Team Spotlight: Partnering with Clients to Achieve Their EdTech Product Goals

Meet Nancy Bender, Certica’s client success manager dedicated to Academic Benchmark users. Nancy works in our Cincinnati office and is a longtime member of the AB team. On any day, you can find her meeting with clients to understand their product strategy, communicating with clients about new AB Connect™ features, recommending innovative solutions that can help enhance clients’ products, and working closely with members of Certica’s product management, sales, services and marketing teams. Keep reading to find out why Nancy is such an invaluable resource to AB clients and learn something new about her!

How long have you been in your role at Certica?

I joined Certica back in 2016 when Academic Benchmarks was acquired by the company. Before that, I had been with Academic Benchmarks for 8 years, so I’ve been working with AB clients for 11 years this April.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Every day presents a new challenge or experience to learn from. I’m able to take those learnings to our clients and find new ways to assist in their success.

What advice would you give to a client just starting out with AB Connect?

Ask questions, and then ask more questions! When clients first implement AB Connect, they’ll have questions, and we’re always here to help and give guidance – that’s our job!

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry?

The need for content interoperability, without a doubt. When I started with AB, we only had a few clients who were sharing information via unique identifiers, known as the AB GUIDs. Now, it’s not just clients that want and need to share information, but state education agencies and school districts are making it a priority as well.

What client success story are you most proud of?

We have a client that was using an earlier version of AB, and recently I was able to demonstrate to them how using our newer technologies – including the AB Connect API and recommendation engine – could accelerate their alignment work. After some evaluation they made the change and are happy with the fact that they are able work more efficiently and self-serve their alignment process.

What is one thing you tell all clients?

That’s a tough one; we have so many clients doing different things in countless ways that there isn’t one thing that is necessarily appropriate for everyone. With that said, there is one constant – our goal is to truly be a partner to our clients and work together to develop solutions that make their products the most successful they can be.

What are three things clients might not realize about AB Connect?

  1. The amount of time we put into ensuring that we have the most up-to-date and accurate learning standards available. Clients can have complete confidence in knowing that we have our finger on the pulse of state and national learning standards.
  2. Using the AB Connect API allows you to always have the most recent and up-to-date learning standards, without having to spend any time managing changes.
  3. Our newsletter provides useful learning standards information and other product updates. Many frequently asked questions can be answered by reading our monthly newsletter.

What do you think is the key to a successful AB Connect implementation?

The key is to first understand the education metadata that is available, and how it can benefit your business. Once you have that understanding, spend time on developing a thoughtful design that fits your use case. The process isn’t something a client has to do on their own, we have deep expertise in this area.

Now let’s wrap up with 3 facts about you, Nancy!

If you didn’t work in edtech, what kind of career would you have?

I went to school to become a speech therapist. I put my master’s degree on hold and went into the business world. I found that I enjoyed it so I didn’t go back to school, but if I needed a new career I would go back.

What’s your dream vacation?

Hawaii. I’ve already been there twice, but I don’t think I’ll ever have enough time there. Not only is it beautiful, the attitude of the people is very refreshing.

What is your favorite non-work-related activity?

Hiking. I recently hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and there are no words to describe the beauty of it all. A picture hardly does it justice!

Connect with Nancy on LinkedIn.