OVERLAND PARK, Kan., December 12, 2019 (Newswire.com) - Colleges can now put Alexa to use campus-wide, announced Orbund LLC, a leading student information system provider to higher education. Orbund's integration with Alexa leapfrogs other voice-based integrations on U.S. campuses by connecting enterprise software to Alexa's entire library of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs tie two systems together and give voice to massive stores of institutional data housed inside Orbund.
“This is about administrators getting insights on demand,” said Arif Joarder, CEO and founder of Orbund. “Students will enjoy just asking their phones, ‘Alexa, what time is economics today?’ But the focus is to free administrators from the time-consuming job of getting insights from their data.”
By fully integrating Alexa, administrators no longer wait for someone in the IT departments to wrestle with spreadsheets and dashboards.
“Orbund leverages Alexa to become your interactive analytics expert,” Joarder said.
While Alexa is not new to campuses, innovations so far have focused on supplementing classroom activities. Orbund’s integration involves all the data inside an institution’s enterprise software, called the student information system or SIS. For postsecondary schools, the SIS is a large-scale platform that orchestrates everything from admissions to alumni relations.
New efficiencies for college administrators
Orbund’s integration enables Alexa to answer complex questions and queries. Without using business analytics software, for example, a college dean can ask Alexa how many declared majors face academic probation. Advisors can ask if a student is on track to meet requirements for graduation.
“Alexa is providing powerful, voice-driven shortcuts to what once involved a lot of steps or specialists,” Mr. Joarder said. “The integration lets a non-expert get answers right away without having to wait for the IT department.”
Because higher education is highly regulated and requires student privacy, Mr. Joarder points out that Orbund’s system already has built-in control over who can access what kinds of data. The controls carry over into Alexa based on the identity and authority level of the person who is logged in.
“We’re committed to keeping compliance top of mind,” Mr. Joarder stated. “Alexa only calls upon data that the user is allowed to see. This confines access to an authorized user who is actually using the software. In contrast, people print spreadsheets with sensitive data, then leave it behind in conference rooms.” Amazon Alexa also allows users to delete device recordings and manage permissions.
Voice of the campus
In October, Mr. Joarder quietly introduced Alexa at a private conference for an invitation-only audience near its headquarters in Overland Park, KS. Orbund is implementing Alexa for a small group of institutions at no cost with a couple dozen commands to get started.
“We suspect that our schools will come up with ideas much more useful than we might imagine,” Joarder said. “This is very leading edge, so it is important that the voice of the customer is loud and clear.”
For more information, visit https://www.orbund.com/solutions/alexa.
Source: Orbund LLC