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As many of you know, Ellucian clients concerned about the change in production direction for the BRM product had the opportunity to meet in person and via conference call today at the Educause Conference in Denver.

Dana Hamerschlag and Cheryl Boeckman from Ellucian were present to hear concerns and respond. 

Following are the notes taken during the meeting (thanks to Diane Graves from Trinity College for taking the notes).

As a result of this meeting, Dana Hamerschlag indicated that Ellucian would be following up with an invitation to a  webinar to address some of these concerns.

Thanks to all that attended and took the time to speak about their issues so that all may benefit.


Sherri Yerk-Zwickl
Director of Project Management and Web & Mobile Services
Lehigh University

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Diane Graves <>
Date: November 8, 2012, 9:06:27 AM MST
To: "" <>
Subject: Ellucian Recruiter meeting

Ellucian Recruiter meeting

Present: Lehigh  (Banner)
Georgian College  (Canada). Banner. BRM for a year)
Heidelburg (Banner)
Grand View Univ.  (Live on Recruiter for a year)
Emporia State Univ. (BRM for 18mos. worried)
Univ. of Redlands (Contract negotiaions for Recruiter)
Truman state
Spelman (Banner; negotiating)
Oakland Univ. (Just brought up BRM in summer 2012)
American Univ. (via phone) Colleague. Looking at it.
St. Ed's. Just purchased Banner & recruiter.
Washburn Univ.
Calvin College. Also using Colleague. Not migrating yet.

Dana from Ellucian to listen.  Cheryl Beckman, VP.

Delays. Overselling underdelivering. Training and professional services.
DJG: data mapping problem. (Others don't report that)

Lots of folks on BRM for years. Lehigh: undergrad BRM for years; about
to bring up for grad.  Serious concerns.
Recently had problems bringing up SRP. Concerns about professional services.

Oakland: Just purchased this in JAn.  Had problems getting services
scheduled to do that implementation. The features they wanted in BRM
will never be implemented. She is going to have to pay for services
AGAIN, just 6 months later. Worries about scheduling, response.

Grand View:  Same. So hard to get resources, but they had stopped
trying to schedule everything.

Spelman:  Some conversations--about hours. Ellucian has taken a hard
line on them using the hours that were part of the package.

Emporia:  18 months using BRM for grad.  Then moved to BRM for u.g.
planned to, and admissions balked.  It was a step backward. Invested
the implementation time and consulting to get it working, to get it
ready.  A stop sign, but a huge amount of internal cost to make this
move. Using up internal political and social capital over this. Will
erode IT value.
Wonders why this road map was developed?

Lehigh: a pillar school. Not sure this was out there clearly for the
members of the pillar groups.  We knew there would be changes with the
merger, but they are all surprised that this happened as it did. Put
"plans in an uproar."

Others: feedback from other schools was along the same lines as CBW
said in email.  Struggling to get training and services was a common
Contract negotiations: hours going up. You need to do additional work
on your side. Timelines slipping. Resources. Grand View said this.

Is anyone reporting a GOOD implementation?

Early adopters really got slammed. Key pieces that weren't configured.
Looks like it is getting better with 2.0, 2.5.  But no perfect shot,
Newer versions have more functionality. Support & consulting folks
didn't know it, either. Consulting person attending the same user
training. But better now.  A steep learning curve, but better.

Banner BRM user:  It's going to be "free" but it is NOT.  Licensing
and implementation services costs that are not in the budget.

Truman: A bad implementation of BRM.  Bad training.  No compensation,
even after Banner acknowledged the problem.  Implemented, but "it
doesn't do that yet" but they were sold it.
They say: we are not naive, but this is worse than the usual gap
between sales and implementation.

Strong concerns about the double cost of this.  Enrollment manager is
angry at Truman. She is not an angry person.  problems with
duplicates, PDMs, the schema.  Waiting a promised script; it's never
on the new priority list. Can't remove the duplicates from Banner, and
it's a real problem.

DJG: Sounds like BRM was a lot like recruiter. Both released before
functionality was there; buggy. Both with short supply of services.
BRM has lost, Recruiter won. Less buggy now, but still these services
BRM to Recruiter.
All will be clamoring for services. Will have to buy more hours, and
Ellucian doesn't have the staff to support what we need...and pay for.
Big contention among all end users for limited resources at Ellucian.

Spelman: I am reluctant to start this installation. We just paid a
significant amount of money.

Georgian: Spent hours, months, etec. getting BRM in place.  What
happens with Advancement? Is that tied to Recruiter, as well?
Wondering about integration?
Ans: They don't affect each other.  There was going to be an alumni
piece connected to BRM.  BRM goes away. You will have BCM.

Recruiter: SQL based; but Banner is Oracle.

Any Recruiter success stories?
Datatel user group:  Heard presentations that were positive.
Grand Valley: We still like the product, but I wish we would have
waited. They like it better than Colleague (end users).  Connections
with Outlook.

