short, I am looking for your uncensored opinions about these software packages. If you prefer to share your feelings offline I understand and appreciate your willingness to share. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day. DEREK DENSBERGER Chief Information Officer / vucio@vanguard.edu [cid:42904102BC66C24192D64F4056AA6AA8@vanguard.edu] ­­ ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. tml>

Hi Derek. Here at TLU we were on RE for several years and the Advancement office liked it. The challenge was supporting it. We are a small shop and when we drilled down, we noticed that a lot of the extra features that RE has we were not using and likely would not anytime soon. As a result we made the decision to move off RE and  to our integrated ERP. The Advancement office was not happy initially but in my humble opinion, this was more about control of data rather than functionality. Once we could show we could accomplish most of everything they had before (and at a lower cost) we were able to move on.  For larger institutions this probably does not come into play but for us smaller ones it really does! This was a good move for us to make.


Regards,


Bill

 

 

William R. Senter

Director of Information Technology

Texas Lutheran University

wsenter@tlu.edu

 

 

 

We used Raiser's Edge for many years, and moved off to our ERP around 2003.  The move wasn't about the features.  It was more about culture, and on that level, we've dealt with the issue several times.

Our information systems are part of a knowledge culture.  Culture is about norms, values, by what is regarded as excellent, about what we want to learn, about the language we use to describe something.

When we had Banner for the main campus, and RE for alumni/donor/development, we grew two different cultures.  Every conversation, particularly around alumni, had to start with "Did you get those data from Banner or from RE?".  When there were data conflicts, we had to track them down.  Those conflicts weren't necessarily about data feed problems.  They were more about how you reflected values into data selection on reports.  We lacked common data definitions ("who is a recent grad? who is a recent grad from out of state?") that would easily cross applications.  We grew two different camps, interpreting data differently.  In the end, the campus leadership felt that the costs of maintaining two systems, plus the cost of maintaining a feed, only to have two different information cultures that didn't reconcile in common conversational planning, wasn't worth it.  While we could make the systems talk to each other, we couldn't make two camps of people easily understand each other's data.   Hope I've described that clearly.  It could be a larger campus issue.

Best wishes,
Theresa

Theresa

This is a really astute observation. Thanks for sharing. As our institutions become increasingly driven by data (as the push into analytics suggests they will), managing information will become increasingly political since we are in fact managing the institution's decisions. Organizations on campus already understand this intuitively if not explicitly, which is why they want to control data as Bill Senter noted earlier in this conversation. To support a healthy culture and decision process at our institutions  some group at each institution will need to establish and maintain in a clear and transparent way, standards and practices for data definition, management, and reporting, as it appears you have done at Oakland. Kudos! I guess this is one more plug for CIOs to think of themselves as campus leaders for effective information management rather than technology managers.

Best,

Rick 

Richard, I have to ask: Which culture “won” in the end? We have many, at first glance, “competing” cultures on our campus, but, really, IMHO, they are different groups, with different needs, different world views, and all of which describe the proverbial elephant, differently.

 

Just curious what politics, etc., were at play, and how it played out for you at Allegheny College (we can of course discuss offline). Fascinating topic, with huge implications…

 

Respecfully,

 

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT

Chief Technology Officer

Assistant Dean, Academic Informatics

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

 

Western University of Health Sciences

309 East 2nd Street

Pomona, CA  91766

 

909-781-4353

shelf@westernu.edu

 

www.westernu.edu

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Rick Holmgren
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:05 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Advancement Software Opinions

 

Theresa

 

This is a really astute observation. Thanks for sharing. As our institutions become increasingly driven by data (as the push into analytics suggests they will), managing information will become increasingly political since we are in fact managing the institution's decisions. Organizations on campus already understand this intuitively if not explicitly, which is why they want to control data as Bill Senter noted earlier in this conversation. To support a healthy culture and decision process at our institutions  some group at each institution will need to establish and maintain in a clear and transparent way, standards and practices for data definition, management, and reporting, as it appears you have done at Oakland. Kudos! I guess this is one more plug for CIOs to think of themselves as campus leaders for effective information management rather than technology managers.

 

Best,

 

Rick 

Therese et al . . . This is a very astute analysis that gets to the point of the changing needs of information management. The comment about inevitably different groups with their own information "language" is also valid. I'm interested to hear other opinions,


Mike Meyer
Chief Information Officer
Honolulu Community College
University of Hawaii
808.844.2308

On Oct 17, 2012, at 6:01 AM, Scott Helf <shelf@WESTERNU.EDU> wrote:

Richard, I have to ask: Which culture “won” in the end? We have many, at first glance, “competing” cultures on our campus, but, really, IMHO, they are different groups, with different needs, different world views, and all of which describe the proverbial elephant, differently.

