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February 9, 2015 Issue

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Web-Based Solutions and Software to School Districts and Educational Organizations

 


Grant Wright

Owner, Executive Technical Director

 

eSchoolView

www.eschoolview.com

 

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – February 9, 3015

 

CEOCFO: Mr. Wright, would you tell us the concept behind eSchoolView?

Mr. Wright: eSchoolView is a technology company with a focus on providing web-based solutions and software to school districts and educational organizations. The concept behind eSchoolView was to create a line of easy-to-use software products for schools while providing excellent customer support and training – creating a well-rounded company that customers want to be a part of. The results speak for themselves; we started the company in 2008 in Columbus, Ohio and have grown to be a nationwide company with headquarters in Columbus and satellite offices in North Carolina and Arizona, with a customer retention rate of 99%. Our core product is our content management system, which gives schools the ability to manage their own website, enhancing their ability to communicate with families, community members, staff, and students in real-time or very close to it.

 

CEOCFO: What are some of the special needs of school districts that require a more specialized software?

Mr. Wright: Schools need to be able to communicate and engage their communities through technology; the challenge lies in how to do that. Before school websites, there might be a piece of paper with a note or a phone message as the main form of communication. When school websites came along, schools embraced the new technology and found a new way to disseminate information. The struggle was to find a tech savvy staff member who had the knowledge and experience with uploading information to the server. To compound the problem, schools often face a high rate of turnover in staff and would find themselves in a difficult situation when the staff member that was responsible for uploading content resigned.

 

Today, communication is complex and diverse with families, students, and staff requiring communication in a variety of mediums – websites, Facebook, and Twitter, just to mention a few. Our line of software provides schools with the ability to reach their communities across a wide variety of platforms without the worry about how to or who will upload the information. If the staff member who is responsible for information on the website is no longer available, we will train a replacement.

 

All of our solutions come with training and support as well as on-site training in some cases. To take it a step further, we build online instructional videos into our software for easy access and use at any time. If talking to someone is the preferred route, all they need to do is call and they will speak with a support specialist in Columbus or in one of our regional offices across the US. We believe in personalized support with no automated attendant and no waiting on hold to get your questions answered.

 

There are companies that do the same thing we do; there are big companies and national companies and there are the little guys that maybe do one or two school district websites here and there along with a larger portfolio of commercial clients. What we have tried to do is not just provide outstanding software for schools but provide the support and assistance required for successful communication and engagement. The team at eSchoolView doesn’t see this as extras but expected and we believe that this makes us stand out.

 

CEOCFO: Would a school district use your services and then all the individual schools would fall under that?

Mr. Wright: That is correct. I would say 98% of the time when we provide a solution to a school district we are providing a solution to the entire organization - the district and each building will have a site of their own. We also typically provide athletics departments, PTAs and PTOs with individual sections. Districts are often looking for secure access for internal communication for staff to communicate about professional development instruction or find announcements that are pertinent to staff only. All of this is managed inside a central framework.

 

CEOCFO: Do school districts care what the websites look like as long as they operate well?

Mr. Wright: Districts care a great deal about the image that their website is conveying. When a customer signs a contract with us, they will work directly with our graphic designers to develop their school’s custom design. Our team will present the initial design to the customer so they can make changes or tweaks if they want to. We take their design and fit it onto a content management engine and they are off to the races. Many districts come back to us years later and tell us that they are ready for a new website design. We make tweaks, update, and build a whole new site for them with a new design to meet their needs at that time. We do have some standardized templates for districts to use if they are on a very limited budget. We tend to prefer an approach where our designer can figure out what a particular district wants to convey and what is important to them.

 

CEOCFO: You touched on the topic of privacy; would you tell us which steps you would take so that everything is safe and secure?

Mr. Wright: We have been talking about eSchoolView’s content management system, which is only one product in our portfolio. The content management system is the product that we use to create a public facing website. The information on the website is entered through an administrative system where staff members login in with a secure password to manage their content for publication on the website.

 

In some cases we are able to tie into a district’s network security so that a staff member’s network accounts and the school district would be the same ones they would use to login to our secure area.

 

We provide all the necessary technical infrastructure to manage communication safely and securely. The data that corresponds to what is publically displayed and then data that corresponds to the accounts and access are all hosted in a secure server environment at our corporate office complete with backup generators, redundant electric supplies, and multiple incoming Internet connections. A secure keycard system provides access to our operations and technology center. Only employees in our company that have the need and permission levels sufficient to access materials such as our database and raw data can do so. We are able to see all attempted and successful login information from both internal staff and external users. We have all of the necessary encryption technologies and techniques to scramble data as it is transferred from us to a remote computer, while tracking everything requested to ensure that the data is as secure as possible.

 

CEOCFO: Do many of your school districts take advantage of the full range?

Mr. Wright: We have a diverse portfolio of products for today’s schools ranging from the content management system to a parent portal where students and family members can access information in a secure setting. Many of our schools opt for a bundled package of products to meet all of their needs. For example, our eSV Unified Pro bundle contains all of our products in one affordable package – our content management system, mobile suite, instant connect, learn, facilities management, event registration and school store. All of our products enhance a school’s ability to engage with their communities.

 

CEOCFO: eSchoolView has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list, so clearly business is going well. How do you continue the trajectory?

Mr. Wright: My business partner Rob O’Leary and I started eSchoolView from nothing and have built it to where it is today. We began in Ohio with one product and now here we are, eight years later with multiple products in schools across the country. I am excited about the future of eSchoolView; we have an outstanding line of products to assist schools in creating engagement throughout their communities and our support and service is second to none. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide schools with what they need both in product and personal attention.

 

Demands on schools are constantly changing and we at eSchoolView work to anticipate these changes before they occur and develop software that stays one step ahead of the evolving educational environment. That is what has taken us to where we are now and that is where we hope to go in the future.



 

“Demands on schools are constantly changing and we at eSchoolView work to anticipate these changes before they occur and develop software that stays one step ahead of the evolving educational environment.” - Grant Wright


 

eSchoolView

www.eschoolview.com

 

Contact:

Kim Willow

888-932-6460 x124

kwillow@eschoolview.com




 

 



 

 


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