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Building a Best-of-Breed K-12 HR Platform: How School Districts Benefit from a Single Provider for Multiple Services

Human Resources

It wasn’t too long ago, during my time as a school administrator, that I found myself walking through the exhibit hall of a large national education conference feeling overwhelmed by the number of vendors and products that were being offered to me and my school district colleagues.

While having the opportunity to learn about various products and meet with new vendors is always exciting, anxiety often times exists in the unknown, especially when it comes to buying educational technology software from a vendor with whom you have never worked. Of course, you check references and ask as many questions as you can during the sales process, but, we’ve all experienced a wonderful sales “pitch,” only to be let down once life as a client formally begins.

On August 1, 2014, Frontline Technologies, widely known in the education community as the provider of the leading substitute placement software, Aesop, entered a new chapter by acquiring Aspex Solutions, the provider of the most widely used K-12 Talent Management Platform in the United States, AppliTrack.

For school administrators who, like I was, are overwhelmed when evaluating the K-12 HR technology vendor landscape, this is welcome news as this acquisition brings together two trusted leaders and best-of-breed solutions under one flag, Frontline Technologies.

Below are four benefits to having one vendor provide multiple services to your school district:

1. One Experience

Ed tech companies, especially ones that offer competing technologies, try hard to distinguish themselves from one another. Whether it is through unique features or by having a different color scheme, vendors want to stand out in your mind. However, there is something to be said for using a single vendor who operates from the same perspective in all of the areas that matter to you:  software development, client service, sales and marketing and overall culture.

2. Integration

Never underestimate the power of integrated solutions in the K-12 HR office to increase efficiencies in your processes! The ability to share data (employee, applicant, new hire, etc.) among systems, especially in today’s data-driven culture, is a huge time-saver.

3. Billing and Invoicing

Even though the Business/Finance Departments in your district may never use the system you are purchasing, you know that they will have to eventually pay the bill. What a nice surprise it will be for them when you announce that you are able to use a single vendor for a variety of best-of-class solutions!

4. Client Services

A single vendor for multiple solutions provides a common foundation and a comforting familiarity when you need assistance. On a granular level, being able to use one phone number to get help on more than one system is huge. More importantly, though, you will know that the core philosophy behind client services philosophies and attitudes is the same. If you like your experience with one vendor, you will be even happier when they help you with more of your problems.

Many large suites exist that do a lot of things, but very few do all of them well. Usually they have a few core functions and then a myriad of pieces tacked on as an afterthought. Instead of building an additional talent management piece to the Frontline suite, Frontline recognized the value in instead bringing an existing best-of-breed product into the family.

As Frontline Technologies continues to bring you more technology solutions, you can be sure that the company will remain focused on growing and evolving, with our clients as our focus.

Dr. Keith Westman

Dr. Keith Westman formerly served as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Aspex Solutions, now a part of Frontline Technologies. In this position, Keith was responsible for the marketing and positioning of Aspex Solutions and AppliTrack. He also served as a sales manager to thirteen regional sales representatives located throughout the United States. Prior to working at Aspex Solutions, Keith spent over ten years working in public and private schools in the Chicago area, most recently as a public middle school principal. Keith has a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University Chicago, a master's degree in Education from DePaul University and a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from National-Louis University. In addition to his new role at Frontline Technologies, Keith also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate College of Education at DePaul University in Chicago.