As the school year comes to a close and students and faculty start to thin out, it's a good opportunity for campus IT departments to look at making the upgrades and system changes they've been delaying until they have minimal user impact. For schools looking at upgrading or evaluating a content management system, <a href="http://www.omniupdate.com">OmniUpdate's</a> latest revision to OU Campus, its flagship CMS, comes at the right time.

Peter Hagopian, Contributor

June 3, 2008

2 Min Read

As the school year comes to a close and students and faculty start to thin out, it's a good opportunity for campus IT departments to look at making the upgrades and system changes they've been delaying until they have minimal user impact. For schools looking at upgrading or evaluating a content management system, OmniUpdate's latest revision to OU Campus, its flagship CMS, comes at the right time.OmniUpdate's higher education customer base consists of more than 450 two- and four-year colleges and universities. And while it does offer a traditional, business-oriented CMS product, higher-ed is definitely a niche it has carved out for itself.

The main improvements in version 8.0 are focused on speeding performance and improving the ease-of-use for content-contributing users and administrators.

Making a powerful CMS foundation easy to use is clearly OU Campus's main focus. Some could argue that it comes at the cost of deep functionality, but for the vast majority of users, having an easy way to create and post good-looking content is the main requirement. Advanced users will find that they can get under the hood and tweak to their heart's content.

The CMS is intuitive and simple to use. Instead of logging directly into an admin console, a user can click on a link within the page in the live site, log in, and access content editing tools to make the changes and publish them in seconds. Pretty slick, and the editing tools have a familiar Word-like feel.

From an administration perspective, there are two main options -- locally or centrally hosted. Locally hosted gives the IT staff greater control and may be a bit more cost-effective. The centrally hosted version should take most hardware and software administration (and associated headaches) out of the hands of local IT departments. I would tend to gravitate toward the centrally hosted model for smaller schools and organizations, but your mileage may vary.

OmniUpdate has a good reputation for doing the necessary handholding for getting its customers set up and for resolving issues, and if the two dozen or so video testimonials on the site are any indication, people really seem to like this company and its tools.

We'll cover other higher education CMS options in a future post, but OmniUpdate is definitely worth a look in the meantime.

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