Today’s fast paced world can be a frightening place for non-tech savvy rec admins. Those who don’t stay on top of the latest tech trends miss a huge opportunity to connect with a new generation of students who have never known life without a digital device. But there’s no need to be an expert developer to know what to ask and require of any vendor who brings a technology solution to the table. Below are things any rec admin should require of a technology vendor:
Software and hardware are extremely flexible and providers should be able to take advantage of this flexibility to customize products specifically to your school. Software applications should provide the best user experience by being uniquely tailored to your programs and incorporate school logos and colors.
Training and Support
Any piece of hardware or software you purchase should come with extensive training for you and your staff. Be wary of any provider who offers a pricey support contract or caps the number of customer support hours. Technology vendors should recognize the learning curve required to turn new customers into power users, and they should be willing to commit the necessary resources to get you and your team singing their product’s praises. Additionally, vendors should provide multiple points of support contact including in-person visits, direct phone lines to technicians, a support email, and 24 hour support either through phone or live chat.
Multiple Pricing Tiers
Gone are the days of selling one-size fits all software solution loaded with features that will never be used. Vendors shouldn’t sell this way, and you and your staff shouldn’t buy that way either. The best software vendors price products in tiers based on the feature needs of the organization. If your software provider tries to sell you one product bloated with useless features, ask if they can customize the product to your needs and price it accordingly. If they can’t, look for another vendor.
Very few providers require local data storage on a server or computer anymore. The best vendors have built solutions that connect to and store data in the cloud in real-time and are accessible through a web browser. You should no longer need to install programs on your machine and never worry about losing data.
Today’s collegians spend a majority of their time on their phones. If you’re looking to integrate a software solution that will be used by students, it MUST have a native mobile app. Additionally, you’ll need to promote the app and make it easy for them to download.
Rec admins who demand providers deliver each of the points listed above will rarely make a bad technology purchasing decision.
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Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.