Creating Efficient Software Infrastructures: How Multi-Institution Partnerships Can Be Efficient & Effective
December 8, 2022

All universities have a complex combination of tools and applications that make up their technology stack. Your university’s technology stack must manage student outreach, enrollment, administrative functions, and even manage course delivery and performance analytics.

With so many boxes your technology stack needs to tick, it’s unsurprising that so many universities find their stack has become over-infrastructured and costly. Making your stack more efficient often feels like an insurmountable task – at least, one that may not seem to take priority over the other things you’ve got on your plate. You also know that you have partner institutions that you work with closely – but that use totally redundant systems! What if you could pool resources and get tech that is deployable by everyone in your network, saving both cost and time?

Learn how you can leverage software and resources through multi-university partnerships that can create efficiencies that help you manage costs and drive revenue and impact.

1. Understanding Your Tech Stack

Understanding what’s going into your university’s tech stack can seem arbitrary, but knowing the ins and outs is imperative to the future success of your students.

Most institutions’ tech stacks vary depending on their needs, but the key elements remain the same. Most require an Enterprise Resource Planning System, an LMS, an SIS, CRM, CMS (content, catalog, and curriculum management), a student communication platform, a student portal, a staff portal, an email marketing system, events, and athletics systems.

These individual systems are crucial and building an extensive ERP or CMS creates valuable resources. But what if there was a way to increase that value while reducing costs and the amount of work it takes to flesh out these systems?

For example, 4 midwestern colleges recently created a partnership to consolidate their “back office” software into a single platform for accounting and finance, IT, and HR, to improve their efficiency and reduce costs [1]. Similarly, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education created a shared enrollment system for 6 of its state universities [2]. This is the power of a multi-institution partnership, and it can work just as well when it comes to sharing learning resources, too.

2. How Shared Resources Bring Efficiency in Learning

Multi-institution online learning allows colleges to give their students access to the best resources possible. The Florida College System has been a tremendous example of how this works in practice - 28 institutions serve more than 750,000 students and share their resources [3]. Florida’s higher education has ranked as the best in the country for 5 years in a row with many in the top 100 and top 20 schools in the nation [4].

Sharing resources through your technology stack can also help reduce the burden on your staff. Instead of constantly needing to add more resources to your systems, they’ll often find that one of the other colleges in their network has shared what they need.

According to a survey by, only 59% of college students believe their university uses its technology effectively. A further 31% felt that some or all of their professors could use help in using their technology more effectively [5]. Shared resources can give students and staff members the additional support they need.

15 colleges in Iowa are putting this idea into practice; they’ve created a shared development center to provide staff with tools and resources to educate students [6]. Resources like this ensure professors can focus on teaching, rather than how they’ll go about teaching. In a world where learning is often hybrid, this is essential.

3. White-Label SaaS Solutions and Partnerships are the Answer

White-label SaaS solutions allow you to present a united brand to your students while partnering with other colleges in your network. That means you can pool your resources without diluting the experience you offer.

Multi-institution partnerships help boost student success. In Seattle, four community and technical colleges came together to provide intensive advising to over 8,000 students. This initiative was associated with improved 2-year outcomes [7].

While-label SaaS solutions in combination with multi-institution partnerships ensure all involved parties share resources and ultimately reduce costs. It’s also a great way for colleges in the same network to create more uniform processes on the back end, which can make things easier for both students and staff.

Find Partners, Not Just Providers

It’s likely that most of your tech stack currently is made up of software from a wide range of providers who are there for you when you need them, but their interest in your success goes only as far as getting their software to work as it should.

We’ve recently partnered with the City University of New York to develop and implement their CUNY branded learning portal, to support their 500,000 learners each year. With the most advanced AI-driven learning platform available, we’re the ideal partner for any university or network looking to become or maintain its status as a leading university. To find out more about what we do, click here.








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