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Key Takeaways From Higher Ed Summit 2019

By May 10, 2019

By: Vince Salvato, Senior Director at Huron, Ryan Clemens, Director at Huron, and Vince Boragina, Director at Huron

There were many great moments at the Higher Ed Summit this year – from the evolution of to product updates like the Education Data Architecture (EDA) announcement. Check out all the recordings, including a live episode of Education Empowered, the first-ever education podcast from In this live episode, hosts Jason Belland and Haley Gould sit down with Ajita Menon, the Senior. Advisor to the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to discuss the shifts and trends that can move the education sector forward and why data can empower social mobility for every student.


Here are our key takeaways from the Higher Ed community event of the year.

Education cloud supports lifelong learning
Education Cloud supports lifelong learning

Education Cloud Technology Enhancements has dropped the H from the Higher Education Data Architecture, which will now be known as Education Data Architecture, or EDA. This change represents an expansion of education adoption from Higher Ed to a broader focus on the K-20 education lifecycle. In addition, a summer release date has been specified for the general release of Salesforce Gift Entry Manager (GEM), which is a gift entry solution focusing on the Advancement space. You can learn more about the announcements made at Higher Ed Summit in the press release.

Re-Evaluating Tools to Meet the Needs of Lifelong Learners

The traditional view of the student has shifted to include not only 18-22 year olds, but learners who have families, are working, or are later in their learning journey. The needs of these individuals are very different, and there are constraints around models in traditional education that are not conducive to lifelong learning. We have to focus on adapting the delivery of education to accommodate these learners and meet them where they are, no matter where that is in their learning journey.

Colleges and universities that are using Salesforce are looking to scale their environments best suit today’s learners. They want to make use of new tools, data models, and innovative processes to reshape their current solutions, which will help meet the demands of a new generation of lifelong learners that are constantly re-skilling and up-skilling throughout their lifetime.

Luckily, the Salesforce platform is extremely flexible and can be reshaped to meet new student demands. The big question is how to pivot your environment without disrupting the current use cases and business needs – it’s the old cliché of changing the tires on the bus while it’s moving. Thankfully, the Power of Us Hub is a great place to connect with other institutions that have done just that – with articles, best practices and more it’s a great community resource to check out.

Enterprise Systems Are Becoming More Common

Point deployments are growing into enterprise systems, and some universities are looking to go with enterprise solutions as an initial installation. They are trying to tackle large institutional challenges with more wide-scale deployments for which the product, industry maturity, and resources are now capable of doing.

There are many elements to consider when going enterprise wide. Org strategy becomes extremely important, and several decision points can affect how you deploy Salesforce and manage the potential for multiple simultaneous or staggered org rollouts.

Governance and Data – Measure Twice, Cut Once

As the industry is looking to move to larger scale deployments, they are taking steps to properly assess the institutional strategy and governance to make sure all parties are aligned on the outcome and priorities. Governance, data management, and strategic blueprints need to be in place from Day 1 to ensure a successful deployment. A thoughtful, measured approach will pay large dividends with large deployments. The Ultimate Guide to Campus-Wide CRM is a great place to start. You can also learn more about Huron’s approach to enterprise-wide solutions, in the Ovum and Huron whitepaper The Transformational Journey to Campus-Wide CRM.

Reimagining the student experience with AI
Reimagining the student experience with AI

Einstein for Higher Education

In an age where cars are driving themselves and robots are working together to pull a truck across a parking lot, it seems that AI and Machine Learning should also be able to help out with the student journey. Here are a few Einstein features to keep an eye on: Einstein Prediction Builder can be leveraged to flag at risk students. Einstein Discovery can act as your own personal data scientist to reveal student insights across millions of rows of data. In the Advancement space, take a look at Lightning Assistant to help you keep on top of your task list.

Curious about how you can use AI to improve the student experience? Check out this e-book on Einstein for Higher Education.


About the Authors
Vince SalvatoVince Salvato oversees the sales, delivery, and strategic vision of Salesforce higher education consulting at Huron. Vince has over 15 years of higher education experience, with a focus on the intersection of enrollment management and technology. During his career, Vince has worked with numerous institutions to solve business problems, emphasizing opportunities for business process improvement and implementing technology across recruitment, admissions, student services, alumni relations, and fundraising. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Vincent BoraginaVincent Boragina, Director at Huron, has expertise in the areas of Salesforce CRM planning and implementation, information security, master data management, identity and access management, privacy, data governance, data center management, and business intelligence. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Ryan ClemensRyan Clemens is a Consulting Director at Huron with more than 18 years’ experience in higher education IT and software development. As an award-winning results-oriented leader, Ryan leverages his industry experience to help clients with complex Salesforce implementations, including executing on the connected campus vision. Connect with him on LinkedIn.