QUT’s vision for digital engagement
QUT (Queensland University of Technology) is known as ‘the university for the real world’. Close links with industry, commitment to authentic learning experiences, and an increasing global presence has ensured that QUT learning is in high-demand and trusted by students, employers, and business.
In a disrupted sector where students expect to be better connected with their education providers, QUT recognised a strategic need to bring everything – and everyone – together in new ways.
In 2020, the university was ready to operationalise a digital vision that centred on digitally connecting with students and partners.
From recruitment through to alumni engagement, QUT is focussed on enterprise technology adoption, transformational process redesign, and data change to enable a connected organisation – the goal is to engage with future students, some 53,000 current students and alumni, in a personalised way
“We need to move from working in isolation to working in common and consistent ways, leveraging a single platform that provides teams with the technology building blocks they need to unify the support and services they deliver across key stages of the student journey,” says James Rail, Program Manager, speaking at Salesforce’s 2022 Education Summit
40%reduction in time when administering professional and executive education
8fragmented systems replaced to streamline operations
1 million +pieces of data consolidated onto one platform
Consolidating silos and removing duplication
In proceeding with this digital transformation, the university identified the need to remove systems duplication and data silos from the outset. Not uncommon across the sector. This need was quantified by COVID, which challenged the university in its ability to pivot rapidly and introduce new ways of working for teams. It was time to consolidate.
With this vital work to connect all business functions and leverage a single view of students across the organisation, there would be an adequate foundation to support lifelong learning effectively.
Designing for success
The university engaged Salesforce solution architects to help design the platform to enable its vision. The team co-designed a technology strategy based on the Salesforce Education Cloud, incorporating the Sales, Service and Commerce, Marketing Clouds with Education Data Architecture.
Salesforce helps us understand who our students are all the way through their journey and take the busyness out of the work that we do to make sure we know who these groups are, what they’re doing and what they want at any point in time.” Prof. Robina Xavier, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)Queensland University of Technology
An enterprise mindset to enable connection
Salesforce Education Cloud – the foundation for QUT’s new engagement ecosystem – is providing the university with a single platform to manage key services and bring together common data that is essential for delivering personalised support. It is usable out-of-the-box and configurable to the needs of the university, keeping maintenance costs low and accelerating time to value.
Salesforce Sales Cloud enables QUT to gather meaningful information about an individual and their relationship with the university, while also providing service teams with automations and workflows that ensure they can engage, respond to, and support learners in the right context at the right time.
Salesforce Service Cloud will support case and enquiry management through the university’s central contact centre, pulling in data from across the organisation to complete a 360-degree view of students and guaranteeing the fastest possible outcomes for those students in ways that are relevant to them.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows QUT to intelligently target would-be and repeat students with options and personalised information that align with their study interest.
Innovation in Education Registration
In an industry first, Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud gives lifelong learners a way to easily discover, register for, and access professional development and continuing education from a single professional education catalogue. QUT recognised the digital benefits of developing this within the boundaries of its Salesforce ecosystem and, as a result, delivered an integrated, whole of university solution in record time.
Equally valuable, students are no longer required to repeat themselves.
“Depending on the study path, no longer will our students need to click through and continuously enter data across multiple systems to enrol in their professional course of choice,” said Rail.
Connecting the catalogue with the CRM has provided university leaders with new intelligence to increase responsiveness. For example, where a prospective student expresses interest in a fully booked short course, that student can be automatically tagged for inclusion in the next available intake. The outcome is a more precise picture of course demand across the year and allows the university to scale its operations in response.
Digital transformation in action
Salesforce ensures efficiency gains for QUT. Through digitisation, connectors with corporate systems, and responsive configurations, an early release of the platform has seen a 40% time reduction when administering professional and executive education – ultimately ensuring that service coordinators have capacity to create relational rather than transactional experiences for lifelong learning.
But this was never intended to just be an exercise in gaining efficiencies. With Salesforce, the university has created a product, not a project, that can be scaled and adapting to create differentiating experiences. QUT has a tried and tested way of working that brings agility to platform development and delivery. Where one development phase ends, the next has already been architected for implementation. And in this way, Salesforce has become an integral foundation for a new digital ecosystem that is focused on continuous development to bring continuous value – positioning QUT to remain at the forefront of Australia’s higher education providers.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is an ambitious institution, with a growing research output focused on technology and innovation, and more than 50,000 students across two inner-city campuses in Brisbane, Australia. QUT ranks in the world’s top 200 universities.