Consulting Services

LMS and OPM Selection & Committee Facilitation

This is a complicated issue for every institution. It is not only choosing a vendor (or a collection of collaborating vendors) but also ensuring that the quality and values that your institution is known for are reflected in your online offerings.

MindWires has extensive experience working with large universities, statewide systems, and small colleges and can help lead you through the needs assessment, evaluation, selection and implementation process..

Using our past experience with higher education institutions of various types and our knowledge of market players and trends, MindWires works alongside stakeholders to ensure strategic alignment before and during the RFI/RFP writing and release phase, to facilitate a collaborative evaluation and selection process focused on big picture goals, and to negotiate mutually beneficial vendor agreements.

Our services include:

  • Performing market analysis
  • Conducting needs assessment
  • Developing communication strategy
  • Authoring RFP’s and RFI’s
  • Facilitating vendor evaluation and selection
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Planning for implementation

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning

Let’s admit it, there can be some real tension when a college or university is faced with choosing a new software application or a services package used by more than one department.

For the selection of technology and services, evaluations and decisions should be anchored by an understanding of the problems to be solved and not just the solutions. A lot of the tension in decision making on technology in education comes from jumping too quickly into discussions of specific features. The process should be focused on needs rather than on features.

This requires an entirely different and deeper set of questions than which features are important to put on a checklist. It requires an in-depth exploration of how teaching and learning happen in various corners of the community and what capabilities would be most helpful to support those efforts.

Our Services Include:

  • Facilitating stakeholder interviews and focus groups
  • Conducting cultural readiness assessments
  • Mapping student journeys
  • Mapping administrative processes
  • Creating ecosystem map of existing IT infrastructure
  • Articulating alignment with strategic priorities

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Strategic Due Diligence

By pairing deep market knowledge with the comprehensive proprietary data, MindWires can provide your organization with an insightful and nuanced view of the educational technology market. The data provides the backdrop for an insider view of individual companies and how they fit into the broader market landscape.

We have unique skills in the industry. We have worked inside large and small educational companies to help them develop their educational technology platforms and services and we have worked closely with educational institutions to define strategic priorities and implement technologies that further those priorities. When you need to know the entire story about an educational technology company, MindWires is well positioned to gather the data and apply our first-hand market knowledge to give you the fullest picture possible.

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Product Strategy

Sometimes our vendor clients need a second opinion on the approach they plan to take to solve a customer problem. Maybe there are changes in the market that they are worried will impact how their product is received. Or maybe there is internal disagreement about the best strategy. In these cases, we will talk to their customers and internal stakeholders, review the product, and combine those inputs with our knowledge of the market to provide the clients with feedback. This feedback will explain how well aligned the different parts of the company are regarding the strategy, how well their idea of the product fits with their customers’ perceptions, what the biggest market opportunities and threats are, and how they can best position their offering competitively.

In some cases, our clients are technologists who are trying to better understand the needs of teachers and students. In other cases, they are textbook publishers who are used to building digital products only as add-ons and are struggling to develop born-digital products that will excite their customers. Drawing on the lean startup and agile software development methodologies as well as our deep and broad experience in the market, we help our clients become more effective at developing products that their customers will use and love.

Go-to-Market Planning

The educational market is one that is fraught with ambiguity. Is your target customer the professor, the administration, or the student? Or a combination of all three? What should your product story look like? Does it change for each audience? Getting your go-to-market strategy right is key to a successful product launch.

Partnerships can also be challenging. In educational technology, the success of many small and mid-sized companies depends on being able to foster healthy partnerships with the large textbook companies or LMS or ERP vendors. We help our clients understand the needs and goals of their prospective partners, identify the best prospective partners for them, develop their products in ways that would be most appealing to those partners, and then negotiate a successful partnership.

MindWires has helped start-ups and large organizations with ensuring their go-to-market strategy is a successful one.

Our Services Include:

  • Determining market opportunity
  • Quantifying market size
  • Facilitating, creating and conducting customer focus groups and surveys
  • Facilitating the development of a value proposition and product Story
  • Assessing the product road map and product life cycle
  • Determining the importance of integrations and accessibility requirements for your product
  • Identifying potential collaborators and customers

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Cultural Change Management

The broad transition the market is undergoing towards digital – content, platforms, data-informed services – creates paradigm shifts and significant changes in mindset, for both institutions and vendors. For organizations to fully embrace and benefit from this megatrend, there is a need for cultural change that should not be overlooked. This change requires leadership to have new thought processes and the ability to communicate the nature of new strategies. And sometimes it’s not the leadership but the folks on the front lines who need to better understand the changes in the industry and how it affects them. It might be salespeople who are used to talking to a technologist and now suddenly have to justify their product’s value to the academic side of the university leadership. It might be editors who need to learn the ins and outs of developing content for a shared technology platform. Or it might be technologists who are suddenly having to take competing feature demands from different parts of the organization. Our clients sometimes ask us to help their people both understand the big changes in the environment that are driving changes to the business and adapt to those changes with new business processes.

We advise organizations, lead workshops and personal training, and create coordinated communication plans to support cultural change.

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Talent Management

MindWires is the leading expert in the educational technology industry with deep connections within academia and with vendors in the market. Our team can give you more than a stack of resumes and CVs. Our expertise in the market will help your decision-makers arrive at hiring conclusions they won’t second-guess.

MindWires is an uncommon company known for having contacts in all areas of the education market, be it in technology or academia. Our reach in this market is deep and puts us in front of the most sought-after educational technology leadership from around the world.

Our Services Include :

  • Designing and implementing overall recruiting strategy
  • Performing job and task analysis to document job requirements and objectives
  • Collaboratively developing a description of the position, the desired qualifications and attributes of the applicants and in recruiting qualified applicants
  • Sourcing and recruiting candidates
  • Screening candidates and conducting interviews
  • Assessing applicants’ relevant knowledge, skills, soft skills, experience and aptitudes
  • Providing well documented recruiting reports to the rest of the team
  • Acting as a point of contact and build influential candidate relationships during the selection process

For more information contact Jeanette Wiseman:

Executive Leadership Advising and Coaching

Change does not happen immediately, and the people leading change need ongoing advice. We act as trusted advisors for an ongoing basis to guide leaders making organization changes. We do this through routine phone calls, quarterly meetings, ongoing email Q&A, and communications support.