Convenience and control built right into campus commerce management system

TouchNet raises the bar for service, efficiency at Dallas Baptist University
By: | Issue: December, 2013
March 18, 2014

In an ever more complex and increasingly technical world, administrators and students appreciate simplicity and convenience more than ever. For the leadership of Dallas Baptist University, implementing a new campus commerce solution was an important part of making student services more convenient and efficient. Grey Hoff, assistant vice president for financial affairs at DBU, is committed to creating a campus commerce environment that helps students and parents make the most of their financial investment. That commitment to student service took a huge step forward with the recent implementation of TouchNet U.Commerce.

Among a host of benefits, the school’s new campus commerce management system enables students to take care of everyday business at their convenience, freeing up staff for more one-on-one time with students. Students have a lot on their minds —juggling curriculum with a new lifestyle, while also learning a new level of fiscal responsibility —and bills can sometimes fall through the cracks. “Students today have high expectations of what they can do financially online, and we needed to live up to them,” says Hoff. The convenience of TouchNet’s Bill+Payment and U.Commerce Mobile modules enabled the university to meet those high expectations. TouchNet’s technology allows students not only to check statements online from a mobile device, but also receive payment updates via text message and arrange a payment schedule, keeping payments on time while saving the university paper and postage costs.

Hoff reports that the TouchNet system has had a positive effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of his own team as well as IT, the cashiers, and other departments connected to TouchNet services. “We couldn’t keep hiring staff,” he says, nor could the school’s cashiers continue devoting excessive time to paperwork and working in an old system. “Now, instead of pushing papers, our staff can truly impact students’ lives,” he adds. “It’s definitely more fulfilling, and a much more effective use of their time.” Another game-changer was the recent addition of TouchNet’s Marketplace product. Hoff says it has opened up a world of e-commerce opportunities across all campus departments, as well as streamlining all types of processing. Initially, Marketplace was implemented to provide an online ticket source for the university’s state-of-the-art new baseball stadium. DBU chose TouchNet Ready Partner University Tickets to administer the online ticket sales. Purchase options quickly expanded to basketball, and then to fine arts events, athletic camps, and even student activities.

“Marketplace is just a terrific product all the way around,” Hoff says. “The best part is that it integrates with our ERP, Colleague by Ellucian.” Shortly after DBU purchased its first TouchNet product, Ellucian and TouchNet announced the formation of a strategic partnership that brought about the Ellucian Payment Center by TouchNet, a scalable, deeply integrated and expandable solution that unifies campuswide payments. Choosing to do business with TouchNet has allowed DBU to better analyze its own processes and determine how to be more effective and efficient. “It has allowed us to investigate how and why we do business, and to think through our business logic,” says Hoff.

“These are exciting times for DBU,” says Hoff. “TouchNet has played, and will continue to play, a tremendous role in helping us stay cutting-edge when it comes to providing our students with state-of-the-art business processes that simplify their lives and help them make the most of their financial investment in a DBU education.”

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