Salesforce Education Summit 2021: Top Takeaways

Author: Nick Van Haeften

This year’s Salesforce Education Summit took place on June 16th and was once again a virtual event. Main stage speakers included:

  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama;
  • Historian, philosopher, and best-selling author, Professor Yuval Noah Harari;
  • Lawyer, professor, activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson;
  • And’s CEO, Rob Acker.

For those who were unable to attend, Salesforce has highlights and on-demand content available on the event’s website—and we have our own event analysis for you to review.

Overall Impressions

Punya Dutta, Senior Salesforce Consultant at Diabsolut

This year they split the content into customizable tracks, which provided a lot of clarity, and will make revisiting topics and information much easier for anyone interested in doing so; the event’s main focus seemed to be on improving admissions and recruitment for Higher Education.

Demos for Education Cloud this year were varied, practical, and short. Those, combined with some thought-provoking speakers and innovative Higher Ed client sessions presented some fantastic takeaways for our own clients.

Lynn Campbell, Senior Salesforce Consultant at Diabsolut

Admissions and recruitment were definitely the overall themes, which isn’t surprising considering the huge drop in postsecondary enrollment. We didn’t get any major announcements, but we do know that Salesforce’s focus for Education Cloud right now is featured for Admissions Connect.

As Punya said, there were some standout speakers and sessions that provided great use cases, metrics, and ideas that we’re excited to pass on to clients and partners.

What Stood Out

A major highlight was Michelle Obama speaking about the importance of education, and Professor Harari, who highlighted both how far we’ve come through this pandemic, and how vital a role education plays in enabling our ability to overcome obstacles.

Southern New Hampshire University’s session about having a completely mobile student experience, and the University of Kentucky’s session about reopening their campus with Health Cloud and functionality are worth watching.

Technology plays a big part in how well Higher Education institutions and education organizations, in general, are doing. It has directly impacted the ability of students to learn, connect, and engage. Anyone who is in the life of a student has seen that this past year, and we definitely heard it time and time again at this summit.

Professor Harari is a phenomenal speaker, he brought up several great points about not knowing what the workplace will look like in 20 years, so the easier it is to be a lifelong student at your Higher Ed organization the better.

What to Watch

  • Mobility is huge; the more mobile you make admissions, the student experience, and communication in general, the better.
  • Student happiness and engagement are directly linked to how intuitive their user experience is—there are metrics to back this up, so giving them easy-to-use tools is key.
  • You can’t overlook the complexity of transitioning back to hosting more students, faculty, and staff on your campus; the more tools you have to handle this, the better the outcome and the more prepared your organization is for challenges in the future.
  • Technology is no longer an extra, it’s become the way people do their jobs—this is at the forefront of importance when it comes to Higher Education recruitment, engagement, and success.
  • Higher Education organizations can no longer be reactive; where you could normally wait until the end of a cycle to analyze or even review applications, everything is now time-sensitive.
  • The pandemic altered the student experience, as institutions transition back to a broader on-campus experience they need to leverage technology to help facilitate that experience if they want to keep their recruitment and enrollment numbers up.

Overall, the event was very insightful and gave us a great overview of how to align our tactics and platforms for the promotion of Higher Education programs. If you wish to speak with a Diabsolut representative to discuss your needs in this regard, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to put you in touch with one of our sales rep!