Our customer is a global university in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2018, the university began a digital transformation project to build a scalable technology platform that would provide a consistently exceptional student and faculty experience across geographies.
As an essential part of the solution, the university picked our platform to extend its Salesforce capabilities with Product Catalog, Pricing Management, eCommerce and Contract Management.
We spoke to the university’s IT Strategist to discover more about the project and the role CloudSense played in its success.
The drivers for change
First we covered the challenges and developments that compelled the university to start its transformation.
Slow, siloed legacy systems
Like plenty of organizations today, the uni’s technology relied on a backbone of legacy systems. These systems were largely slow, manual and frustratingly separate.
With rigid and siloed systems, data sets were confined across unconnected university faculties and systems. The inability to bring together this disparate data and gain a complete picture of its student journey left the university struggling to deliver a seamless, consistent student experience.
Meeting students’ rising expectations
Digital-native students expect the same convenient experiences they get day-to-day with digital leaders like Amazon, Apple and Uber from their universities. So there was no getting around the need to replace legacy systems if the university wanted to measure up to student expectations.
Our customer explained that students don’t just want better engagement, they want university products and services to be readily accessible, more accommodating and better supported:
“Student expectations are mounting in terms of flexible enrolments, new products such as micro-credentials and the desire for a one-stop-shop for service and support.”
Global competition & reputation
Along with rising student expectations, the university also faces strong global competition.
Nearly half of the university’s student base is international. This made missing out on the international market to its competitors a significant revenue risk.
The need to transform its student experience was only intensified by the university’s desire to maximize its ranking and appeal – both at home and globally.
To overcome these challenges the uni drew up a clear plan.
Planning a student-centric solution
The university focused on building a student-centric solution. Covering every part of the student journey for prospective students, current students and alumni.
To guarantee the solution truly revolved around its students, the uni mapped the end-to-end student lifecycle into Salesforce – ensuring the project was business, not IT-led.
“Mapping platforms, pain points and opportunities across all the platforms was a way to start a common conversation across the university. Presenting it as part of the journey made it clear why the project was worth investing in,” explained the IT Strategist.
There are eight core initiatives for the project covering student management and engagement.
The initial roll out has seen CloudSense and Salesforce being used for the university’s online portal, covering thousands of students’ learning journeys. Now the project is scaling into the rest of the university to enable moments that matter for all students and staff.
Selection process & implementation philosophy
The university needed flexible technology that could be implemented quickly and as close to out-of-the-box as possible. It also wanted applications to seamlessly integrate and form a single, scalable platform using Salesforce’s Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA).
Our contact expanded, “Salesforce’s HEDA provided the data structure and basis to integrate native applications like CloudSense and create one platform of engagement with our students and staff.”
The project focused on speed to market, getting a minimal viable product out that can be iteratively developed over time to build functionality and grow.
“CloudSense fit the bill with its Salesforce-native platform and proven out-of-the-box capability. We labelled the implementation ‘nothing is enterprise’. This equated to rolling out the project gradually to counter the inevitable resistance to wholesale change.”
“By finding groups within the uni that want to use it and delivering great experiences, we can then use the learnings and success to spread further,” concluded the IT Strategist.
A personalized education marketplace with CloudSense & Salesforce
With CloudSense, the university has built an education marketplace on Salesforce. Now students have uninhibited access to degree programs, short courses, online offerings, micro credentials, placements and mentors.
The marketplace has reinvented a vital part of the student journey – allowing students to customize their learning experience while building awareness and raising the uptake of the uni’s key offerings.
Customized learning experiences through self-service
CloudSense’s eCommerce engine drives the marketplace, combining with Salesforce Communities to provide the convenience and flexibility students crave through self-service.
Our Commercial Product Catalog and Pricing Management integrates with Canvas Learning Management System to provide an accurate, centralized product and pricing engine. This product and pricing information is then harnessed by Salesforce Einstein to provide personalized offerings for students based on their profile.
A single view across the student journey
Salesforce and CloudSense also combine to cater for industry learning and global experiences. With a single, integrated platform university staff have a single view across the student journey and can continue the unified student journey into placement opportunities, applications, and collaboration.
The seamless experience is maintained with CloudSense Contract Management, built natively on Salesforce, enabling the uni to manage student leads and industry partnerships seamlessly, keeping them engaged and proving smooth onboarding.