“Everybody deserves to have an efficient workday,” says Via’s CCO
From the first moment Via TRM was launched, the company was borne out of client need and client request.
“It was built collectively by and for international educators because every person who comes into our orbit has a voice in what we do,” says Lisa Stern, Chief Client Officer (CCO) at Via. “We listen and then put on our business hats and our technological savvy to make sure our solutions are efficient, logical, beautiful, user friendly and intuitive. But the seeds, the water and the sunshine come from our clients.”
As a travel relationship and risk management company, Via TRM helps higher education institutions and study abroad advisors recruit and manage travelers. From study abroad programs to university systems that manage students, faculty, and staff travel, our software solutions help power global experiences to change our world.
Via TRM grew out of a vision—and frustration, Stern says. Via’s founder worked in a study abroad office and grew tired of struggling to make their software system fit her needs. She set out to create software solutions that were easy to use, reliable and affordable, starting Via TRM in 2011.
Via builds team of experts, including software engineers and UX/UI designer
Over the years, Via has grown its team with an eye on improving its products. At the heart of Via’s product line is Via Global, our flagship study abroad software solution. Via Global connects EA offices with travelers—even before they apply. By simplifying study abroad, Via Global helps make the workday easier for our clients. Travelers also love that Via Global is visually appealing, intuitive and easy to use.
Via Travel, another easy-to-use software solution, helps track and manage solo and group travel. It features on-site text and geolocations so clients always know where their travelers are in the world.
Via works with small privates to large publics, Ivy League schools to community colleges, top senders to one-person offices and providers. “Every client is important,” Stern says.
“Everybody deserves to have an efficient workday,” she says. “We’re tech geeks and we geek out on making things easier and better. We really get excited about it.”
Via engages with clients both proactively and reactively, Stern says.
“We ask a lot of questions and we listen,” she says. “We ask a lot of questions in training and onboarding. We don’t just say, ‘Click here, click there.’”
Via also hosts monthly user research sessions to see how to make products better and more impactful. The sessions are around a theme: In January, the focus was on what tools clients need to keep travelers safe abroad; in February, it was on program budgets and how best to share program costs before travelers apply.
In April, the theme will be Dashboards and Journeys (customizable if/then logic). Anyone who wants to participate can sign up here.
“We are where we are from listening to our clients,” Stern says. “Most have been doing this for a long time so we learn a lot from them.”
Via keeps track of every suggestion clients make. Each quarter, the Via team reviews those suggestions and makes decisions about what’s going to be on the roadmap for the near future.
“We prioritize based on what we think will help make our clients’ workday less stressful and more efficient—what will help them the most,” Stern says.
Over the past year, Via has added a lot of batch functionality, Stern cites as an example. “Why do it a hundred times when you can do it once?”
UChicago study abroad office says Via has saved their staff “significant time” in application and form processing. Via also helped the office solve many challenges, including consolidating summer grant applications and study abroad applications into one straightforward system.
“We really love working with the Via team,” says Elana Kranz, deputy director of study abroad at UChicago “They are responsive, knowledgeable, solutions-focused, and friendly.”
Other clients like the University of Massachusetts Amherst also rave about Via’s responsiveness. AJ LeBlanc at UMass says it’s obvious to her team that Via was founded by international educators for the IE community.
“With all of our interactions with Via, it’s been, ‘We understand what you’re doing. We understand it needs to be easy for admin and students. We understand there’s a huge picture here. Here’s what we can offer,’” LeBlanc says. “We’re all speaking the same language.”
Via TRM believes global experiences will change our world. That’s why we created traveler relationship management and travel risk management software, which helps universities and study abroad program providers to empower global experiences. With this blog, we’re looking to feature people who share Via’s “why.” If that’s you or one of your colleagues, tell us more. We might just feature you here!