Straight from U: A Hosted Card Solution

Straight from U is a series featuring CBORD higher education users from around the country.
Today we’ll hear from Troy Honeycutt, business process analyst and programmer for Grinnell College in Iowa.

Grinnell is a small private college, which means our IT resources are limited. In the past, we haven’t stayed on top of updates, and when I came on it had been two years since the last upgrade. We were looking to improve our system and automatic upgrades and immediate access to new enhancements were an important driving factor in choosing a cloud-based solution.

We were also looking to eliminate our physical hardware. With Odyssey DirectTM, we only have one piece of hardware, the communication gateway. Since we no longer had hardware to maintain and update, it allowed us to reallocate resources being used for our server.

Not needing an on-site system administrator was another motivating factor for our school. You don’t have to worry about Windows updates or the risk of disaster recovery. Our dining staff can now contact support directly, freeing up our IT support staff and allowing their team to address issues more quickly.

Our dining team worked very hard prior to transition to make sure our data was prepared. This helped our process go much more smoothly. Their attention to detail and preplanning helped make the transition successful. We did have a few problems with our reporting capabilities, but that was more on us not communicating what we were trying to capture. But the migration helped us firm up and update our documentation processes.

We took our system down at 8 am on a Thursday, and it was back up at 3:45 pm that same day.

On Friday, we finished converting our IDWorks software, and early the next week we resolved our reporting issues. CBORD was very organized during the process. If we did have issues, they were either addressed right away or I knew when they would be solved.

If you’re considering the switch, start getting your data primed and ready for the upgrade now. I also recommend taking a close look at your processes. I was new when we started our transition, so this gave me the opportunity to really understand and figure out how to improve our processes and documentation.

I’m happy to discuss any questions you have about moving to a hosted solution. Email me at honeycutt@grinnell.edu.