2019 Year End Review: Driving Change & Digital Transformation Across Europe

By Maelle Lavenant​ | December 20, 2019 | Education, Higher Education

The festive spirit is in full swing, and 2020 is upon us. As we look back at the year’s accomplishments, there is no better time than December to take stock and get a head-start on the upcoming year.

At Salesforce.org, we are no different! As we prepare for 2020, we celebrate the successes of our higher education customers and the innovations they drove at their institutions. This year’s accomplishments are a reflection of how we support our customers’ values, vision and goals for the community.

Delivering on the promise of education for all

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched at the United Nations are the planet ‘to-do’ list to address the most pressing global challenges we face. Like us, you too can contribute toward the 17 SDGs by picking the ones in which you can make the most significant impact.


Our team believes that access to quality education is the very foundation for a diverse, empowered, and skilled society and that’s why we set ourselves the objective to support institutions in placing the student at the centre and creating the #1 CRM for Higher Education.

Blazing a trail with our European customers in 2019

This year we achieved incredible milestones together to drive digital transformation:

Innovation

We launched Salesforce Advisor Link in Europe to give advising teams – whether tutors, mentors, or student support teams – an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution. Through Advisor Link, individuals proactively identify and engage at-risk students, develop tailored plans for on-time graduation, and provide a seamless, personalised experience to every student. Fantastic guests such as Ben Walker, Vice-Chair of UK Advising and Tutoring, Alistair Lawrence, Special Project Editor at Times Higher Ed and Sergio Saldana, Head of Digital Evolution at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria kicked off the launch with a stimulating discussion on the future of student success and sharing how technology can support institutional initiatives in this area. On this note, you can check how institutions define, measure and deliver student success in this infographic realised in partnership with Times Higher Ed.

Community
We’re fortunate to partner with fantastic institutions across Europe who inspire and educate the next generation of trailblazers. In 2019, we gathered 13 of these customers to form the first European Higher Ed Advisory Council with a mission to help other institutions on their digital transformation journey and influence the development of Education Cloud. You can hear from Iain Harper, member of the Higher Ed Advisory Council in The Edge episode #1!

Transformation
In October, the second Higher Ed Summit Horizons was hosted in Paris, and several of you came to share insights, connect with peers and hear from pioneers who have driven all kinds of innovations at their institutions. The community rallied around pioneering transformation in Higher Education, and our 250 attendees got the chance to hear from ESSEC Business school, the first business school to roll out Salesforce in Europe. Samuel Vinet & Benjamin Six shared how the institution made its way from basic customer relationship management to AI-empowered insights and how they expanded their use of the platform across their campus. Other pioneers such as Universidad Obertura de Catalunya, the first online university in the world, joined us too and explained how they re-invented student engagement and support through personalisation – Watch the keynote here!

We will be announcing the date & location for Horizons 2020 very soon, so stay tuned!

Calling the Community to Innovate and Transform

With higher education undergoing transformational changes, these community gatherings allow us to meet brilliant individuals who are change agents, innovators, and trailblazers, striving to transform the future of the industry to impact their students and address the world’s most pressing challenges.

In The Edge: Innovation & Intelligence Imperative podcast we invite these leaders who are doing things differently and collaboratively to share their perspective on burning topics such as equality, lifelong learning, digital transformation and more.

In our final episode of 2019, we asked Vice-chancellors and Presidents of Universities what their top concerns were and how they plan on addressing them. And their response was unanimous: transforming education to ensure students are well prepared for our ever-changing economy by “delivering education differently” and offering a more flexible learning environment with support mechanisms for students of all ages was their top priority. For our guests, part of the answer lies in how successfully they’ll embrace digital transformation & leverage technology to accelerate impact across the institution.

Today, technology offers unprecedented opportunities for the university to re-invent themselves both inside and outside of the classroom: from building brand awareness, transforming the applicant experience, enhancing student services, building lifelong alumni relationships to achieving operational excellence and strengthen their relationships with the community they serve.

Need a break between gift-giving and sipping hot chocolate? We’ve compiled all episodes of The Edge podcast so you can listen on your own time and learn how institutions are leading the way towards creating a culture open to change, using data insights and serving the next generation of students.

Tune in

On behalf of the EMEA Salesforce.org team, we wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2020!