Sponsored Content: Hyland

VCCS Powers the Digital Campus with Content Services

min read

The Virginia Community College System is using Hyland solutions to automate key workflows and deliver better experiences for staff and students alike.


Every year, approximately 212,000 students continue their education across the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), which comprises a network of twenty-five agencies (twenty-three community colleges, a system office, and a shared service center) across forty campuses. The large VCCS footprint and student population have historically meant that paperwork was challenging and burdensome for staff.

Group of students high-fiving each other
Credit: David L. / Adobe Stock © 2023

Nearly half of VCCS' colleges moonlighted as document input, output, and retention centers. Michelle Johnson, a software applications specialist at VCCS, said that at one point, "eight of the colleges served as the front office; a ninth college was the back office and performed processing for verification, loans, and other financial processes; and a tenth college then signed on to be the 'filing cabinet.'"

VCCS sought a way for its colleges to scan and digitize paperwork to streamline processes and expedite answers, which are especially important in institution-critical departments like accounts payable/receivable, human resources, and enrollment management.

The Solution

In 2012, VCCS deployed Hyland's Perceptive Content, a content and process management suite. VCCS implemented the solution not only to scan and save documents but also to automate processes while securely managing the entire content life cycle. After years of success with that solution, one of the VCCS colleges, Northern Virginia Community College, purchased Brainware for Transcripts. A second college, Tidewater Community College, followed suit in 2022. In 2023, Brainware integrated with the VCCS ERP Oracle Campus Solutions 9.2. The two colleges are in the rollout phase for this integration. This robust system eliminates the need to manually sort and key data from even the most complex, diverse document types, accurately capturing student and course data regardless of layout.

Johnson said VCCS leans on Hyland software to streamline and expedite its extensive workflows.

"We use the import agent, the mail agent, Brainware for Transcripts, the user replication agent, content apps, content explorer, search, install client, internal e-forms, and business insight. I'm pretty sure there's more," she said.

One critical component of successful deployment and user adoption was the institution's focus on change management, said Nicole Stewart, assistant vice chancellor of IT services at VCCS.

"You can't just take that IT request and turn it into a configuration and hand it back over the wall and say, 'OK, I did what your request said,' because that's not the end of the story. Bringing the consumer to the table is really important," she said.

The Difference

Decreased Reliance on Paper

Before VCCS implemented Hyland solutions, the number of digital documents leveraged across campus "was almost zero," said Emilio Acevedo, manager of access and content applications at VCCS. In 2022, the institution added nearly 650,000 documents to Perceptive Content. As of January 2023, more than 8.5 million documents are presently managed in the system.

Additionally, with the help of Brainware for Transcripts, VCCS can process up to 125,000 transcripts a year, which saves considerable printing costs and frees up valuable office space.

Enhanced Engagement for Students and Employees

The Hyland solutions helped VCCS staff by freeing them up for higher-value, more engaging work. They also empowered students to access and update information from any location in real time. Both of these features are essential to meeting the expectations of twenty-first-century staff and students.

Improved Accuracy and Decreased Risk

Johnson said the Hyland solutions allowed VCCS employees to have better efficiencies with processing documentation. Before, she added, "There was always that risk of losing an important piece of paper." Now, however, "they're not losing paper or shuffling paper around" but instead are closing the loop on departmental workflows in a timely manner and with fewer errors.

What's Next

As Hyland software continues to generate measurable value across VCCS, the next step is further expansion. Departments are hearing about the benefits via word of mouth from someone in another department, "or somebody in IT will overhear a conversation and say, 'Hey, we've got the perfect solution for you,'" Johnson said.

Their plan includes moving all users to the web client and demoing the software to the rest of the user groups. VCCS is also considering implementing Brainware for Invoices at its shared services center.

"We, of course, want to expand the use of Hyland solutions to more departments as well as enhance the workflows that are already in use—and create some that are not," she added.

© 2023 Hyland.