Digital Education

Turning Textbook Academia Into a

Digital Education Experience

Turning Textbook Academia Into a Digital Education Experience

Digital Transformation doesn’t come easy for most organizations. It forces leaders to rethink everything and it entails change on several levels, not just the technical. For those in the education space, Digital Transformation or Digital Education Experience (DEX) can be especially difficult to navigate. The scope is vast and the journey encompasses areas that most organizations never have to consider: dorm life, recruitment, athletics, and faculty publishing, to name just a few.

Leaders can’t afford to backburner their DEX goals now, however. In fact, it’s time for leaders in education to ramp up their efforts and create a workable plan that foresees obstacles and provides ways to overcome them. Here’s what education leaders are facing as they embark upon their unique journey of Digital Transformation.

DEX is Already Happening – Often Without a Strategy

The Digital Transformation journey has already begun in piecemeal jumps and starts around campuses everywhere. New learning models have already transformed classrooms and homework. Recruitment may have its own Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. The Registrar’s office has been patching and updating its legacy record-keeping platform for over a decade and has plans to shop around for a new one. Dining has an isolated payment system that doesn’t tie into the campus book store’s payment system. Every academic department has its own collection of apps and SaaS solutions they use to do research, teach, and deliver content.

It all qualifies as Digital Transformation but the problem is, there’s no strategy. It’s a common problem, too. According to an IDG survey, 62 percent of enterprises have no road map in place for enterprise-wide transformation. In order to understand why that is, we’ll have to break down the challenges of each stakeholder.

Multiple Challenges from Multiple Stakeholders in Academia

Educators have a unique journey as they digitize their campuses. Each stakeholder has a wide variety of needs and wants. The DEX journey must solve problems for all of them while paving a way for even more changes in the future. The academic ecosystem includes student services, admissions, sports, alumni services, textbook publishers, facility management and more.


Classrooms are changing, adopting new education technology products that make teaching and learning highly interactive. Video lectures, digital texts, and online collaboration between faculty and students and among students themselves are all commonplace these days.


Faculty are now using advanced technology for teaching and presentations. As a result, collaboration software and large screen displays are transforming classrooms. When classrooms have high-definition displays, guest speakers can weigh in on important topics or even provide an entire collaborative lecture with the regular faculty who are on site. Video conferencing technology has an enormous impact on the college classroom. It also allows remote rural students access to educational opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.

The demands that faculty place on administrators to enable these high-tech teaching methods (and the classrooms to support them) are intensifying. They want access to powerful teaching tools like Microsoft Project and professional upgrades to familiar software products like Microsoft Word in a cost-efficient way. Increasingly, they’re using video in the classroom and demanding the tools they need to make engaging video presentations possible. Some are even using gamification, which can serve to motivate students to learn if applied correctly. But without the proper platforms and tools, their teaching goals cannot be met.


Students want premium products for homework and class projects, like Office 365, which will prepare them for the real world. In the world of higher education where competition for students is more intense than ever, these demands take priority.

All of this requires a robust digital platform that allows visibility, control, and security. Security is a top priority when it comes integrating new technology into academic settings. Student data has long been tightly guarded and the new digital era intensifies that drive to new levels.

With all of these needs in mind, the count of obstacles that stand in the way of Digital Transformation on campus can seem insurmountable:

  • Runaway adoption by disparate departments of technology downloads by students, staff, and faculty
  • Shrinking budgets
  • Lack of a centralized view to manage budgets
  • Education technology that keeps evolving before IT leaders can get a handle on it
  • Demands from faculty and students and staff for better digital products
  • Compliance
  • Mobility

On top of all this, colleges and universities are apt to have disparate legacy systems in place. That places additional challenges on security measures, but leaders must find a way to persist, despite the challenges. A master plan – or ‘road map’ for DEX can help.

A Roadmap for Digital Change on Campus

Educational IT teams and administrators are under immense pressure to get DEX right. This will require a road map, a grand plan that’s informed by an awareness of the risks, an understanding of their own unique needs, and knowledge about the services that are available. Taking action to build and execute on this plan may require outside help.

We are working with an holistic approach. Understanding first the vision and policies of a school. The SoftwareONE’s solutions for academia then provide guidance, advice, and the tools and platforms that education leaders need to move forward on their DEX initiatives. We challenge and improve our practice onging with colleges, universities, primary schools, non-profits, and researchers to create solutions that will carry them into the 21st century and beyond, including plans for:

  • Determining and procuring the best EdTech solutions to meet your needs
  • Negotiating agreements for national and transnational IaaS and cloud platforms
  • Centralizing management for cloud and software portfolios
  • Simplified distribution of programs to faculty, students, and staff
  • Migration from data center to the cloud


Digital Education Experience
Digital Education Experience, source: SoftwareONE

Our Technical Services also help with Office 365 migration, shifting SharePoint from datacenters to the Cloud, integration of CRM platforms, enterprise security and mobility, and Adobe adoption. Each platform is tailored to meet the specific demands of various education stakeholders: students, faculty, and staff.

Student portals offer free access to valuable software bundles that will not only help them with their schoolwork but also prepare them for the job market. These are just some of the highlights. We also provide the best Microsoft EDU licensing services and EDtech software solutions with academic discounts that will satisfy your budget constraints.

With support from SoftwareONE, education IT leaders can meet each of the demands associated with Digital Transformation , while overcoming common challenges. Understanding where these roadblocks may be, and creating a detailed plan to minimize them, educational institutions can take full advantage of the benefits of a connected, digital campus. Together with schools, colleges and universities we create a state of the art Digital Education Experience.

Digital Education Experience
SoftwareONE Digital Education Experience, source: SoftwareONE

Plan Your Digital Transformation

Our offerings for education enable schools to digitally transform in the most efficient, secure, and cost-effective way. Read how we can optimize your Digital Education Experience (DEX) roadmap.

Learn More
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  • Education, Migration, Kanban

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