Engagement Strategies Throughout the Student Lifecycle
Higher education has unique needs when it comes to student engagement, from the recruitment cycle through alumni relations. More of today’s institutions are taking new approaches, going beyond the typical point solution mindset and toward a ‘whole campus’ strategy by employing a single engagement platform. Today’s engagement platforms are able to integrate data from multiple systems and touch points, and provide insight through powerful analytics to improve results across the institution.
This web seminar was focused on how to use technology to drive engagement throughout the student lifecycle, helping to increase enrollment, improve retention, create lifelong relationships with alumni and improve outcomes.
Chief Strategy Officer
Campus Management Corp.
Vice President, Product Management
Campus Management Corp.
Mark Armstrong: We’re very excited to talk about future functionality that we’re building out, in addition to our overall strategic direction. These are things that are going to come to fruition over the next 12 to 14 months. We’re focused on a few key tenets: transforming your academic delivery, student success and, of course, operational efficiency. The key for us is that we do this on your terms.
J.Beyer-LeFever: Everyone promotes a solution that helps to provide greater personalization and that is efficient and scalable. But it’s not just personalization, but rather configuration and the ability to deliver the right information to the right people at a time that is relevant to them—across the institution.
When you think about efficiencies, it’s not just simply about doing things faster—it’s doing the right thing informed with the right information at the right time. As we think about technology and the platforms of the future, we want them to be modern and scalable and integrated, but we also want a solution that can adapt with you. And that might not always mean increase. There will be times when we do need to scale for growth, but there might be other times when we need to be able to scale back.
As we think about our platform, how can we support a large public institution with enrollment of 50,000 students and a large alumni base, but at the same time support a community college with 2,500 students? By providing an integrated solution—a solution that gives access, is extensible, easy to adapt, comfortable on campus, and with a low pain of change.
We recently launched a new partnership with Microsoft, which we’re very excited about, to create this platform of the future—or as we like to refer to it, a “system of engagement.”
Mark Armstrong: One of the key tenets is that customers want to deploy a separate platform of engagement relative to systems of record. There’s been a lot of activity over the years of trying to make, for example, the student information system as usable as possible. But we think it’s time to create a platform that can be the constituent-facing system for most of what you do, and that it’s something that’s optimized for communication and analytics. This is a relatively straightforward process now because of our cloud deployment with Microsoft, to take those back-end systems and surface those transactions into the system of engagement.
J.Beyer-LeFever: What I’m most excited about is that this will be a solution that’s deployed in the Microsoft Azure Cloud and can be leveraged as a service platform, rather than being simply a place to hold your data. It gives us the ability to take advantage of the rich Azure platform services to ensure that we are deploying a solution that addresses all these mobile and strong integration components, leveraging things like machine learning, cognitive services to help automate, and predicting what is happening with your students. Because we can rely on Microsoft to deliver that foundation, it enables us to stay true to our core, to keep a laser focus on the needs of a higher education institution.
Mark Armstrong: There are, of course, things that are specific to higher education that our team focused on to build and extend this engagement platform. We want to make sure that our resources are focused on what higher ed needs, rather than burning a lot of time, energy and budget on research and development on basic functionality that we can get from Microsoft.
J.Beyer-LeFever: We’re thinking about this not just from where the admissions solutions live, but also being able to span across the student lifecycle in one solution—revealing the important data, the relevant information. As we create this system of engagement around that relationship, we’re also focused on being able to engage with students not just through traditional channels like email and text, but engaging with things like social listening, chat and other areas. You see truly integrated analytics that help not to just identify what has happened, but also to predict and scale your resources to make changes in the future.
It’s important to us that we provide a rich self-service tool. You should, as administrators of the system, be able to deploy new content—new data modules —very easily. You should also be able to integrate with existing solutions on campus. And you should be able to display this back to the student and your end users in a meaningful way and enable them to take action where needed.
In terms of how you’re choosing to deploy technology on campus, any time you make an investment, you need to measure the return on investment. And as part of the solution, we will provide you with these organizational insights. We show you who’s using the system, which integrations are running. This even goes deeper to be able to show data around which web browsers people are using, which devices they’re hitting from, which parts of the system are being used more than others. So we’ll provide you great insight not only in terms of adoption, but about opportunities for expansion or deeper understandings.
We will also show you some insights around social. You need the ability to understand what’s happening outside of your walls, what’s happening outside of the conversations that you’re facilitating, what’s going on and how people are responding to you. So an integrative part of this solution is the social listening piece, which gives you the ability to understand the sentiment of what’s being said about your institution, to create a comprehensive, holistic picture of what kinds of engagement and what levels of engagement are happening with all of your constituents across the university.
All of this work combined over the next year will enable Campus Management to deliver the next generation engagement platform. We will continue to keep the market updated on our progress through quarterly updates and we encourage you to stay tuned.