For more than two years, we've heard a lot about Skyward. The Stevens Point company waged a battle to sell its software to school districts in Wisconsin. In June, Skyward won. Governor Scott Walker signed a budget allowing each district in the state to choose its own student information system.
"We're back on track," said Skyward President Scott Glinski.
After that company leaders made big plans, including a multimillion dollar expansion. But now, Skyward leaders say business in Wisconsin is struggling.
"We thought there would be a lot more activity but things are just moving slower that we expected," said Glinski.
In fact two school districts in the state have dropped Skyward: Oshkosh and Janesville. No one from either district was available for an interview. But Janesville educators did release a statement saying, "with the advancement of mobile devices...we need not only a contemporary data solution, but a solution that operates on multiple devices with varying screen sizes and operating systems."
But Skyward officials say they aren't worried.
"There's confusion," explained Glinski. "Some of the schools don't understand exactly what happened so right now we're doing our best to educate those folks about what we do and who we are."
As for the expansion, the company still plans to build a new world headquarters building in the Portage County Industrial Park. Glinski says groundbreaking is expected in 2015.
"We are committed to the state of WI and specifically Stevens Point," said Glinski,
That has city leaders remaining hopeful.
"The expansion of Skyward will be a catalyst to getting more development to that area," said Kyle Kearns of Stevens Point Community Development.
So despite the difficulties, Skyward leaders say they're moving in the right direction. Right now 384 school districts in Wisconsin use Skyward. It has also recently become the preferred provider in RI and TN. Since July, the company says its added 53 new jobs in central Wisconsin and plans to add more.