The higher education sector has reason to celebrate: college attendance is on the rise. In fact, for ten of the past 15 years, more than 70 percent of colleges reported year-to-year application increases, according to National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Naturally, with increased enrollment comes a deluge of information, including personal, financial, and healthcare data collected on students, faculty, administration, and staff. The higher education enrollment industry must be able to manage these growing volumes of data and prioritize cyber security – all within an environment where transaction volumes are highly cyclical and date sensitive.
More and more educational institutions are transferring their virtual libraries of student data to the cloud where they can better store, analyze, and access it while also reducing the cost to manage all the information. FolderWave, a private higher education IT provider based near Boston, is one of the earliest such cloud-space providers for higher education.
Today, FolderWave helps flagship colleges and universities centralize millions of documents, representing a soup-to-nuts approach to admission applications, financial aid forms, academic transcripts, contracts and grants, and practically any other paperless documentation a school wants to track.
Schools such as Boston College, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, Merrimack College, Wittenberg, Tulane, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute look to FolderWave to handle this virtual avalanche of data. So where does FolderWave turn for a secure and reliable hosting environment in an era where nearly 80 percent of organizations suffer cyberattacks*?
They turned to Sungard Availability Services (“Sungard AS”) for server management, intrusion detection, managed security, high availability, and backup services. Since the fall of 2014, Sungard AS has provided FolderWave with a cloud environment to help the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider store and safeguard the customer data it maintains.
With Sungard AS handling the managed services and private cloud environments, FolderWave personnel become master integrators who focus their expertise on capturing more data to permit better analytics. “We don’t need a dedicated IT department that’s tending a server farm,” says Robert Burke, FolderWave President. “We decided to partner with a vendor so we could concentrate on our core offerings: technology, support, implementation, and strategy, among others.”
Burke sees the greatest benefit and value with Sungard AS during the October-to-January time period when applications flood in and early-action admissions must be made. With Sungard AS, FolderWave can respond quickly to customers’ needs. “Once we have a sense of their requirements, Sungard AS is able to set up and configure quickly,” he explains.
Having mountains of data accessible at a single source is critical. “Increasing volumes of data means FolderWave’s storage capacity has to be scalable. Sungard AS takes care of that, and we know it will be done right,” Burke concludes.
As it turns out, the cloud may have practical benefits, too: more than one-third of survey respondents in a MeriTalk poll said that academic retention rates would improve as cloud offerings grow, while 53% said cloud is vital to their institution’s future competitiveness. In other words, cloud-based enrollment solutions like those from FolderWave are a smart move. Read the full Sungard AS customer story here.
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* According to the “2015 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey” from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), CSO magazine, CERT and the U.S. Secret Service.
** MeriTalk, on behalf of VMware and Carahsoft, conducted an online survey of 152 higher education IT professionals in June 2014. The report has a margin of error of ± 7.92 at a 95% confidence level.