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Columbia University & Unifyed Join Forces to Modernize the SIS

08-28-2020 08:39 AM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: Unifyed

Unifyed announced today it has entered into an exclusive license and a separate joint development agreement with Columbia University to advance the development of a new Student Information System (SIS), branded Unifyed SIS, in order to “provide a modern, affordable and easy-to-manage student system for the higher education community.” Unifyed and Columbia University’s IT (CUIT) will be working together to advance the development of the new SIS.

“We have an aging SIS and were in the market to replace it with a solution that is dynamic, flexible and student-first,” said Columbia University CIO Gaspare LoDuca. “After assessing what was out there, we decided to build our own. We identified that Unifyed shared a common vision and technology approach and realized that if we joined development efforts, we could achieve our goals faster.”

CUIT will be licensing the student information system to Unifyed exclusively. Unifyed plans to release it by module, which will include functionality for course management, degree audit, student records, registration and student accounts. The anticipated release date for the final module is March 2022

“Columbia University IT’s collaboration with Unifyed accelerates CUIT’s SIS release timelines, gets Unifyed to centrally host, manage and maintain what CUIT builds, and gives higher ed the SIS that everyone wants at a price point that makes sense,” said Unifyed CEO, Ranjan Tayal. “It’s a win, win, win for everyone.”

Student Information Systems are typically difficult and expensive to change. This is reflected in the fact that many universities have a system that is between 10-15 years old, and still others are beyond 20 years old (such as the 21-year-old system Columbia is working to replace). As a result of their age, these systems are often heavily customized to the nuances of the university – codifying both the best and worst of an institution’s business practices into “that’s just how we do it here.”. Therefore, changing to any new system comes with trepidation about the impact to a university’s community. Universities are having to overcome those concerns because, having been developed well before there were smartphones, tablets, social media and the cloud, there can be very little value gained by continuing to bandage and bolt-on to these systems – and the time is coming quickly when change will no longer be optional

“Students of today and tomorrow do everything on their phones – socialize, order pizza and manage their laundry,” said Unifyed Chairman Anjli Jain. “They expect the ‘full college experience’ to be smart, seamless, highly available and interactive. COVID has pushed this over the edge from an expectation to a requirement. It will take the current SIS providers 6-10 years to deliver on this requirement. By harnessing the power of microservices and a unified student record, the development collaboration between Unifyed and Columbia – if we equate it to the likeness of SpaceX and NASA – can get higher ed to Mars in two years instead of five. That is game changing.”

If your institution is interested in getting Columbia University’s SIS and joining forces with us on this initiative, please email

About Columbia University

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia University currently educates over 32,000 students at its 20 colleges. Columbia University’s endowment is over $10 billion.


Unifyed™ is the only AI-first, microservices-based, cloud-native student information system provider and serves over 750 colleges and universities in seven countries. Unifyed is a beautiful and easy-to-use solution designed with an AI-first approach to increasing student engagement and international enrollment. Developed by Columbia University in partnership with the higher education community, our solution is both affordable and flexible to meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional institutions alike. For more information, visit:

For more information on the Unifyed & Columbia University venture, read Campus Technology’s article “Columbia SIS Replacement Project Gains Pickup“.

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