School Bus Transportation Software Makes Integration Possible

School Bus Transportation Software Makes Integration Possible

Is it coincidence that virtually every sales opportunity I am engaged in, within school transportation departments, has someone from IT engaged – and from the very beginning? Clearly it’s no coincidence. Why? The trend in transportation is to use data from one solution and merge it with data from another solution in order to generate relevant reports for analysis. One example is merging planned data from the K-12 transportation software with the actual data in the AVL software (for districts who have GPS.)

For anyone outside IT that sounds easy enough. For those in IT, trying to integrate separate software products means keeping plenty of Tylenol handy.

What Does IT Have to Say?

I am hearing a consistent message from various IT personnel:

  • Software providers aren’t willing to create API. They might be competitors, so asking them to work together to build integration points to data flows freely between their proprietary software is challenging.
  • Even when they are willing to work together issues still arise. Have you ever experienced this? “Everything on our end is working – the issue must be on their end.” I’m not an IT expert but I learned this lesson last year when my Wi-Fi at home stopped working (yes, I paid my cable bill.) The Internet provider blamed the router and the router blamed the Internet provider.
  • Limited IT resources to manage the integration – is there an IT department at any school District in the US who has the bandwidth to take on integration projects that may never even work?
  • Software updates can create a disconnect with the other vendor’s software – e.g.: version 2.0 has lots of new features, but nothing works with it anymore.
  • Software is on different platforms – having data flow from a hosted solution to a server outside your district is tricky.

K-12 Transportation Software Solution Integration

So, the big question is: how do you mitigate the frustrations associated with integrating two or more K-12 transportation software solutions? The solution is to reduce the number of software vendors in order to deploy a software suite that was designed to integrate with each other or deploy a software solution that consolidates multiple products. If you want to see the benefit to a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, check out the Pasco County Schools success story to see how it helped them to seamlessly connect all of their many technologies.

But You’ve Gone so Far Down One Path

I know, I know, you’ve spent a lot of money and invested a lot of human resources deploying all of the programs your district uses today.  A huge overhaul is likely not going to happen overnight. However, until you move to the most consolidated platform keep the Tylenol handy. Contact me today to see why it may be in your best interest to consider a single-source vendor for your K-12 transportation software solutions.

Let’s Get Connected.