 

Just curious what politics, etc., were at play, and how it played out for you at Allegheny College (we can of course discuss offline). Fascinating topic, with huge implications…

 

Respecfully,

 

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT

Chief Technology Officer

Assistant Dean, Academic Informatics

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

 

Western University of Health Sciences

309 East 2nd Street

Pomona, CA  91766

 

909-781-4353

shelf@westernu.edu

 

www.westernu.edu

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Rick Holmgren
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:05 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Advancement Software Opinions

 

Theresa

 

This is a really astute observation. Thanks for sharing. As our institutions become increasingly driven by data (as the push into analytics suggests they will), managing information will become increasingly political since we are in fact managing the institution's decisions. Organizations on campus already understand this intuitively if not explicitly, which is why they want to control data as Bill Senter noted earlier in this conversation. To support a healthy culture and decision process at our institutions  some group at each institution will need to establish and maintain in a clear and transparent way, standards and practices for data definition, management, and reporting, as it appears you have done at Oakland. Kudos! I guess this is one more plug for CIOs to think of themselves as campus leaders for effective information management rather than technology managers.

 

Best,

 

Rick 

We run both Banner Advancement and Raiser’s Edge with feeds back and forth. This strange set of affairs was never really planned. We planned to convert from Raiser’s Edge to Banner Advancement at the same time we converted everything else to Banner. This plan was despite major misgivings about the usability and functionality of Banner Advancement as compared to Raiser’s Edge. We actually shut Raiser’s Edge down for a very short while, and the problems created thereby for the Advancement Office were so monumental that we decided to convert back to Raiser’s Edge.

In the process of converting back, the Advancement Office realized that there were a few things in Banner Advancement that were very valuable – such as automatic feeds to Banner Finance and automatic feeds from Banner HR for payroll deductions. Therefore, they decided to go with a hybrid solution to take advantage of the best of both worlds. For reasons that all of you can well understand and articulate, I would not be the least bit surprised if and when I and the current VP for Advancement both retire that our successors will revisit this whole situation and settle on one solution or the other.

All of which brings me to the core of Theresa’s astute observations:

Ø  In the end, the campus leadership felt that the costs of maintaining two systems, plus the cost of maintaining a feed, only to have two different information cultures that didn't reconcile in common conversational planning, wasn't worth it.

I will offer the following somewhat contrarian observations.

·         Why do we feel that the different information cultures must be reconciled? There is a classic square peg and round hole problem here, and the best solution may well be not to try to drive the square peg into the round hole.

·         I think there is such a thing as systems being too integrated. I think that sometimes having separate systems with very clean interfaces (usually some sort of data feeds) can be a much more robust and manageable situation than an integrated system that doesn’t really meet some of the needs of some of the users.

·         An area of particular concern in an integrated system is identity management. Different users and different uses have vastly different needs – from needing to keep donors anonymous to needing to know exactly which honorifics with which to address correspondence.  From needing to know how to address spouses in correspondence to needing or not needing to store social security numbers for donors. Not all donors are alumni and therefore not all donors can be data-mined from graduation lists.  And the Foundation will gladly cash a large check from Butch Smith without asking what Butch’s legal name really is. In an integrated system, changes of identity made by one office (e.g., Admissions and Records if our Butch Smith took a course) could be devastating to another office (e.g., Advancement if our Butch Smith was a large donor).

·         Many of these same issues arise with non-credit programs. We offer everything from certificate programs to CEU programs to personal enrichment courses. We run third party software called XenDirect for our non-credit programs with a feed to Banner Finance. We really couldn’t function with our non-credit programs if we had to deal with Banner’s identity management processes and admissions processes – especially for the personal enrichment programs where somebody might take a three hour Microsoft Excel course (6:00 to 9:00 on one Tuesday night) or a short non-credit banjo course or a short non-credit conversational Chinese course, etc. Course registrations for non-credit programs have to be self-registration and self-identification, more like buying something at amazon.com than like applying for admission and being admitted to the college. Non-credit programs really are a very different information culture just like the Foundation is.

Jerry

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jerry Bryan • Vice President of Information Services • Pellissippi State • 10915 Hardin Valley Road • P.O. Box 22990 • Knoxville, TN 37933-0990

Voice: 865 539-7127 •  Fax: 865 539-7653 •  E-mail: jbryan@pstcc.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Message from jbest@theseattleschool.edu

We moved from RE to Donor2 and now are on Salesforce.com.  Salesforce.com has by far been the most successful product for us.  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jason Best
Director of Media and IT at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology
jbest@theseattleschool.edu | 206.876.6111 | theseattleschool.edu
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Scott

I don't think any culture ever wins, although cross-cultural understanding can sometimes emerge. Certainly we haven't reached, and I don't ever expect to reach, an ideal end state here at Allegheny. One of the roles I see for information managers is to keep the conversation open and informed so that the various campus groups can continue to have a healthy and productive dialog. One way to do that, is to manage all of the data in one system that everyone agrees is the system of record. (Gaining and maintaining that agreement is a monumental task in and of itself.) Another is to have multiple systems and multiple data repositories with a transparent and accepted process to identify, justify, and manage any differences that emerge. I am sure there are other ways. What doesn't seem to work is when one group (say the Finance Office) reports that Advancement raised $XXXX in FY12 and another group (say Advancement) reports that Advancement raised $YYYYY in FY12, the two amounts vary by an order of magnitude, and both groups claim there number is THE ONLY correct number. 

Best,

Rick

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