2024 Instant Connect vs. Infinite Campus Communication System Comparison

As a school or school district, you have many options for automated mass notification to send alerts to parents, students, and staff. We asked a consultant to research the options and compile a comparison chart. Information was gathered from the respective vendor’s websites, brochures, recorded demos, and in some cases from their customers. BrightArrow strives to provide you up-to-date and accurate information so you consider all your options as objectively as possible. If you see inaccurate information, please notify us, including a link, image, or video supporting the claim, and we’ll update to keep you informed in a precise manner.

Features Instant Connect Infinite Campus Messenger Reason for partial flag:
Mass Notification        
System has the ability to send notifications via:        
Phone (land-line, mobile)    
Email    
SMS Text Messages    
App Push Notifications      
Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)    
Email Link to Voice Message    
Two-Way Instant Messaging      
         
Text Messaging        
Unlimited length text messages      
Automatic translation of text message to contacts' languages, over 100 languages      
Work across all major wireless carriers and wireless phone models in North America      
Ability to send messages in an expedited fashion during emergencies      
Entirely automated opt-in procedure for text messages to new phones      
Intelligent handling of reply texts based on customer's preferences      
Automated opt-in/opt-out      
Uses short code true texting (SMPP) in U.S. and long-code true texting (SMPP) in Canada      
Mail Merge fields: Display data from SIS or other databases (transportation, meal, etc.)      
Optional feature that can require a designated person review and approve messages before they go out      
Ability to schedule messages into the future    
Text based surveys      
         
Voice Calls        
Able to record a message from receiving or initiating a call, play back, preview, and re-record the message Only offers one or the other option for recording a message
Automatic translation of text-to-speech voice calls, over 20 languages    
Ability to dial-in, enter a code, and launch a voice message without using the web or app      
Have the ability to customize the telephone number display (caller ID)    
Mail Merge fields: Display data from SIS or other databases (transportation, meal, etc.)      
Automated opt-out      
Phone survey functionality      
Multipart messaging      
Deduping voice calls      
Toll-free caller ID number to allow message play-back upon call back      
Accurate detection of live answer vs voice-mail to ensure delivery of phone message      
         
Emails      
Limitations on SPF, Reply-To, DKIM, and other mechanisms that are important to ensure emails are not blocked by SPAM filters      
Can add CC, BCC, and "reply to" in email description      
Ability to create emails using a full HTML editor for inserting graphics, attachments, links, and other features      
Automatic translation of email to contacts' languages, over 100 languages      
Report emailing, such as report cards, customer specific financial reports, at no extra charge      
CAN-SPAM and CASL compliant      
Automated unsubscribe      
Mail Merge fields: Display data from SIS or other databases (transportation, meal, etc.), including subject line      
HTML templates: Users can create customized email templates and use them as branded emails    
Email preview      
Intelligently deduping emails across lists      
Image management with uploading, preview, and searches      
         
List and Contact Management        
Ability to create lists via an import from a spreadsheet, with auto-detection of fields and matching stored contact records      
Ability to create copies, list subsets, superset lists, all of which can be linked or unlinked List can be derived from other lists, but the linking mechanisms have some limitations
Unlimited self-updating groups/lists (dynamically change based on source data)    
Have the ability to export existing recipient and contact information to Excel or a CSV file      
Ability to build a list based on specific fields      
Real-time filter for granular selection of contacts      
Configurable list view to allow intelligence, searching, sorting, favorites and subfolders for organization of lists      
         
Message Management        
Message templates to quickly find and send pre-configured messages    
Able to create automated messages launch at a specific time each week without user interaction    
System allows user to pre-create messages for future purposes    
Message and list pair can be pre-configured to send messages with two clicks      
Messages can be locked into lists to ensure consistency      
         
