We've been using our Graduway platform for about 18 months now and are really pleased that we chose them to supply our platform. What I like the most about them is how great their customer service is, for our alumni when they're having issues, but more importantly for us as admins. Our account manager has taken the time to get to know our business and our needs and the entire team (from CEO down!) are invested in helping us meet those needs. They take on board client feedback in a very productive way, and are very responsive to ideas. In fact, there have been a number of new features added which are a result of client feedback.
We were able to take time in building the platform and had full control over when it launched. We got help from them at launch with promotion, and receive continuous tips and pointers on steps we can take as an organisation to grow the platform. The platform itself is pretty easy to use and intuitive. The social sign on makes it even easier for our alumni. We have a completely international alumni base so some functions may be lost in translation, but overall alumni tell us they love it. They message each other, love the album and we have seen steady growth in sign ups. As admins it's not too time intensive to manage any more we can see basic statistics and manage what users see on the site. The news widgets are a useful way to share content from our main website. Mentoring is the one area that is more challenging for us, and does need more admin work/effort to make it successful, unless you already have a proper mentoring programme set up.
There are areas for improvement, but Graduway know this and are working on it. Overall, it's a great supplier, with a very good product.
Bright, attractive, inviting interface. Easy to use. Regular new developments released.
Search functionality. Homepage could do with restructuring.
Thank you Aba for the review.
In my 37 years in Higher Education, I have not had a platform that truly can impact our brand (stories) to enhance our reputation and engage our alumni like Graduway has in a short period of time. Everything they have promised they have delivered and more. They are incredibly responsive to our suggestions and their customer service is outstanding. The campus wide community has embraced this tool, understanding its value to the long-term success of our university. Weekly we have generated new ideas and strategies due to the opportunities this platform provides that had not existed in the past. SVSUConnect is now playing an essential role in our university strategic plan. I would highly encourage you to have a demo to see first hand with key players in your university the possibilities this platform could provide your university - you will not be disappointed!
It provides our alumni and students significant career navigation, mentoring and networking opportunities. Enhancing our reputation and brand through stories. Providing prospective students and their parent's value (outcomes ) to our degree. Mentoring opportunities for our alumni to mentor our students. This tool can also have a big impact on meeting enrollment and retention goals
It takes time to navigate the university academic side of the house to create win/win scenarios -- one needs to be patient but no doubt the effort will pay off in the long run . Need to create champions through out the university to maximize what the effectiveness of the platform.
Thank you Jim for the review.
Connecting our Alumni, our students with our Alumni and also being able to reach out to our Alumni. The Feedback we have received was good and withMBS Connect we have found an easy (and sexy) way of keeping our Alumni up to date.
I really like the Usability and some of its Features (Newsletter function, Job Portal, Events, News items). The Graduway Team was always really helpful and supportive. They seem to be very open to their customers' Feedback and work on continuously improving the Software. I also appreciated the Alumni related articles sent out, as well as the quarterly Reports and updates.
Even though the Features are Overall really good, there are sometimes some restrictions to them which makes working with them a Little bit challenging or less convenient (e.g. Newsletter text a bit too short, no possibility to Highlight info (bold, italic)). But These were just Little things
It was actually a pretty significant step down in terms of functionality from IntroMaps, which was our product of choice before its purchase by Graduway.
Ease of identifying and contacting potential mentors and volunteers.
Easy to sign up and create a profile.
The search function (not the filters) in the Directory is surprisingly flexible.
Everyone gets every thing, so folks in Boston get notices about events in Los Angeles.
Directory is based on city name rather than zip code or radius, which is incredibly inconvenient.
Map and nearby are only available on mobile.
The reporting is beyond bare bones - we don't even get open rates on newsletters.
Every time we talk to customer service, we get a "no we can't do that" or "I'll have to talk to IT"...and then we never hear back.
Support staff are in too-distant time zones, so we have to wait too long for a response.
When something we want or need is available, it's usually a significant extra cost - so we get nickel and dimed for everything.
Graduway's personalised customer service is excellent - Sarah guided us through the whole process with patience and a sense of humour that made it entirely painless. The best tip I can give is to be clear about what Graduway can and can't do, and how best to use it alongside your existing channels and platforms. Support and buy-in from colleagues makes the world of difference, so take the time to communicate the benefits (to them) and explain the purpose, to manage their expectations before you launch. The administration area is simple to use and we're very excited about the planned expansion to functionality in mailing features, Groups and site content - which are all a direct response to customer input. It's nice to feel listened to as a customer, and even better to see improvements as a result.
Some features, currently missing, would make me more inclined to rate everything as 5/5, but it's a great start and we're hugely optimistic about the impact this platform will have on our overall Alumni Engagement Strategy following a wider launch to students, with Graduway's support.
The ability to filter and target user groups for effective communications, the easy admin area and the interactive elements built-in to encourage networking among alumni and students.
