University Web Developers

University Web Developers

One of the criteria we're evaluating Portal Product/Vendors on is the support structure and quality of support for different channels. I would really appreciate any feedback on the following that you're willing/able to give.

The four categories of support we've identified are:
1. Internal Direct (If it breaks, we fix it.)
2. Vendor Direct (If it breaks, we pay them to fix it.)
3. Vendor Consult (If it breaks, we pay them to tell us how to fix it.)
4. Community Consult (If it breaks, we ask the community how to fix it.)

The different portals we're looking at are:
1. Datatel Portal
2. CampusEAI myCampus
3. Unicon/uPortal
4. Plone (mostly internal/community support only)
5. CampusCruiser Portal

If you have anything to say about the support you've received from any of these products or vendors, or how good/responsive the community was, I'd love to hear it.

Many thanks,
Michael

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Hi Michael,

 

I can speak to my experience with Datatel, Campus EAI, and CampusCruiser. I just wrote a new response to the Colleague / Datatel Portal post I began a while back; check it out - http://cuwebd.ning.com/forum/topics/datatel-colleague-portal.

 

Initial thoughts:

 

CampusCruiser is limited. They have tried to be an all-in-one product and that's hurt them. Though they have brought on some new integration options for 3rd party products, they just aren't meeting our needs. The Navigation is cluttered, they don't seem to understand the importance of us getting data out of the system (for reporting purposes), streaming and managing media within the portal has been a huge ongoing issue, and in order to get data into the portal for things such as department pages, we're using an external CMS that is also in dire need of replacement (we have to plug-in the external link for the pages display; there is no built-in CMS for Cruiser that I know of). We have just outgrown the product. There does seem to be good community support, and the customer service reps we have are quite helpful, but that doesn't do us much good as the product itself isn't up to par.

 

Datatel Portal is what we've decided to migrate to over the next year or so. It has incredible features that just blew us away. It meets all of our needs and then some: http://www.datatel.com/products/products_a-z/portal/benefits.cfm (check out the On-Demand Videos in the top left-hand corner). We're Colleague customers, and have always been pleased with the level of service from Datatel, but the portal is bringing it to an entirely new level -- they really have their ducks in a line. We spoke with our Project Manager yesterday on the Datatel side who will be working with us to implement the system. They also offer a massive amount of training to prep us on how to manage it, and best practices for putting structure to it. Hands-down, this is my pick. 

 

CampusEAI Refer to the other post for info (just wrote a big review on them) http://cuwebd.ning.com/forum/topics/datatel-colleague-portal.

 

Invite the vendors in to give you a demo if you want a feel for not only the product, but the level of customer service and dedication they are willing to offer you. I can tell you that having just gone through that process myself, it really puts things into perspective. Some of the vendors we looked at were so uninterested with meeting our needs it was ridiculous. I think one of them even fell asleep as their business partner was giving their portion of the demo!

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