Blackbaud EMS is a GO!
March 14, 2021

Blackbaud EMS is a GO!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud Education Management Solutions

Blackbaud Education Management Solutions is used for our Admission office, the LMS platform is used across all divisions, Smart Tuition is linked in for our Business Office, and we also use the Blackbaud platforms for our Advancement and Marketing departments.
  • Incredibly easy to use interface for the User (parents, applicants, etc.).
  • Ease of gathering data - Helpful lists, formulas, and reports.
  • Time saver - Especially in the Admission office. Since everything is done digitally from the user through the employee, there is no need to hand-enter data; you just click the button, and everything imports or exports as needed!
  • In EMS, we would love for custom fields to show on the Contact Card and be able to pull into our linked platforms (Raiser's Edge, Finalsite).
  • We would love to be able to delete old contracts, instead of just archiving them. Archiving only helps in certain areas, but full lists of contracts exist in some of the dropdown menus, which can be confusing for the employee if they are not familiar with all of the various contract types, titles, and years.
  • Negative - The rollout is brutal. Blackbaud said it could happen in 6 months, but that is definitely not a reality. It will take well over a year, and one complete school cycle to actually integrate everything correctly.
  • Positive - The amount of time saved in data processing has allowed our office to become more involved in other areas of the school.
  • Positive - The ease of having everything in [one] place, from inquiry to application to contracts and course registration, has been a HUGE benefit to our applicants and their families.
  • Operational efficiency
  • Improved insights
  • Improved internal and external communications
  • A connected school solution
Across all offices, [the] time has been saved by utilizing Blackbaud EMS. Across all offices has connectivity been increased as data flows from one to the next without interruption because we are [all] using the same systems. External communications such as contract mailings are streamlined in a uniform fashion.
We do utilize Raisers Edge NXT, which has been great because immediately our advancement office is connected to new applicants and newly enrolled students. There is a [continuous] flow of data. We utilize Smart Tuition for our account management piece.
There have been a few times where the response from BB support has taken an extremely long time. But mostly, our experiences with calling in or chatting with BB support have been positive.
Our office moved from an ancient version of Blackbaud to OnBoard, just as the transition to EMS was happening. So it's the only updated database system I have used and while the build-out was time-consuming and sometimes difficult, the outcome has been wonderful. Our whole team loves it!
For any tuition-paying school that uses an Admission process, the Blackbaud EMS platform has been a lifesaver! It is streamlined, user-friendly, and allows up to gather and share data in clean and efficient ways. If your school does not use an Admission process, the LMS platform is still valuable for class scheduling, attendance, course comments, etc. Having a digital platform is easy and convenient for families.

Scenarios, where it would be less appropriate, would perhaps be very small schools. Not that the software wouldn't be helpful or useful, but for schools with limited enrollment and staff, it just may not be necessary or the cost may not be justified.