Powerful system with practicality flaws
January 19, 2019

Powerful system with practicality flaws

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud Education Management Solutions (formerly Blackbaud K–12 ON Solutions)

We are utilizing Education Management, SmartTuition, and RaiderEdge NXT.

Pros

  • Attendance system is straightforward.
  • Duplicate identification at the core level.
  • Good telephone support.

Cons

  • Integration between segments of products — too many barriers between the parts core vs academics vs extracurricular. Continually having to change to find the right segment for a particular data field.
  • Security rights are too pre-bundled. It is often necessary to provide editing rights when only viewing rights are wanted, but the separation between view and edit do not exist. Those who only need to look up data have to be given edit rights, which jeopardizes data accuracy.
  • Integration between ed management and other Blackbaud products is lacking. For example, with NXT it is one-way only and data in NXT can easily be DELETED if it only exists in NXT and not Core! However, all constitute types cannNOT be loaded into Core, thus staff has to do basic updates in two completely separate systems...for example, a simple address change that arrives with a donation requires many steps. First update invite, second run Connect RE, third review and approve, fourth open NXT and enter the donation. (However, process has to be different if constitute is a “friend” or “trustee” as that data can’t go through Connect RE... so requires double entries in both systems!)
  • Custom reporting (manage lists) is not able to many, many fields from the dB.
  • Emailing from ed management is useless — no BCC! Doesn’t have any integration for Gmail for Google schools, either. Requires old manual cutting and pasting.
  • Groups - Community, Advisory, and activity groups are similar, yet not. The functionality is mostly the same, but the methods to configure are different and not very intuitive.
  • NO user end documentation. None! Every school has to write their own. No templates, no pre-recorded webinars exist- nothing! It is a figure-it-out-yourself methodology.
  • New (summer 2018) navigation has improvements, but no one seemed to test it in a logical manner. For example, a screen may have 2 rows of 5 tabs that are used to set up, say, groups, but those tabs will not be in the order in which you need to configure the items. In addition, many things could be streamlined by placing data from several tabs onto one, so that tab switching isn’t needed in the first place. So a minimum, they should be ordered from left to right as one would use when completing the setup. Not in a random order. The order even confuses Blackbaud support and consultants as there seems to be no thought to the order.
  • We are still working our way through documenting the system for use to see savings.
  • Not sure there are cost savings as the system is quite expensive.
They are generally easy to reach and find a solution when one exists. Unfortunately, many issues do not have a solution and so are directed to the “Ideas Portal.”
Good for having a centralized location for students and parents versus separate solutions.

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