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Tornados in Oklahoma and Texas. Wild fires in California and Colorado. Hurricanes in Louisiana and tropical storms along the upper East Coast. Not only do these disasters exert a terrible toll on people and on their personal lives, but they also wreak havoc on all manner and sizes of businesses, institutions of higher education among them.

An effective business continuity plan must be based on both a sound knowledge of your institution’s culture and structure, as well as on well-defined policies and procedures that make the plan a part of your daily operations, rather than something that is referred to only in case of emergency.

In this environment of ever-tightening budgets, staff reductions, and increased workloads, it’s more essential than ever for knowledge workers to gain efficiencies, doing their jobs faster but without sacrificing quality and accuracy. As burdensome as this sounds given the restraints on resources that impede these objectives, increasing productivity is entirely within reach. Transparent records management technology offers just this sort of opportunity.

The USC Contracts and Grants department was struggling to maintain efficiencies in the face of a paper flow situation that threatened to engulf them. Exacerbating the problem was that to facilitate agreements and arrive at resolutions, a great deal of interaction and information-sharing with other campus entities was required.

If the various departments on campus were entirely self-contained, never having to share information with, or seek it out from, other departments, then a paper-based, hardcopy system might not be so unwieldy. But as anyone in education will tell you, no department is an island. Instead, there’s a massive amount of back and forth; a reality that a paper-based system is increasingly ill-suited for, says Linda Ding, education program strategist for Laserfiche.

As students’ expectations for service increase, so does the pressure on an institution to keep enrollment numbers up. The administrative team at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana decided that to keep retention at a high level, it was necessary to provide a seamless, personalized customer service experience to its more than 200,000 enrolled and prospective students.

Automating aspects of technology management can aid colleges and universities in multiple ways, from increased student and professor satisfaction to reduced energy usage and costs. In addition to these benefits, with its resource management software, Texas A&M University has achieved a reduced IT staff size and more effective troubleshooting. This web seminar, originally broadcast on February 27, 2013, addressed the benefits of resource management software, including those realized through automation.

For the millions of unbanked employees in the U.S. and their employers, receiving wages via paper paychecks can be costly in time and money. Implementing a paycard system can bring your institution up to 100 percent e-payment, eliminating the messy administrative processes that come with cutting checks. This web seminar, originally broadcast on February 19, 2013, covered how paycards work, the reasons why paycard systems work for all employees, and the benefits of partnering with a paycard vendor.

When a college or university engages near field communication (NFC), it gains the ability to install all campus access capabilities onto a student’s smartphone. Not only is student ease of use gained, but the operational and financial efforts necessary for keeping up with a card credential system are eliminated. This web seminar, originally broadcast on November 15, 2012, addressed the future of NFC in higher ed, the user and institutional benefits to switching over, as well as how Villanova University successfully piloted an NFC program of their own.

With the goal of attracting high numbers of international students, Arizona State University needed a solution to interest prospective students on multiple levels. With Campus Management’s Talisma CRM system, ASU was able to transform its admissions and marketing processes by streamlining and automating certain communications. In this web seminar, originally presented on January 17, 2013, an administrator from ASU described how the institution optimized recruiter productivity, as well as maximized student engagement through the utilization of multiple communications channels.