|Description||Web-based college management software.|
Populi is web-based college management software.
Small colleges need good software, but itâ€™s often out of reach. Populi co-founders James Hill and Adam Sentz saw this firsthand in 2007 when they offered to help one school with information problems.
The college used an outdated academics system. A dogâ€™s breakfast of spreadsheets, documents, and other low-cost programs stopped the gaps. This solution made hash out of student data. Whatâ€™s more, it was stored on a vulnerable desktop computer with no backups.
Looking for something better, the college found a market cluttered with giant, unwieldy, â€œenterprise-classâ€ information systems. These systems required new hardware and new staff. Theyâ€™d need over a year to implement. And the start-up costs aloneâ€”never mind ongoing maintenance and supportâ€”would have deep-sixed the budget for years to come.
But the college didnâ€™t need to settle for that. Stepping in, Hill and Sentz re-thought college software from the ground up. They wanted to avoid the pitfalls of the cheap solutions and the expensive bloat of the enterprise systems. So they built Populi, a secure, web-based program focused on simplicity, usability, and data quality.
With the backing of EMSI, a tech firm serving hundreds of higher education clients (and where Hill and Sentz held their day jobs), dozens more colleges came aboard in the next two years. Serving these schools, the team that formed around Populi dedicated itself to giving good software to small collegesâ€”and backing them up with honest, responsive support. To accommodate the growth and help the team focus on small colleges, EMSI spun off Populi as an independent company in late 2009.
They added 50 colleges in 2010. Heading into 2011, a total of 80 colleges were using Populi.