Campus Management Solutions
As thousands of students swarm the gates of colleges and institutes during admissions and declaration of results, the need for a method to madness has been much felt by universities and colleges for long. As a step towards faster and hassle-free campus-based activities, many colleges are now using a comprehensive campus management solution – this offers features to allow students to access all the campus-related info easily and manage key administrative activities especially the executive and operational processes for college seamlessly across many locations
The wait for exam results is now much shorter than what it used to be earlier; today all you need to do is type an SMS sitting your study room or click on the college website. Welcome to the world of e-campus – a virtual environment that gives you access to all the college related activities, admission, assessment, examinations, e-learning, faculty interaction, fee submissions and much more all available online. The many benefits that this technology offers to students, parents, faculty, staff has led to an increasing number of colleges and educational institutes adopting campus management solutions. However the transformation has been a long and gradual process.
It is not an easy decision for any higher education varsity to host all their operations and activities online, as even today a large volume of data processed in higher education is still done manually in paper and the staff at most of the colleges is yet to get tech savvy in their day-to-day activities. A pro-active and committed management leadership that can steer the e-culture and make a campus almost paperless has been an important key to the success of the many e-campus initiatives. With more and more institutions realising the long-term benefits and cost savings of using a campus management solution (CMS) – the transition to ‘e’-culture has taken a jump-start. The CMS software offers a simple and structured solution that has created to turnaround the overall efficiency and accuracy metrics for many manual processes that are now automated in the colleges. “It’s a huge and potential-packed market of CMS in India. With the trend and need of campus management software in India increasing, in next five years the market size will be more than ten thousand crore,” says Abhay Panjiyar, CEO, CEON Solutions.
“The future clearly demands for popularising cloud service in India for CMS Applications in schools, universities, colleges and training institutes as it has emerged as a technology that can eliminate the up-front investment costs for academic Institutes in a competitive environment”
Project Manager , Ecole Solutions
e-Campus on the Rise
Currently there is only a small percentage of the entire higher education community that is using this technology on their campus – but numbers are on the rise. “ CMS has promising growth in India as the education system is already blended with eLearning technology. Stakeholders of education industry look for a massive change in teaching pedagogy, content delivery and value of education,” says Leena Periyasamy, Project Manager , Ecole Solutions. This demand has opened up the educational technology market and today many players operating in the large, medium and small scale business segments offer innovative and easy-to-use software platforms for education institutions. “As campuses are growing fast and more and more students are joining in while campuses are offering more and more courses, it is imperative for many of them to immediately adopt CMS to enable efficient delivery of quality education. The growing maturity of the market and the increasing number of universities and bodies of higher education will be the driving forces for the market,” says Dr Jaijit Bhattacharya, Director, Government Affairs, Hewlett Packard India.
Campus Management Software not only automates the process but also saves on resources. This also provides the convenience for the management team to extract the reports and understands the performance of their institute anytime anywhere. Enhanced admission mechanisms, flexible course registrations, advanced grading systems are well designed and customised in the CMS which accommodates the institutes’ and teachers’ requirements. “There are numerous technology platforms that are being used. Most of the market appears to be using bespoke developed solutions, but increasingly, educational bodies are moving towards off-the-shelf solutions. Some are also adopting Open Source solutions. There are even attempts to have an e-cash system integrated into the solution, to enable cashless transactions on the campus,” says Dr Jaijit Bhattacharya.
Arrival of Smart Cards
The use of smart cards is a new technology wave that is poised to enter into the campus technology segment. The future might witness a transformation of the ID Card that can be available in an all new avatar to give the user access to many more facilities and functions in campus and would assist in smoother and more efficient transactions and increased security. “A CMS platform can be easily operated with full compatibility using mobile, IVRS, smart cards, etc., as it is built on flexible, well-designed and multi-layered architecture. Capturing data from bar code system, RFID Tags, etc, pushing the data into CMS and generating MIS Reports for different user levels are some highlights of CMS for the users. Moreover, CMS can also be integrated with any Learning Management System [LMS], Digital Library System to unite all facilities on a single platform,” avers Leena Periyasamy.
“Most of the market appears to be using bespoke developed solutions, but increasingly, educational bodies are moving towards off-the-shelf solutions. Some are also adopting Open Source solutions”
Dr Jaijit Bhattacharya
Director, Government Affairs, Hewlett Packard India
A Campus on the Cloud
The common route of organic growth of any institution is to open new branches across many locations. However to manage and monitor the same requires intense manpower and filling systems. It is also an investment to install the software at all the branches followed by continuous maintenance needs. Here, a cloud-based CMS application empowers you to stay connected, access and execute all the features of the software seamlessly at any location at any branch office. The cloud hosting of applications accelerates the Institutes’ growth capabilities and provides limitless scalability as they branch out to new locations in any part of India or worldwide. The cloud-based CMS platform has hence caught the eye of many technology providers to ease the burden of such challenges experienced by the educational institutes. The future clearly demands for popularising cloud service in India for CMS Applications in schools, universities, colleges and training institutes as it has emerged as a technology that can eliminate the up-front investment costs for academic Institutes in a competitive environment as present today,” says Leena Periyasamy.
CMS implementation through Cloud Technology brings cost efficiency, improves customer satisfaction, drives revenue growth and fosters innovation. As a fierce competition has created a race amongst the educational institutes to attract the best students and offer world-class campus environment, an e-campus surely offers the tech savvy students an e-friendly learning environment and introduces the faculty and staff to interactive tools that can ensure careful planning, systematic approach and accurate control of administrative processes to accelerate performance and maintain a competitive edge.