Yesterday afternoon I was in a Webex session with about 40 Vista and CE administrators from various higher ed institutions. We were gathered to hear Blackboard’s response to a survey on support issues we had compiled back in the March timeframe. We told Blackboard our biggest issues, and now Blackboard was reporting back on what they’d done to fix those issues.
Even without being in the session, I can tell you, support has improved: telephone and email support with their first line responders (TSMs), that is. Escalation to a line of experts has also improved. Have you noticed yourself? In 3 months that’s quite the accomplishment.
But documentation, support bulletins, and the product management itself still leave ALOT to be desired.
Frankly, this one might take longer than I can wait.
The big one for Notre Dame as a SCT Banner school, is integration. It shouldn’t be this hard! I have to vent about this one … Yesterday I learned that Blackboard and SCT have a joint testing lab where beta and early availability releases of Blackboard products are tested for integration with Banner. I also learned that Blackboard does not participate in the testing themselves. And I learned that Vista 4.2 is not yet certified by SCT Sungard for integration with their product.
Notre Dame went live on Vista 4.1.1 for the summer. We always go live in the summer. Some would suggest it’s almost like a pilot. We quickly threw on 4.1.2 because of the Assignment Dropbox issue with Groups. We knew the defects still in 4.1.2 and went live because 4.2 would be available before summer’s end. What we didn’t anticipate was the time it would take to validate that any remaining defects in this product would not cripple how it is used at Notre Dame.
And, -my bad, I’m sure- never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Blackboard would release something into the wild with a major component -integration with a SIS- still an unknown. Would that be true of their integrations with PeopleSoft and Datatel as well?
Just call me Eternal Sunshine of the Deluded Mind, I guess.