Improving the student experience at Salford University
The University of Salford unsuccessfully attempted to implement a CRM (customer relationship management) system a number of times within seven years, with the aim to provide a hyper-personalised applicant journey which integrates with previous systems and data. With seven other different systems in operation, both on and off premise, it was vital to introduce effective integration to establish a complete view of the student journey. But the bigger challenge was winning over hearts and minds, to prove that - this time - the project would be a success.
Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products were implemented by Crimson, which support digital experiences outside of the student lifecycle, and assist the University in becoming more self-sufficient.
Implementation commenced with the attraction, recruitment and admissions processes, as these were the areas with the largest potential return on investment. Furthermore, by attracting the right student by providing the right experience, overall retention rates will also see improvement. The platform can then expand across the whole student lifecycle, driving the right behaviour across teams within the University.
Crimson’s sprint team provided tech knowledge whilst collaboratively shaping and delivering the solution and the Evergreen Management service from Crimson ensured the latest updates and capabilities are understood and are able to add value to existing and future processes.
The portals are able to integrate student information systems such as Banner, marketing software such as Adobe Campaign, and other third-party software systems such as Gecko. The portals are micro applications that are targeted for different users, such as students, agents, and academics for feedback.
All solutions provided by Crimson used Microsoft technologies, enabling most of the project to be low-code/no-code – as only a small amount of coding was required in specialist areas. The project focused on solving key business problems, mainly a single application process irrespective of the course the applicant was applying for.
The attraction, recruitment and admissions implementations have been successful, and have improved confidence within the University of Salford’s teams. The systems will be rolled out across the rest of the student lifecycle, and throughout the University
The new cloud-based solution has streamlined the recruitment and admissions process achieving an efficiency gain in processing applications.
Eliminating paper-based processes enabled employees to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, which would have otherwise been difficult due to local data storage.
Not only have the application processes been quickened, the amount of quality applications has also increased. Through the web portal Crimson built, applications have increased for the 2021 academic year. Emphasis has been put on obtaining the right data from the start of the applications processes, to reduce further delays.