Higher Ed at Dreamforce ‘16: Highlights of the Week

By Nathalie Mainland | October 12, 2016 | Dreamforce, Education Data Architecture, Higher Education

Last week was Dreamforce, where some of the world’s brightest technologists and innovators gathered in San Francisco for what has become an unforgettable annual event. I’m pleased to note that for Dreamforce ’16, trailblazers in higher education came together for an exciting four days of learning, sharing, and transformation.

In fact, I think this was the best year yet for those in higher ed. While it’s hard to list all of the reasons why, we’ve put together a list of just of a few highlights that made last week a momentous one in the advancement of higher ed technology.

Here they are!

1. The sessions!

Power of Us TheaterThis year, there were over 50 higher ed sessions that tackled topics like community engagement, marketing, recruiting, advancement, student success and more. Speakers representing a cross-section of universities and partners demonstrated innovative approaches to some of the toughest challenges in transforming higher ed. Many of the sessions were so popular that sometimes it was standing room only!

2. We got excited for Salesforce Advisor Link.

Advisor Link PreviewIt’s no secret that an important part of student success is a strong advising system. That’s why we were very happy to introduce Advisor Link, a mobile-first solution that allows students and advisors to connect in powerful new ways. To join us and the community on the development journey, check out the Advisor Link Success Collective.

3. We shared what student success means for us.

Higher Ed Success at DreamforceIn the Salesforce.org Lodge, we had a wall where our customers, partners and employees could share what “student success” means in their eyes. The answers ranged from “jobs for grads” to “dignity + joy.” At the end of the day, it demonstrated that student success is defined by a wide variety of complementary factors.

Watch Student Success Demo

4. We began to explore the HEDA trail in Trailhead.

Back in March, we launched the Higher Ed Data Architecture (HEDA), an innovative solution to equip universities for the 21st century. And last week at Dreamforce, we gave attendees the chance to begin their journey with HEDA by exploring the newly released Trailhead trail.

5. We announced Higher Ed Summit 2017!

We will be co-hosting next year’s Higher Ed Summit with the University of Texas System in beautiful Austin, Texas. The dates are April 27 – 29, so mark your calendars now! If you’d like to be amongst the first to get updates on registration, call for proposals and other information, sign up!

6. We Trailblazed our way through a Quest of the Lodge.

Connected Campus DF16We hosted a Quest through the Salesforce.org Lodge that took you through our new Trailhead trails, Advisor Link, and our latest tool, the Solution Exchange. The Solution Exchange is a community powered tool designed to document and make it easy to share all of the ways nonprofits and educational institutions are using Salesforce. For those who explored the Solution Exchange and all the other stops on the Quest, we had some limited edition Salesforce.org thermoses and blankets waiting for them.

I could go on about all of the ways that we made collective progress in higher ed technology and student success last week. It was an amazing experience that brought together individuals who profoundly care about higher education, and are willing to collaborate to push it forward.

I’d like to thank the entire higher ed community that continues to do great work in the space!