When a state or district makes the decision to adopt the Ed-Fi Data Standard, the work to integrate with their many vendors begins. For most, this is an overwhelming task. Communicating interoperability goals can take time, and reaching the proper set of ears within a vendor organization isn’t always easy.
Our team often initiates conversations between these parties and helps to communicate customer demand to vendors for Ed-Fi alignment. Our team is extremely excited to announce a new tool to streamline this process and amplify your voices: the Vendor Request Form.
Now, districts can easily share a list of their SIS, Assessment, and other technology providers who aren’t currently Ed-Fi aligned. We’ll compile and organize these requests. Then we’ll communicate this collective demand to vendors, helping them make the case for the implementation work that’s required to run on Ed-Fi. Now, you can easily express your demand for your vendors’ support of the Ed-Fi Data Standard and contribute to expedited adoption.
Vendors need to hear that their customers (plural) want a native connection that utilizes Ed-Fi technology. The best business case for a vendor is knowing that the work they’ll do will support multiple customers and attract new ones. We often hear from vendor organizations that they need to hear from customers who want certain features or functionality added into their systems.
There are certainly other ways you can communicate your requests; directly with local representatives, at conferences when visiting your vendors’ booths, via customer support…please keep singing the Ed-Fi tune through all of these other channels! Meanwhile, by submitting the Vendor Request Form, you give us a reason to initiate conversations and follow up. The more you utilize and share this form, the more Ed-Fi can facilitate communication between districts and vendors.
How Many Clicks Does it Take?
So, how many of us need to click “Submit” on this Vendor Request Form before it makes an impact? Demand in large numbers certainly makes the vendor investment of time and resources more likely. When the voices are loud and consistent, your vendors will take notice.
That said, there are technology providers in our community who’ve become Ed-Fi aligned—or, better yet, Ed-Fi certified—after receiving just a few customer requests. It was already on their to-do list because they believe deeply in our mission and the need for a data standard. In these cases, a small amount of outreach can tip the scale.
Your Vendors Want to Hear From You
In order to secure new business and maintain their existing relationships, vendors know they need to adapt. They decide where to focus their developers’ time by reacting to what they’re hearing in the field. Our vendor partners are as excited as we are about this new request form because wider Ed-Fi adoption is better for their customers, for their partnerships with other vendors, and it’s better for business.
“At MasteryConnect, we’re committed to making data immediate and actionable, and we’re proud to be the first Ed-Fi-certified assessment vendor. By giving education agencies this easy way to request that more vendors become Ed-Fi-aligned and certified, Ed-Fi is supporting educators as they take ownership of their data. We commend the school districts and agencies who use this platform to meaningfully impact teaching and learning.”
-Mike Blom, Software Engineer, MasteryConnect
Our Hope for the Vendor Request Form
Our hope in adding this communication vehicle to our website is that we can reach out to our vendor partners with a clear ask from their customers across the country. Districts like Providence Public Schools and San Francisco Unified School District, collaboratives like NEFEC and INSITE, and states like Wisconsin and Nebraska have already vocalized their requests to great effect, helping their technology providers understand their commitment to interoperable, secure systems.
Ultimately, we want to see these partnerships flourish from every angle; we hope the benefits of advocating for Ed-Fi extend to your district(s), your vendors, and each and every student you serve. If you have any questions about the new form or how we’ll use the submissions, feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.