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Dream Big in Education With CRM + AI + Data + Trust: Education Summit 2024 Innovation Keynote Highlights

Cloud for Good experts at the 2024 Salesforce Education Summit in San Diego joined the summit’s innovation keynote in person to bring you some of the latest enhancements, announcements, and key product updates. The keynote, presented by Salesforce alongside senior leaders from James Madison University, NOLA Public Schools, Texas Tech University, and the University of Liverpool, introduced the theme of this year’s summit: “Dream Big”.

Here are the highlights from the keynote.

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Today’s students expect a personalized and seamless journey that keeps pace with their brand experiences outside of education.
Bala Subramanian, VP & GM of Education
Bala Subramanian
VP & GM of Education

Personalized Student Journeys and Connections 

The keynote identified some of the broad, prevalent challenges that higher education institutions face: declining enrollment, rising costs, shifting job markets and demographics, and rapid advancements in technology. These challenges set up the keynote talk’s focal point: creating personalized student connections, journeys, and engagement with CRM + AI+ Data + Trust within recruitment and admissions, student success, advancement, and alumni relations. Given these changes, it has become imperative for institutions to innovate and personalize the way they connect with both their students and constituents; with the right data and tools, institutions can transform the ways in which they serve and engage with students and constituents and create meaningful connections and opportunities for student success. To showcase how Salesforce was solving these gaps with technology, they introduced several customer success stories.  

Education Cloud Success Stories 

To showcase how Salesforce was solving these gaps with technology, they introduced several customer success stories.  

Alison Waide from James Madison University, Dave Hand from NOLA Public Schools, and Andrew Dolben from the University of Liverpool took the stage and spoke about their school’s transformation journeys. There were common challenges that these three schools faced, including serving a large student population, disjointed data systems, streamlining and centralizing operations, inconsistent processes across departments, and the desire for 360-degree views and end-to-end journeys for students, and configurable, scalable platforms. With the help of Education Cloud, these three institutions were able to transform the way they served their students and innovated their technology and systems to deliver meaningful, personalized student experiences and journeys with comprehensive student views, data strategies, and streamlined, connected systems that united all the critical data about their students.  

Based on their experiences with their schools’ digital transformations with Salesforce, the speakers then shared their advice and insights for others. For Waide, she encouraged focusing first on the benefit to an individual, and then the institution. From there, use technology to realize those benefits, rather than the other way around. Hand conveyed how Salesforce is a powerful tool and that there are often several right ways to use it to accomplish something – emphasizing the importance of balancing incremental wins with progress while using the platform. Dolben told the audience to not be afraid to dream big—if you focus on your vision and students, the rest will follow. 

Student Success with CRM + AI + Data + Trust 

Continuing this theme, Jamie Hansard and Ron Hendrick from Texas Tech University took the stage and shared their institution’s success story alongside a compelling video. They spoke of achieving their institution’s ambitious goal of growing enrollment by over 30% while creating and maintaining personal connections with every student. Through their technology transformation journey into a Salesforce solution with CRM Analytics, Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Salesforce for Education built on the Einstein 1 platform, Texas Tech was able to establish a strong data foundation that fuels AI-driven insights to individualize student support and unify data. This creates a single source of truth to see a full picture of what a student is experiencing, their needs, and how to best meet those needs.  

As a result, Texas Tech reached its enrollment goal while using data and trusted AI to improve and maintain student relationships, engagement, and outcomes. Hansard and Hendrick emphasized the importance of humanizing technology with a focus on people, process and technology. Using this approach, Texas Tech was able to leverage technology to spend more time human-focused which enabled Texas Tech to think big and dream big. 

Release and Update Announcements  

VP & GM of Education of Salesforce Bala Subramanian came onstage to share insights and an exciting preview of upcoming Salesforce developments.  

The Role of Data at Your Institution 

He emphasized the importance of data and its critical role in building meaningful connections. In higher education, institutions use an average of 35 data systems to manage the student journey, each containing critical data. Likening these data systems to chapters of a book, Subramanian explained that just as you need every chapter of a book to tell a whole story, institutions need to bring all their systems and the data they contain together to tell a full story about the students they serve—something which Salesforce is able to do. 

Einstein 1 

The exciting announcement of the development of Einstein 1 for Education was made. Positioned as the trusted AI platform for learner-centric institutions, Einstein 1 for Education brings together CRM + Data + AI + Trust and offers AI-powered education apps that can generate skills for learning programs, questions for intake assessments, responses to student inquiries, and proposals for donor gifts. It can be integrated with multiple CRM apps, is built with Einstein’s trust layer for data security and protection, and provides users real-time data via Data Cloud.  

In response to institutions’ feedback for a need for greater flexibility and scalability in the school application process, the keynote also announced the general availability of Dynamic Applications and Third Party Applications for Education Cloud for Recruitment & Admissions, enabling the solution to be more configurable, flexible, and scalable. With Dynamic Applications, users can build common components and unique pieces, and integrating third party applications will make it possible for schools to support the option for parents, legal guardians, and international agents to submit applications on a student’s behalf. The keynote also announced the general availability of Education Cloud for Student Success’ Student Action Center and the Summer 2024 release of Appointment Auto Assignment and QR-based self check-ins, all of which will change the way students are supported and the way school staff work. Finally, the keynote announced the general availability of Education Cloud for Advancement and Alumni Relations’ High Impact Mentoring and comprehensive fundraising and gift processing capabilities to build lifelong constituent relationships at scale. 

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Every institution wants to provide the best possible experiences for their students and staff. With industry-specific AI and data tools, Education Cloud will help K-12 and higher ed institutions provide more individualized support for every student while increasing efficiency and helping to reduce staff burnout. This will free educators and staff to focus on improving student outcomes like career-readiness, well-being, and graduation rates.
Bala Subramanian, VP & GM of Education
Bala Subramanian
VP & GM of Education

New Era, New Technology 

The keynote emphasized how a new era of innovation and technology has arrived for Education Cloud. Salesforce is building a set of modular and expandable capabilities to help institutions manage student data. These new technologies are built to manage transactions and experiences, store records while managing relationships, and run on a modern CRM and AI platform. 

Cloud for Good has remarkable expertise and success in helping institutions take advantage of Education Cloud to innovate and transform the ways they connect with students, scale growth, and achieve excellence. With so many new, powerful enhancements and upcoming developments in Education Cloud, we are excited to work with clients on the cutting edge of technology advancements and empower them to dream big.