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New Orleans in the New Year

By December 28, 2015

By: Colleen Whelan, Nick Zinser, Laura Campbell, Chris Coppa, and Rebecca Joffrey of the Higher Ed Advisory Council

HEDSummit16On March 30, 1,000 people will gather in New Orleans for the 4th annual Higher Ed Summit. That is a huge increase from the first Summit at Wayne State three years ago with 300 registrants. During this same time period, Salesforce reports that growth in higher ed has tripled to more than 1,600 schools. We’re all focused on the same goal: building customer service infrastructure so that our schools can be more efficient, improve student and alumni engagement, and make business decisions like never before. To quote the Gartner Group (Oct 1, 2013), “[Higher ed] institutions that have not implemented an institution-wide CRM strategy and solution by 2016 will lose significant competitive advantage to peers.”

2016? That’s just days away. Sounds like it’s time for some New Year’s resolutions! We asked some colleagues at other schools to share their goals for the New Year – what they are planning to do with Salesforce and how the conference in New Orleans will help them.

“I always look forward to the Salesforce Higher Ed Summit because it provides an opportunity to make new connections and learn from peers at other institutions. At #hesummit16, as a member of the HIgher Ed Advisory Council, a couple of my Summit goals are to meet new colleagues from other schools and gather information about how the Council can better represent the spectrum of higher ed institutions using (or considering using) the platform and to discover new peers that have deep platform knowledge and creative solutions to share. Personally, my Salesforce-focused New Year and New Orleans resolutions include learning more about how other institutions are using the platform to support and advance fundraising and alumni relations functions and exploring in depth the new training resources available. Chicory coffee, beignets, and Trailhead…who’s with me?!” –Colleen Whelan, Providence College

“2016 sees us focusing on the myriad engagements we have as an institution with our students–both prospective and enrolled. We’ve focused on improving the customer experience for the last few years, and I’m looking forward to Summit to help me continue to listen and engage with peers around unique and innovative implementations of Service Cloud. A big resolution of mine is to implement Social Customer Service to allow the institution to respond to student concerns in the environment they are most comfortable with–social media.” –Nicholas Zinser, Northeastern University

“At Algonquin College, our Salesforce resolutions are automation and service. We are continuing to map the journey of our International students from prospect to alumni, and identifying ways to leverage the Salesforce platform to improve communications, service, and internal business processes. We want to capture even more data about our students and understand the pain points of their journey, and let these sources of truth guide our development roadmap. The Higher Ed Summit is always a “can’t miss” event for our team. It’s so valuable to meet other schools and see all the exciting solutions being put in place to support the success of our students.” -Laura Campbell

Cornell University is taking steps to reduce administrative bureaucracy and Salesforce is one of the tools that many are turning to. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences implemented the Community Cloud in 2014/15. Our focus in 2016 will be to leverage CRM and marketing automation tools to push service into “the feed.” With Cases, we can more easily identify students in need of additional support. Our Pardot implementation is helping us develop support programs for specific target audiences such as semester-away students or graduating seniors. We’re even building a speaker’s bureau that will help professors, clubs and event organizers work directly with alumni to book their visits to campus. My team members and I will be attending the Higher Ed Summit to learn more about these specific tools and how different schools are using them. My particular focus will be to collect ideas for metrics and dashboards so we can do a better job tracking success.” –Rebecca Joffrey

“This Summit is one of the only conferences that focuses specifically on solutions for higher education. For me, it is the best opportunity to network with fellow thought leaders, visionaries, platform experts and Salesforce leadership in an energetic, structured, and fun-filled event format. My resolution is to find solutions to some of the problems we’re facing in higher ed by engaging in collaborative conversations to understand best practices and leverage the collective knowledgebase of people who continue to push the envelope of this dynamic platform. One of the things I’m specifically hoping to explore is how applications, solutions or services can be developed to serve a broad spectrum of use cases unique to higher ed.” –Chris Coppa

Register for the Higher Ed Summit