Technology as a force for change: main takeaways from Education Summit

Some very exciting reveals about the roadmap and plan for Education Cloud were announced at the Education Summit. Kari Poutanen highlights some of his favorites and talks about the opportunities related to them.

Salesforce held its 10th annual Education Summit on the 20th of April. It was an inspiring event with great new inspiration, insights, and reveals for education institutions worldwide. Salesforce has been increasingly active in the education space for some years now. It continues to deliver great products and services for digital experience, student and institution success, and engagement.

Many inspirational keynotes were given by speakers such as activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yusafzai and ASU President Michael Crow. The speakers talked about how technology can be a great equaliser of opportunity by helping drive inclusivity, equal outcomes, and accessibility across education. Institutions like ASU have seen massive growth in their student base and ability to scale education by embracing digital transformation.

We also heard how strategic partnerships between the private and public sectors could help meet the challenges of the digital wave of change by ensuring that the workforce has the skills they need to succeed. The breakout sessions were inspiring to hear how they have innovated with eCommerce, Digital Campus experience, and data insights to create new business capabilities and value to their constituents.

Digital Campus

The Education Summit event revealed one of the new solutions: the Digital Campus. It combines three exciting products from the Salesforce family: Slack, Tableau, and MuleSoft. It enables you to leverage Slack and MuleSoft to break down data and communication silos between teams and drive collaboration while using Tableau for data-driven decision-making. This is very important because often, siloed data and teams and lack of insight from data are three of the critical blockers to business success and transformation. With the Digital Campus solution, I see that it could help many institutions to speed up their ability to innovate.

Lifelong Learning

The second solution revealed was lifelong learning, and it combines again several products – namely Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Commerce Cloud – to deliver some key capabilities. It brings an “out-of-the-box” storefront and engagement experience as well as the ability to manage corporate partnerships and measure course performance to education institutions. It is fascinating as eCommerce is a topic that we have seen come up at an increasing pace across industries, and it is a hot topic in the world of education as well. That Salesforce has an offering tailored for Education is an up-and-coming development for those looking for more capability from the platform.

Customer 360 for Education

This announcement was one of the most interesting ones of them all. The value proposition of Salesforce for education has gone through iterations in the past few years and constantly improved, in my opinion. However, the distinction between the platform and Education Cloud has been something that has remained. Customer 360 for Education promises to combine the platform innovation with the purpose-built solution from Education Cloud and the ecosystem approach to creating a new level of value for institutions and students. What you could achieve with it include delivering personalised experiences, supporting student wellbeing, meeting recruitment goals, building alumni communities, and improving staff productivity.

Slack for Education

Slack is perhaps the most expected reveal of them all. Since acquiring Slack, there have been discussions about how it will bring value to Salesforce users. Because Salesforce has focused for the past few years on industry solutions like Education Cloud, many have had expectations that there will be industry-specific Slack solutions as well.

The wait is over as Salesforce announced their first Education Cloud app for Slack: Alerts for Slack in Student Success Hub. Salesforce also revealed in the Salesforce DX ‘22 that Salesforce Flow will now tap directly into other products like Slack. This means bringing automation and self-service to an entirely new level with stakeholders using Slack Actions and Screen Flows. Slack is also part of the Digital Campus solution and the Customer 360 for Education. Slack’s importance will continue to grow as the digital HQ breaks down communication and data silos across organisations.

If you are interested in exploring any of these topics further, get in touch!

Kari Poutanen

Global Industry Lead, Education

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