When Ellucian's products were first released--decades ago--they were cutting edge. Banner, their SIS (Student Information System) quickly became the industry standard for enterprise databases on college campuses which transformed the way higher education leaders use data to make informed decisions. Their products continue to be effective for large universities that have every module of Banner installed, i.e. have their entire campus from registrar to bursar to admissions running on an Ellucian solution. When used "out-of-the-box" it does its job, not easily or beautifully, but gets it done.
It's as if Ellucian (and their strongest competitor PeopleSoft) got comfortable once they dominated the market and just stopped trying to make the actual user experience better. They put on large, fancy conferences and have great branding, but using their systems is a NIGHTMARE. A different programmer designed every form/screen/section so they all function differently. Where two clicks should do, fourteen are required. The bugs far outweigh the features. Something breaks more often than it doesn't. It's awful, but they have us trapped because no one else can compete with them. Sometimes I think it would all be easier if we just used Excel to track student records! Since our school implemented Ellucian products 5 years ago, to the tune of millions of dollars, we've had to add 2 new positions in our office just to handle the tech components. And don't even get me started on what happens when you attempt to customize their products. Endless headaches.