Last month, we announced that Blackboard Connect 5 has seen strong momentum, with hundreds of clients making the switch in the first 90 days of the new release.  And while the numbers are impressive, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about what Connect 5 means for individual clients as well.

One institution that recently jumped to Connect 5 is Harford County, Maryland. The county government has been a Connect client since 2009, and a wide range of organizations use it to communicate with residents and county employees.  County departments like the Emergency Management Office, Highway Department and Sheriff’s Office use the system, but so do local cities and towns like Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace.

Harford is a battle-tested user of Connect, leveraging the service in blizzards, hurricanes and earthquakes. When they decided to make the switch to Connect 5, we gave local officials an on-site training session for the new release, and they were kind enough to share their migration experience with us on camera.

One user who spoke up was Leo Matrangula, Chief of Police for the Town of Bel Air.  He told us, “I think this new Connect 5 system is going to make it easier for someone like me who is not real technical with searching maps and drawing lines and borders. It’s going to make it a lot simpler to get the message out to the people in a timely manner.”

With pre-set message templates, Connect 5 users can send out emergency messages in just a click or two. And while targeted alerts and notifications are easier to send, the underlying platform infrastructure continues to deliver just as quickly and reliably as before.

As a user of the previous Blackboard Connect system, it was readily apparent to Monica Worrell that she’ll be able to create messages quicker and easier in Blackboard Connect 5. “Gone are the ‘Next’ buttons,” said the Sheriff’s Office public information officer. “I actually get to look at everything in one section and know I’ve gotten it, nailed it and moved forward.”

Connect 5 is changing the way K-12 districts communicate, too. To see how it’s working at one of the nation’s biggest suburban school districts, check our recent blog post on how Virginia’s Prince William County Public Schools is adapting to the new release.

Want to learn more about Connect 5? If you’re an existing client, you can register for our upcoming webinar to see a live demo and get your questions answered by a product expert.

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