What do you like best?
Ellucian support is responsive and friendly. This is good because if you go with Banner, you are going to be talking with support a whole lot.
What do you dislike?
I am a programmer and system administrator; I've worked with hundreds of modern cloud and on-prem business applications and the Banner user interface is perhaps the most disappointing I've seen and the back-end is a mess to say the least. I cannot think of an "industry leading" application marketed towards business users that is more poorly designed or more difficult to use. To summarize: Banner 9 is a fresh coat of paint on a super old antique of a software solution.
You are not met with any sort of dashboard or functional menu; every end user must instead memorize Back-end page and function labels and type them in (in the correct order) to finish any task or view any data; this is just one small step up from entering manual database queries and commands. An example of this would be that if I were a payroll admin and I needed to print checks I would open banner9's user interface (which is just a search bar), try to remember all ~10 codes that I need to use to pull up the correct pages(i.e. FGRACTG), enter info into poorly labeled fields, and save; If I want to see the results of what I just did, I will need to remember and enter the code to pull up a page that shows the transaction buried in a mess of other data (this is when the payroll admin remembers what 1989 was like). After entering data on each page I would then hit save and hope to goodness the data was written appropriately to wherever it went; If I need to make a correction I will have to petition a database administrator to log into the database and reverse my error using sql commands. Banner maintains an industry standard established in 1989 and has done little to update it. I am speaking also of Ellucian's 'cutting edge' banner 9.
I've seen some reviews that say "comprehensive".. Not sure where that is coming from; you can't even upload file attachments without an additional application. Perhaps it's comprehensive in that it will occupy all of your employees all day and eat up your budget with licensing costs.
Ellucian has excellent marketing teams and hosts seminars/pro-banner propaganda meets ('banner user groups') all over the country under the guise of educating their users of new features. Keep in mind that modern software solutions (not Banner) available to universities and enterprises have no need for such activities because their applications are intuitive and easily learned. Also keep in mind that on-premise deployments will require (staggering) additional licensing costs/third party software for things which should be included in such expensive "industry leading" software; two expensive examples are a Cobol code compiler(yes you must compile the source code after they give it to you and buy some way to compile Cobol code) and document management platform (some way to store and retrieve documents associated with students..since Banner certainly can't do this).
Recommendations to others considering the product
1. Do not use banner
2. see below:
Ellucian/banner relies on their name recognition and marketing to make sales - find a software provider that relies instead on the quality of their product.
Do not be satisfied until:
A. you are given a demo of several actual business processes from start to finish
B. you have found an application which, upon login, meets each user with a user-specific dashboard
If and only if you are forced to go with Ellucian, consider their managed cloud or saas application; at least you will forgo the pain of maintaining the mess that is banner in your datacenter; and for goodness sake DO NOT GET A 9 YEAR CONTRACT (yes they will try to sell you a 9+ year contract).
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We use Banner to document all student data, finance data, and hr data. Banner, I've found, is essentially a database with an antiquated front end connection.