System        
Ability to deliver notifications 24/7 with 99.99% availability      
No hardware needed beyond PC stations    
Service provided through web-login and mobile app      
No data is sold or given to telemarketers or other solicitors    
Ability to secure database, only allow users with appropriate credentials to access given information    
Single sign-on integration using LDAP, ADFS, Azure, Google, PowerSchool, Blackboard and others      
Includes usage of expansive API to allow embedding of communications feature anywhere in work (no additional charge)      
Fully Compliant with FCC TCPA    
Less than 0.67% of capacity used on average for voice calls (even less for email/text)      
Includes parent-facing app to receive/retrieve messages, push notifications, and adjust settings (no additional charge)      
Multiple redundant SAS 70 type 2 certified      
No single point of failure      
         
Reports of Sent Messages        
Generates transmission reports, available immediately, that show details for each message type: live answer, voicemail, busy, unreachable, no answer    
Ability to to automatically send the report to any administrator via email, or exported as a file      
         
User Accounts        
Includes user licenses for all staff/teachers (no additional charge)      
Allows an unlimited number of phone numbers and email addresses for each student, parent, or faculty member      
System administrator can create an unlimited number of users to separate and control access to different groups, lists, and reports      
System allows shared lists and groups for different users, and groups of users, including read-only access links      
         
Parent Portal        
Mobile App Parent Portal to subscribe, manage preferences and prior message vault      
Web based community recipient portal: Subscribe, unsubscribe, manage preferences and prior message vault      
Parent Portal allows parents to add phones/emails outside of SIS contact data for temporary usage      
Two-way community communication portal organized by department and school      
         
Automated Notification        
Automated absence notification individualized per campus, including auto-translation Does not include auto-translation
Other automated notifications (e.g. low lunch balance alerts) added any time      
         
Emergency Alert Features        
SafeCast      
Anti-Bullying Hotline      
Designate messages as emergency to ensure they are sent out in front of all other messages (no additional charge) Available to a limited degree, at an extra charge
Weblink and call/text anonymous (no additional charge)      
Anonymous tip reporting via web/mobile app      
         
Support        
24/7 unlimited phone and email support      
Unlimited training through remote web sessions      
Rapid implementation to minimize effort of district staff      
Customer resource site with tips, tricks and videos      
         
Direct Integration        
Synergy      
Michigan Data Hub      
DASL      
Infinite Campus    
Blackbaud EMS      
Illuminate      
PowerSchool      
Wen-GAGE      
Aeries      
TxEIS      
Edsembli      
Aspen      
Genius SIS for Virtual Schools      
eSchoolPlus      
Mindex      
Chalkable      
Q (Aequitas Solutions)      
Senior Systems      
Rediker      
JMC      
SchoolWise      
Sycamore      
Salesforce      
Google Sheets      
Skyward      
Over 100 data sources      
         
PowerSchool        
Embedded into PowerSchool user-interface      
Ability to schedule daily absent/tardy calls by individual school      
Low lunch balance notification      
Integration with PowerSchool Parent Portal      
Integration with PowerTeacher and PowerTeacher Pro Gradebook      
Automatic calculate attendance totals for special messaging of cumulative absences/tardies      
Ability to send PDF, PowerSchool object reports, and MBA reports      
PowerTeacher includes filtering for teachers to send, such as current "final grade" and assignments missed      
COVID-19 tracking notification feature      
Mail merge of any PowerSchool field into voice calls, texts, and emails, including in subject of email      
Free emailing report cards with posting to Parent Portal      
Flexible encryption of PDF reports for emailing, including all birthdate formats      
Support for PowerSchool Contacts      
Email teachers who are late in submitting attendance      
Two-Way Instant Messaging Communication        
Two-way IM communication between parents, students, and admins      
Ability to send attachments, permission slips, images, videos, and other files      
Easy for parents to join and engage      
Seamless integration using text, emails, and push notifications      
Automated synchronization with student database for populating class rosters      
         
Custom Branded Mobile App        
Custom app branded for each school that includes full information about classes, schedules, meals, announcements and all other school information      
Other Features        
Online payments        
Teacher conference scheduling        
Invoices        
Volunteer sign-up        
             
KEY                    
Partial                      
Yes                      
Included with additional charge                      
Included with premium charge                    
Partial compliance, full compliance with additional charge                      

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