How to achieve school system interoperability

With the consumerisation of IT and the omnipresent nature of data, schools are looking for ways to achieve digital transformation and provide better value to their students, staff and parents. Most schools rely on a multitude of systems to function on a day-to-day basis. These systems include management systems,  timetabling systems,  learning management systems,  web filtering systems,  student/parent portals and many more. The problem is that these systems were not designed for interoperability and data interchange and in effect, are siloed. Moreover, the vendors of these systems have little appetite for the major redesigns that are required to achieve out of the box interoperability. Even if they do have the appetite, they cannot possibly provide native integration with all other systems in existence. This means schools are forced to synchronise data across systems manually or attempt to develop patchwork fixes.

The difficulty of schools attempting to develop ways to glue systems together themselves is that it is both inefficient and expensive. An in-house developer would be required to create scripts and SQL queries to keep systems in sync, but such developers are scarce and costly. Furthermore, developers may switch jobs and they are often the only ones at the school who are able to troubleshoot problems and fix bugs. Off the shelf enterprise service bus (ESB) software is available – essentially an ESB provides the middleware to connect apps without rewriting them – however, these can be costly and only provide the building blocks whilst lacking the “glue” to serve as an end to end solution. The glue needs to be developed by in-house developers.

Saasyan Reciprocity is different in that it can help ease the burden of data interchange between apps. This turnkey solution enables various, otherwise siloed apps to share data, as the software is designed to overcome technological and coding language barriers. It can serve as a unified source of truth for the systems of record it aggregates. Using Reciprocity connectors, schools can synchronise data between multiple apps and can consume the aggregated data through a central, modern and easy to use RESTful API.

Saasyan complements the school’s resources and acts as an extension of the school’s team in dealing with the integration complexities and the ongoing evolution of the platform.

Saasyan Reciprocity is a fully integrated, fully supported end to end SaaS solution that can be run from anywhere and can tap into any data source. You can use Reciprocity on-premise, in the cloud, or both. What’s more, it’s designed to support all apps, SaaS, on-premise, modern or legacy, through lightweight connectors. Easy to configure thanks to the intuitive admin UI, no programming expertise is needed to operate Reciprocity.

Moreover, its open nature allows more tech-savvy schools to repurpose their existing IP or efforts and develop their own connectors. They can leverage the core and a combination of the connectors they have developed in house and connectors provided by Saasyan to achieve a range of business objectives.

There are a range of different uses for Saasyan Reciprocity in schools:

  • Syncing contacts from SIS (Student Information System) to email delivery platforms such as Mailchimp or SwiftDigital. This eliminates the need for manual exports and imports from the SIS into the email delivery platform.
  • Creating AD (Active Directory) users and populate AD groups based on records in the SIS. This has been traditionally automated using PowerShell scripts which may lack error handling capabilities.
  • Auto creating courses in the LMS (Learning Management System) based on courses in the SIS (Student Information System).
  • Syncing timetables and assignments to teachers’ and students’ Office 365 calendars in a similar fashion to Saasyan Tempus https://www.saasyan.com.au/products/tempus/.
  • Enabling push notifications to collaboration platforms such as MS Teams and Slack. These platforms have feature reach APIs which Reciprocity makes very easy to leverage.
  • Driving/configuring/enabling IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
  • Reciprocity can also serve as a data lake. It makes it easy for the school to gather data from various systems of record and make it available centrally so that it can be leveraged by a parents’ portal, a school-provided mobile app and many more solutions that are part of the digital transformation journey many schools have embarked on.

For more information please contact Saasyan on +61 2 8001 6632 / sales@saasyan.com.au