A Letter from our President & CEO
Welcome To Finalsite!
When I started Finalsite more than fifteen years ago, a website was a luxury that most schools didn’t spend much time on. Back then, we used to call them “online brochures,” and if you happened to have a contact form, you were ahead of the web-technology curve. From the earliest days of our company, we strove to build exceptional software that would enable schools to get the most out of their web experience. As time marched on, we witnessed the evolution of websites in school environments from online brochures to content management systems to robust communication tools for the school community to a critical communications and classroom management tool that schools cannot afford to be without.
Throughout that fifteen year history we have remained true to our vision of delivering a superior web software experience to the education market. We love that we can now provide you with the best-in-class platform that is much more than a content management or learning management system. It is an integrated communications tool that can help enhance and facilitate the educational goals of any learning institution. Our focus on quality and customer service enables our clients to realize a return on investment (ROI) far more quickly than they ever expected.
We are in an era where mobility, personalization, and speed are shaping the radical new ways that people connect, learn, and do, and Finalsite is committed to being a leader in this industry. These changes are happening at an exponential rate and our goal is to stay ahead of both the technological and educational trends that will revolutionize and improve the educational experience in the years to come.
I am particularly proud of the fact that our success has been a direct result of the collaboration of the hard work, honesty and integrity of our staff. Great people get great results. Our team has been able to consistently exceed expectations and guide our clients past the challenges they face. I encourage you to get to know Finalsite and learn more about how our products and services can help your organization meet future challenges. What can you expect from Finalsite tomorrow and beyond? Keep your eye on the platform and you will not be disappointed!
President & CEO
Enjoy a Glimpse into Finalsite in this Q&A session with Jon Moser
What do you like best about the Finalsite product?
JM: I love that we’ve created the best-in-class SaaS platform, and have a team of talented design experts who continually enhance our products for a superior user experience. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to hear that our schools have a good ROI in the first year of operation with Finalsite.
You may have heard that 2013 was the year of “going mobile”—and now in 2015 we are right in the middle of a major shift from desktop computers to mobile devices like phones and tablets. Pair that with the explosion of social media and you have a true revolution in the way that information gets out there. I’m thrilled that our platform quickly and easily integrates with all the major social tools on the market today, making it simple for schools to connect with their community.
As an integrated platform, we exceed what most Content Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems can do on their own. We enable schools to be at the forefront of changes in technology and function—across many platforms—and meet the needs of students, teachers, and parents. Our integration with many of the SIS tools used by schools is another way we do that.
What advice would you give to schools starting a website re-design project?
JM: First, identify each target audience, what needs to be communicated to that audience and what channels you will use for that communication. You may have heard me say that “everyone wants to be cool,” and it’s true. You want a cool site, but you also want a site that speaks to who you are, so if you don’t have a clear brand identity, spend some time learning about and working on what makes your school unique. Then we can build a visual aspect to your brand that will really pop and reflect the character of the school.
If you are located in a competitive environment, evaluate the competition and come up with a way to separate yourself from them. Being different is always an advantage! Pinpoint the ways that you stand out from the crowd—is it a great science program, an international focus, a single sex model? Emphasize what makes you unique.
Consider a distinct photography style - most schools use the happy students on campus approach, but don’t be afraid to be creative. Unique photography can set your website apart from other schools. And don’t lose sight of your main goal: your external website is your outside face to the world and should always support Admissions.
People spend less than 3 to 5 seconds, on average, on a single website page, so make your content engaging and interesting, but also brief. Tablets have changed how we view websites: in just a few years we have gone from wide screen horizontal experiences to long screen vertical experiences. Take this into account when planning your design, and remember that Responsive Design is critical for website success. Your site should easily conform to the device it is being viewed on and remain consistent on all devices-desktop or mobile.
What is it like to work at Finalsite?
JM: I would like to think that working at Finalsite is more like being on a soccer team and less of just a “job.” We all work together very well and with the commitment to the common goal of serving our clients and being the best in our industry. Our values reflect our client-centric approach to business and we adhere to the concept of continual improvement. We believe in fostering creativity , and recognize that visionary ideas come from all levels of the company. In that respect, we really try to encourage innovative ideas from every member of the team, and in that spirit know that when one member scores a goal, we all win. Honesty, integrity and respect are essential to what we do. We are lucky, because we get to serve some of the most intelligent, enlightened, and committed clients in education. We consider it an honor that many of the best schools in the world are our partners. In the office, we always try to keep things fun and enjoyable – we want your time at work to be the best part of your day. Oh, and the free food in the kitchen is always a big hit…my favorite is bagel Wednesday!
What does the future hold for Finalsite?
JM: Technology is changing our lives for the better on an almost-daily basis. With changes come challenges. At Finalsite, we believe that in order for our clients to flourish in the education marketplace, the technological tools must support and enhance the educational process. Education is evolving and we want to be on the forefront of facilitating the changes that are coming.