Ellucian Live 2024 Highlights

Senior Analyst

Senior Analyst

Ellucian Live 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

At this year’s Ellucian Live, more than 5,000 participants gathered in San Antonio, Texas, to see what the educational technology giant had in store for the future, to share tips and tricks, and connect with peers.  

In addition to new product announcements and enhancements, the conference presented an opportunity to hear from new leadership in key areas, including Ellucian’s new Chief Operating Officer, Kelly Rogan.

Let’s dive into the highlights and key conference takeaways.

New Product Announcements and Enhancements

Ellucian continues to offer new, competitive, and innovative products, especially geared toward institutions that are examining their future enterprise resource planning (ERP) software strategies.  

New products announced this year signaled Ellucian’s commitment to modernization. Most notable was the introduction of Ellucian Journey, Intelligent Process, and Communicate.  

Ellucian Journey

Ellucian Journey is an AI-enabled lifelong learning platform aimed at preparing students with the necessary current workforce skills by providing a clear vision of how students’ learning pathways align with their career goals. The platform captures learner skill progressions and suggests courses that align those skills to current workforce data, ultimately better preparing students and hopefully enabling a greater return on their higher education investment. With industry demand and institutional learning outcomes, Journey uses AI to give students suggestions on how to reach their goals.  

Ellucian Intelligent Process

Ellucian Intelligent Process is a no-code workflow automation tool. It allows Ellucian customers to modernize and automate various business processes on campus with a bi-directional feed into the ERP, improving efficiency. It will also improve accuracy with a direct core systems connection that almost eliminates the need to manually enter data into student, finance, or HCM systems, a step often required with other automation products. Done correctly, this will improve the data integrity of institutional processes and free up human capital for more important work at the institution.  

Ellucian Communicate

Ellucian Communicate is an integrated multi-channel communication platform with the ability to leverage SMS communication, email, or in-app push notifications to reach students at all stages of their journey.  The new platform capability integrates with Ellucian’s CRM and ERP/SIS solutions.

In addition to new product announcements, enhancements to Ellucian Insights and Colleague Financial Reports were announced. Insights will release a series of new predictive and generative AI-powered capabilities aimed at addressing student retention and at-risk learners along with a chatbot to help users gain insights about their institution’s data more quickly. Upgraded Colleague Financial Reports will offer self-service functionality so users can generate formatted reports directly from the Ellucian Experience platform, among other enhancements.

A Shift in SaaS Journey Conversations

At last year’s Ellucian Live, many of the SaaS journey conversations were more technical in nature. This year, we heard more discussions around business practices and change management, which most higher education institutions are actively addressing.  Ellucian introduced a new, more defined student, HCM, and finance implementation approach that has a strong emphasis on change management to better support institutions through the move to the cloud/SaaS.

Understanding the Market

Several statistics about the current state of the market were shared on the main stage that merit further context.

For example, Ellucian shared that more than 2,000 institutions are using at least one SaaS product in their product line-up. It is important to note that of those 2,000 institutions, only a fraction are on Ellucian Colleague SaaS or Ellucian Banner SaaS. Tambellini tracks the state of student, HCM, and finance selections very closely. To see exact numbers, Tambellini clients can read our 2024 Financial Management and Human Capital Management Systems US and International Higher Education Market Share, Trends, and Leaders Report and our 2023 Student Systems US Higher Education Market Share, Trends, and Leaders Report. The 2024 Student Systems US Higher Education Market Share, Trends, and Leaders Report will be released at the end of April.

What We Are Watching 

Attendees expressed excitement about the new products and announced improvements. We are keeping our eyes on enhancements to solutions, especially for human resources and finance.

We will also be following updates about Ellucian’s acquisitions, including the most recent, EduNav. These strategic acquisitions are helping Ellucian fill product gaps and bring more robust offerings to market.

Ellucian is continuing to innovate and make investments in the success of higher education, but Tambellini research indicates that many current Ellucian clients are not yet ready to take advantage of these offerings. Many institutions are struggling with multi-decade, customization-laden instances of Banner and Colleague that are standing in the way of their modernization goals. These conferences are the ideal space to bring together institutions at all stages of their modernization journey to learn from the vendors and one another.

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Senior Analyst
As a senior analyst, Jessica M. Thomas uses her wide range of higher education and technology experience to empower campus leaders to reach their institution’s enrollment management, student journey, and technological goals. Specifically, she assists higher education clients in identifying opportunities to improve the student experience, compliance, operations, and decision making, all with a change management lens.

Additional Authors:

Senior Analyst
As a senior analyst, Dr. Matt Winn focuses his research initiatives on academic administration, LMS, and other teaching and learning technologies. He has led numerous modernization and implementation projects within the SIS, LMS, and CRM landscapes. Passionate about using technology to serve and improve education, he seeks to help institutions integrate disparate systems, create automations, and improve various processes across campus. 

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