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Ellucian announced Banner 8 Administrative applications will enter Ellucian’s Sustaining Support stage on December 31, 2018.  After this date, Ellucian has stated the company will no longer provide development, patches, fixes, or regulatory updates to Banner 8.  Ellucian recommends that all Banner customers upgrade to Banner 9 Administrative applications prior to December 31, 2018.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

With a firm de-support date of less than 22 months away, this announcement from Ellucian takes the “stay where we are” option off the table for hundreds of Banner institutions.  Without regulatory updates for financial aid and tax updates for payroll, the risk to continue to run Banner 8 after December 31, 2018 is too great for any Banner institution.

There is now significant pressure on institutions to make a decision and secure funding for either a Banner 9 upgrade or a replacement solution.

Ellucian states that Banner 9 offers broader and more effective use of foundational systems as well as being intuitive, efficient, and mobile. Even so, a significant number of institutions are finding this to be the prudent time to evaluate modern options the market now has to offer.

The Tambellini Group ANALYSIS for HIGHER EDUCATION

With the investment that Ellucian has made in Banner 9, and the costs to support multiple software offerings, The Tambellini Group acknowledges that Ellucian has to end support for Banner 8. Ellucian has created programs and services to help their customers through the upgrade process.

However, The Tambellini Group also understands the impact that this places on hundreds of institutions that are already struggling with tight budgets and limited resources. The timing of the announcement in February 2017 leaves nearly 1,000 institutions with less than 22 months to either upgrade to Banner 9 or migrate to a new solution. Only a fraction of the Banner by Ellucian customer base has started the migration to Banner 9, and the announcement is a surprise to many.

The Tambellini Group has been providing in-depth research and custom analysis to Banner 8 institutions to help them assess the best decision for their institution to either upgrade to Banner 9 or to migrate to a new solution. In working with institutions, The Tambellini Group finds that institutions that have very few customizations, may be more apt to upgrade to Banner 9 as the upgrade is more streamlined.  Institutions with extremely limited budgets are also likely to follow an upgrade path versus replacing their systems.

However, institutions that are running Banner 8 on-premises and have invested in customizations in their Banner solutions report that an upgrade to Banner 9 requires significant additional investment and therefore opens the door to replacing Banner. The timing of the Ellucian announcement will require most, if not all Ellucian Banner Student customers to upgrade to Banner 9. There is simply not enough time to replace Banner Student with another solution prior to December 2018. Some institutions will have time to replace Banner Finance and/or Banner Human Resource with an alternative solution.

As The Tambellini Group engages with more clients that are making these decisions, a number of realities are coming to light, including:

  1. Institutions are finding that with the sheer number of colleges and universities making these same decisions, time is short to make their decisions and to establish their place in the queue for services and resources, regardless of their chosen direction.
  2. Budgets for either the “upgrade” or “replace” must be carefully estimated and managed, as some costs over-runs for some early adopters of modern cloud solutions have been significant.
  3. Regardless of the direction chosen, institutions may find it necessary to include components from multiple vendors to cover all the functionality areas and priorities.

The Tambellini Group recommends that institutions that are at this crossroads with their Banner solution:

  1. Evaluate their existing solution and determine
    • Number of customizations they currently have
    • Gaps in functionality (based on the desired state)
    • Functionality and flexibility envisioned for the future
    • Investments and on-going costs in maintenance, facilities, personnel
    • Institution culture and readiness for change
  1. Analyze the options
    • What existing and new solutions are candidates for consideration (based on gaps, requirements, culture, mandate for transformation)?
    • What are the costs and time allocations involved with upgrading to Banner 9?
    • What are the costs and time allocations involved with implementing a different solution?
    • What deployment option is the best fit?
    • What staffing plans are necessary to run existing systems, configure new systems, test, cut-over?
  1. How can the institution receive help to make the most informed decision possible and to reduce financial risk?

The Tambellini Group has closely monitored this event and is highly involved in offering research, analysis, reports, and consulting to institutions in the higher education SIS/Student and Finance/ERP, HCM/Payroll market that are facing these decisions.

Two reports are available as institutions embark on this journey. These reports represent the culmination of over a thousand hours of independent, unsponsored research from primary research, numerous consulting engagements, briefings with Ellucian, Workday, and Oracle.

A 30 minute, private consultation with a TTG Analyst  and/or author of the report is included with each purchased report.

These reports are available a la carte from The Tambellini Group website, and are also included in a unique, unbiased subscription service, exclusively for higher education institutions, that allows members to share experiences, research peer decisions, become familiar with vendor options and ratings.

For more information on obtaining research or the consulting engagement options, please schedule a quick call that is convenient for you here.  A member of our analyst team will be happy to tell you more about the assistance we are providing to institutions just like yours.