The built-in invitation/message/newsletter functions are good, but lacking in reporting features that would make this much more useful. Having no ability to view bounce backs, unsubscribes, open/read rates means that we have to use Mailchimp for this activity, which is disappointing when our expectation was a single platform to manage our communications with alumni.
Thank you Kerry.
Really easy for alumni to use, looks great, and does what it says it does! Help desk has always been super helpful - esp Dalia :)
As an administrator, I wish there was more functionality or slightly better search tools. Back end just seems like a place to see stats (which are awesome) and upload lists of alumni... I wish I could search by ID number. Or reset passwords on behalf of our alumni. We've had a couple of people who've moved jobs and because their accounts were registered with their former business email addresses they've been unable to login - password reset email goes to the old email... so we've had to delete their accounts so they can create a new one. Would have been smoother to have the power to reset them on their behalf.
We've been very pleased with the Graduway alumni platform. Their customer support/success team made sure we knew exactly what steps to take as we prepared to launch.
It is very easy for the user to connect and it is also easy to manage from the administrative side. You can pull complete Google analytics for the product. The customer success manager can set this up for you.
While the platform is designed for peer-to-peer/student connections, we've also worked with our individual schools to ensure a more vibrant networking experience for our alumni who have indicated a willingness to help and our students. Several of our schools have a mentoring program in place and we have connected them to their alumni from the platform who have indicated a willingness to help. Lots of good synergy happening from those connections and new mentors identified which helps them expand their mentoring program.
Easy of use for users and administrative personnel.
Pulling the more detailed reports when we need them. However, we do get a very detailed quarterly report from Graduway.
Thank you Janya for the review.
It's a great way to connect with our alumni and, more importantly, for our alumni to connect with each other.
The platform nicely balances a way to communicate with alumni, with networking features, and engagement tools. It allows our alumni department to identify alumni who are willing to be involved and at what level from the point of sign in. The integrated e-newsletter feature that reaches participants and prospects is also a great way to regularly communicate with alumni for information and action.
There is very little I don't like. As with anything social, users should expect to invest time on keeping the platform updated and fresh, so participants have a reason to return and be active and engaged.
MGS launched the MGS Global Connect 15 months ago. During that time almost 3000 alumni have joined the platform including many new faces that have had little or no contact with the school for years. MGS have taken the credit for Graduway's work; our alumni feel that it is 'our' site and they are proud of it. The mentoring and job features have been particularly well received by our younger members. Interestingly, the most active users on the platform have been the over 65s.
The most valuable aspect of the platform has been linked to the efficiency of our alumni relation and fundraising programmes. Members of the platform offer themselves as 'being willing to help' - they are declaring their support and love for our institution. This alone is a great metric of affinity and one that has enhanced our fundraising function.
I thoroughly recommend the platform without hesitation and I am willing to talk to any prospective customer about my experience with Graduway.
Thank you Simon for the review.
This software is very easy to use and presents an attractive platform for all of our users. The features, from job posts to the directory to the mentoring function, are all very helpful to our community. The news stories can all be hyperlinked to a different website, which makes the platform more dynamic and creates a link back to the College.
There are certain features that can't be customised to date or just need to be fleshed out more (my understanding is that the next version coming out this year will resolve a number of these issues): the newsletter only allows a feature article and then just pulls data (not news pieces) from the platform; there's no way to see the content of messages that have been sent; the available stats are minimal.
The University of Toronto has been a client of Graduway's since 2013. Graduway's service and product has changed the entire theory of U of T Engineering's young alumni relations approach for the better, and empowered our entire stakeholder group to access and utilize the power of their collective network. Consistently evolving and listening to their clients, Graduway has exceeded expectations.
The ease signing up, the advanced search directory and automated newsletter features. Statistics and instant membership data downloads are fantastically useful.
The lack of tailored report crafting.
Thank you Sarah for the review.
We've been live with Grauway for seven months now to our whole community after a test period of six months and we've recovered so many lost alumni, engaged our older pupils with the presence of our office and established ourselves as a hub for the wider community. We'd been working in the same way for the past eight years with very slow progress. Since our launch with Graduway, progress has moved so quickly and engagement levels across the board have gone through the roof! We're delighted with the initial results and would recommend any institute looking to reconnect with the digital generation consider the platform as something which may help, alongside an integrated communications plan.
the ease of use and the functionality which is very helpful for our office and aims
the lack of flexibility in structure but it is understandable that there has to be a backbone of core functions that cannot be customised.
Thank you Suzanne.
It is a localized place to not only connect socially like on social media but also to give them an added value of a jobs board and the ability to mentor each other.
We have found that the biggest asset has been the jobs board. It is a central place that we can advertise for local jobs and advertise for jobs at our institution with our alumni. It gives the alumni an added value and gets them to connect with us in the process.
The capturing of our alumni has been incredibly slow. We are a relatively small school as compared with the large universities and yet, we find that we do not have a lot of our alumni signing up. It would also be nice to use the Raiser's Edge integration if possible but unfortunately we have not visited that aspect yet.
