Populi

We’re here to solve a problem.

Small colleges need good software. But it’s always out of reach. 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The college used an outdated academics system.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 dog’s breakfast of spreadsheets, documents, and other low-cost programs stopped the gaps. This solution made hash out of student data. What’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, “enterprise-class” information systems. These systems required new hardware and new staff. They’d need over a year to implement. And the start-up costs alone—never mind ongoing maintenance and support—would have deep-sixed the budget for years to come.

But the college didn’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 colleges—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.

Our mission and culture here at Populi have formed around these core principles:

College software can be done better.

Populi is college management software. It’s an SIS, LMS, finance package, bookstore... all in one bundle. So your people, academics, admissions, billing, scheduling, and communications all work together. Your whole college can use it—staff, faculty, and students. And your information is more accessible and useful than ever.

Your information is yours. And no one else’s.

We know what’s at stake. And you need peace of mind about your data. Thus, encrypted logins. PCI-compliant technology. Daily backups. From our hardware choices to our design standards, we take security seriously.

Web-based works for colleges.

We keep Populi on our own secure hardware. We maintain it, upgrade it, fix it, and test it ourselves. You get it all through your web browser. Your information, wherever you need it—in the office, on the road, at home—without the huge IT burden.

Support shouldn't set you back.

We back you up with responsive, knowledgeable, and honest customer support—via email, phone, and our detailed online helps and forums. And unlike most companies, we simply don’t charge for it—ever. Our support is part of what makes Populi so easy to use.

Simpler is better.

Feature bloat stinks. It just makes everyone’s job harder. So we don't add marginal features that cater to the few. This makes for more intuitive, elegant, and useful software.

Most software is just too expensive.

Populi’s price puts it within reach of any college. You won’t have to guess what you’re paying. You won’t need to buy other stuff to make it work. And we won’t sneak in extra fees or costs. We believe in plain, simple, no-nonsense pricing.