Many universities are now formulating and implementing phase-back plans that will see students return to campus in time for the fall semester and a new Touchnet webinar explores this important topic. This means that campus services and infrastructure will need to be back up and running. But what challenges does this pose to campus card administrators in the near term?
Touchnet’s recent webinar, “The Evolution of Campus Credentials,” discussed many of these new challenges in detail, offering perspectives on modern credentialing solutions and real-world examples of how campuses are benefitting from newer credentialing technology now during unexpected circumstances.
In the webinar, Dave Falldien, OneCard Sales Engineer at Touchnet, discusses some of the unpredictable challenges brought about by the coronavirus and subsequent campus closures, including the difficult pivot from normal life to remote system administration.
CR80News recently caught up with Falldien to talk about some of the new difficulties campus card admins are facing and ways to cope with new workflows.
“Overnight we all started working from home,” says Falldien. “It’s an adjustment, but there are ways that admin work can be done from home. It’s possible to remotely manage all aspects your system.”
“A web-based interface simply makes these workflows device agnostic. It’s about being nimble and meeting card admin needs in this changing environment.”
Falldien points out that many campus card administrators are expected to maintain the same or similar workflow despite the work environment changing. So the challenge becomes how to empower that remote work, and ideally, do so without a steep learning curve.
“We can’t afford to install another system, so moving to a web-based platform is key,” explains Falldien. “We can provide a singular interface that enables card admins to access their work from anywhere. They’ve already invested their time to learn these systems, so we want to maximize that expertise.”
Falldien stresses that campus card administrators can continue remotely managing all aspects of their system. “From an admin standpoint, we want staff to have complete access to all the same resources throughout this transitional period,” he says.
"A web-based interface simply makes these workflows device agnostic,” adds Falldien. “It’s about being nimble and meeting card administrators’ needs in this changing environment.”
With so much of the campus experience for both students and administrators now changing, a number of conversations around system and infrastructure upgrades are being reignited.
“The new normal is really going to, whether we want it to or not, be heavily focused on a contactless environment and experience,” says Falldien. “App-based resources, using phones to check into events or make payments, leveraging mobile credentials for access or to check out materials from a library – it’s going to be vital to empower students to do these things for themselves.”
One way to help deliver this experience could be an increased focus on self-service options for students, which are growing in importance now that campus services are more distributed.
"We need to expand self-service for students -- buy an event ticket or check-in online. Everything that we want our students to do they now have to be able to do themselves, particularly if they can’t visit an office or go to a POS."
“Universities are notorious for being ships that are hard to turn. Administrations are now having to reassess systems that may have been overlooked for far too long and are out of date,” says Falldien. “A lot of times these are actually things that card offices and auxiliaries have wanted to do for a while, but now the pandemic has shined a glaring light on it.”
The same premise also applies to the end user.
“We need to expand self-service for students -- buy an event ticket or check-in online. Everything that we want our students to do they now have to be able to do themselves, particularly if they can’t visit an office or go to a POS,” says Falldien. “And we want them to be able do that in a safe and secure way.”
Despite all the things that remain uncertain right now, Touchnet wants to help universities maintain a desirable student experience. "Really what we’re doing is we’re ensuring that all students, whether they're on campus or remote, are getting the same level of service that they’re used to," says Falldien.
For a more detailed discussion about how modern campus credentials and software can address the challenges mentioned above, check out Touchnet’s “The Evolution of Campus Credentials” webinar.