Oakland and Lehigh: Outlook connection means nothing; we use Gmail. (DJG agrees)

Dana from Ellucian: There are clients that are experiencing problems,
but these problems are common. They had inadequate capacity and
training in place. They admit it.
What have they done:  aggressively trying different efforts to scale
up capacity. Lots of hiring within past 3 mons. 7 project mgrs and 28
consultants. (Vs 3 and 11 a year ago). That doesn't magically fix it.
Necessary but not sufficient.

What is the difference between implementation that is fairly easy, and
one that is a train wreck?  Are our efforts making a difference?  It's
too early to tell.
It sounds like some are not unique to Recruiter.  Particularly acute
for Recruiter though.
Steps being taken. Advances made in product releases have been in response.

Rare to hear: product doesn't meet my needs. The other is around pain
of implementation.

This solution is very important to the community and Ellucian.
Strategic importance.  Oversharing:  in the spirit of trying to look
at dramatic changes--she continues to contemplate about whether to get
more 3rd party help.
Grand Valley: yes. Mostly a microsoft CRM product.  They can help with
training. Most of it is delivered MS.
Question: what does that do for schools that are Google.
You can make them talk to each other.
No! You can do it, but it's not pretty!!

Ellucian: you can just use web based.
GV:  But you lose a lot of the time savings and elegance that way.
You shouldn't even show them the Web.
Would have to change your contracts: Ellucian says we will sue you if
you bring in a 3rd party group.  A lot of folks ignore.  Ellucian has
not made using 3rd party vendors easy.

Oakland: I wrote 17 times to schedule a vendor on campus, going up the
ladder, for 8 months.  That's when I gave up and went to 3rd party
vendors. But they wouldn't schedule, either.
This product is showcasing a major problem. There is a long way to go.

Trinity: This is our crunch time in the sales cycle, i.e. admissions
calendar.  We lose students; they are gone.  Higher ed is more
competitive than ever, and this kind of thing is unacceptable.  Much
This is disaster recovery mode: Oakland.

Cheryl: Banner and Datatel couldn't talk until Jan. 2012.
35 days ago: Cheryl got responsibility for Recruiter. Has been talking
with professional services. She comes from Sungard side.  She went
thru BRM side.
They understand it is important.

Trying hard to find a person to fix it for each implementation.

Sounds like they have been addressing it on the back end.  But you
need to rein in the sales folks.  They are overselling, big time.

Cheryl: They all report to me now, so we are working on that too. I hear you.
They will provide references within the community. Also, know that
larger team is not the only answer, it has to be good.  Trying to
generate happy references from each implementation.

Trinity: You also need to cut the price on services. We could take a
double hit: loss of tuition revenue and huge payouts for services to
make it work. Forget your stockholders this time.  More agreement.  IT
takes a huge on-campus credibility hit on this.

Emporia:  Input from customers wasn't sufficient in this road map.
Selected the weakest part of the BRM piece, (communications) and took
it forward.  Going to have to look for another solution, and go
through another implementation. I haven't heard anything that is going
to change that.

Oakland: I can't go back to my BoT and tell them what happened. I lose

Questions about student retention and alumni donor pieces of BRM?
That's why we bought it?
Ellucian (Dana): What will map to them now that it is Recruiter.
BCM will take that on.
Cradle to grave reporting.
Change part is communication tools.
45 customers that are part Datatel and also use Banner for some
segments, and vice versa.
Trying to pull that all together but also give you options to make it
work.  Offer choices.

How big is recruiter in Ellucian? What percent? What amount of
attention and priority is it?
Cheryl: VERY high. 150 clients on Recruiter.  Not all in active
implementation right now. How many? Not sure.
BRM clients: 125.

All these new Recuiter from the Colleague side; conversions from the
Banner side.  Are you willing to say No to a new client, so you can
take care of existing folks.

Dana offers to have a meeting that will get professional services
people in touch with this group.  Wide support.

Spelman: Please bring along those who are successful  Where are they
now? How is it going now.

Oakland:  it's a math problem. Even with the personnel you have, it's
not enough to handle 150.

Ellucian:  3rd party help?  Let's remove the contractual barrier;
we're a new company.
General feeling that this could help.  But make it helpful. Not a
sales implementation, but a real higher ed implementation.  Blended,
though: works well with other large corporations.
Truman has doubts: They had problems within Banner.

Deadline for signing up for now is Dec. 2014 so it's a longer deadline
for the Banner people.

Wrap up: Dana offers: Concerns about what is going to happen with the
John Speer and ____: Openly share where we are headed. They are trying
to be candid to the community and work with you through the
transition, rather than quietly ceasing support of BRM without saying

Plans for a future meeting with professional services and affected clients.

Sent from my iPad
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