A core responsibility of nearly every edtech company is onboarding new customers. As technology evolves and customer requirements become more complex, getting users up and running is becoming more difficult and time consuming for companies.
From the earliest days, we knew that onboarding new districts and universities was going to be a mission-critical function of Edlink. Ensuring that schools have a short and pain-free setup process was (and still is) the first major step to driving adoption and success with our clients' products.
The challenge is that making two systems work together is no small matter. Keeping it simple for the school to configure is an even harder task.
Our first onboarding flow got us through several years of operation, and we learned a few things along the way:
- Many schools want to self-serve. The integration process needs to be clear enough that schools are able to connect on their own (with no prior experience with Edlink) with a reasonably high success rate.
- As integrations become more complex, so too does onboarding. We needed to reconsider our onboarding flow to take into account all of the new situations that could occur. Our goal was to minimize the number of choices an administrator has to make during onboarding to reduce the chance for confusion and error.
- This is nobody's full time job. Administrators have a lot of other responsibilities on their plate - especially during the back to school season when integrations typically come across their desk. Integration needs to be fast and instructions need to be clear.
So What's New?
With all that in mind, here's what you can find in the new Edlink administrator onboarding flow:
- Simplified login process. Once a school district or university has connected to Edlink, they don't need to reconfigure their LMS or SIS. The challenge can be that admins might forget whether or not they've signed up in the past, leading to duplicate accounts and a bit of confusion. We're now much smarter about handling logins to help admins get signed in (or signed up) quickly.
- Region selection. In order to better comply with local data privacy laws, Edlink can store information in various regions around the world (starting with the United States and Canada). Now with only one click, administrators can specify their desired region during the onboarding flow.
- Customized provider instructions. This is where we've spent the most time and effort. Each and every LMS and SIS now has its own set of very specific and customized instructions. There's no need for additional documentation guides - it's all built into the onboarding flow.
- LTI 1.3 configuration. LTI 1.3 connections are always the most challenging for admins and developers. We've built custom LTI configuration instructions for each major LMS to make it as simple as possible for the school admin.
- Automatic SFTP setup. In the past, districts needed to contact us if they wanted to push data to our SFTP server. Now, this configuration can be automatically generated on-the-fly.
- Configuration validation. Edlink will now validate whether or not a source has been configured correctly during the onboarding flow. This helps eliminate errors and makes sure everything gets set up correctly the first time.
There's still more to come over the next few months, so keep an eye out for new features that pop up to make administrators' lives easier. If you have questions or feedback regarding the new onboarding flow, don't hesistate to reach out to your Edlink Client Success Manager, or drop us a line here.