An attractive and easy to use product.
I love how user friendly this product is. I rarely have questions on how to access and use the system and I feel users from a variety of generations are able to understand and effectively use the Graduway system.
There a real lack of control over profiles on the admin side, and the mentorship features need a lot of work (though I hear there's an update that will improve this.) I wish there were more options in reporting. It's tedious to have to pull one huge file and then whittle it down to find the info you're looking for.
A location for alumni, to visually track our growing network.
Statistics, photographs, links to current universities/companies, job posts. The fact that users themselves can create their own groups, etc.
Guiding videos of the different uses could be integrated into the platform, on the admin side.
There should be regular reminders for alumni members to update their email addresses.
Jobs section should include the possibility of internship/other opportunities since our graduates are from a high school and not a university.
Newsletter. Being able to see the faces of my alumni and see what they are doing now. Posting events and other info. Messaging in a very easy and fast way. Jobs feature. Mentoring feature.
The ability to send newsletters and post jobs. I also like the mentoring feature because it does not require too much work on my part. On the other hand, I would like to receive notifications when the mentoring happens and be able to send an evaluation of the experience to the mentee.
It is limited in some features and you are not very flexible regarding the design of the page. I would also love to give the alumni the option to openly chat with each other live, by writing comments (like on facebook)
Survey software, yes? That's what I'm referring to...........when I logged in with Linkedin, it populated under another person's profile. I finally realized that after about 10 times of attempting to get the "submit" button to process my responses.
User-friendly platform emulating popular social media type utilities. How the system messages one when messaging activity takes place; useful for content control and use for incoming messages.
Lack of video capabilities (know it's coming- can't wait). Set template (non-adjustable) format for the landing page.
An engaged and re-invigorated former pupil platform that attracts alumni on a global scale and encourages them to interact and respond.
Our Graduway platform is engaging and sticky and encourages users to interact on the site. They post photos and message each other independently.
The UK searching fields by location are ridiculous - there are thousands of towns on there listed that I've never heard of - too many to make it of any use...
It would also be useful to have the 'work' filter in the invite and message function too.
A good tool for engaging alumni, more up to date data on alumni.
This includes the following:
Great for helping us keep alumni data up to date
Like the admin functions
Like the features, e.g. groups, events, news widgets, directory, updates, jobs, newsletter.
Don't like the low profile of Updates, it needs to be front and centre.
The main page is far too busy.
Nowhere to place media files, e.g. videos, podcasts, pdfs.
Nowhere to put articles, e.g. features on alumni.
Easier alumni engagement and member data managment
Online access for all members worldwide
Ease of management and updating of member data
Inability of members to advertise or market their products or services on the platform
Homepage is too crowded
Information provided on members not enough
Fantastic sign up rate with our alumni - great feedback & interaction. Over 5 mins spend per user. Global reach. First class, quick & professional service.
Very intuitive for the admin person - also allows for users to post information & contact other users so very dynamic and interactive. Very functional with well thought our pages. The service from Graduway is like no other that I have experienced. Fast response times very effective & friendly.
Like it all but maybe the newsletter could allow more flexibility in design. But he beauty of it is it is quick and easy to use allowing for a high frequency of distribution to end users.
Thank you Mike.
My favorite feature of the Graduway platform is the Directory. It makes it so easy for our alumni to find former classmates or find people who can help them with their next career steps. It also is great for our Alumni Relations team to reach out to relevant alumni for career or networking events!
Currently we're unable to change user profiles ourselves if alumni sign up using incorrect information - but I believe this is changing soon.
The networking features are simple and straightforward for users and admins alike.
You get the whole package at it's most updated as it is developed, so no need to add Bolt-ons, modules, or worry about which version you are running.
The newsletter function keeps the alumni engaged.
There are some areas like Groups and Mentoring which still need development and do not have the functionality some specialist competitors can boast. Graduway has a wide-range of features and it is one of the best all-rounders, but some specialist packages outperform it in individual areas (but do you want your users to be juggling multiple log-ins?)
The fact that automatic newsletters are sent to alumni and I can control when it can be sent is convenient.
I cannot upload articles/documents to news items - which is really frustrating. I have to post it to our website first, and only then can I paste the link to the article on Graduway. This causes an unnecessary time constraint, especially if we want to post information immediately. I also don't think our Alumni click on the links and if they do so, they are redirected away from Graduway - which defies the purpose of the platform. Don't we want alumni to stay on the platform and interact with the content? Also the size limit of the photo's that are required for news items, is too small. This means that most of the time I cannot post the entire photo of a class graduation for example, a part of the photo is thus cropped out, which looks unprofessional.
Sometimes it is difficult to toggle between the admin and user interface.
The platform is very easy to use. I like the ability to send information to alums who haven't created a profile but have been uploaded to the pre-populated list.
When you delete a user, all of the photos they have uploaded disappear. I wish there was a way to keep them there. I am anxiously awaiting the new layout in FY18 since it is cleaner and not as overwhelming.