“With Salesforce, we can keep innovating and giving students the best possible experience.” - Thomas Höstner, Chief Digital Officer, IHM Business School

IHM Business School improves learner experience with greater collaboration and digitalisation

Social learning. Digital courses. Open communication. This is the future of education – and IHM Business School is determined to be leading the way. “Going digital is at the heart of everything we do,” said Peter Hägglund Peter TBC, CEO at IHM Business School. “It will help us improve efficiency, deliver the best possible learning experience, and build lifelong relationships with alumni and our corporate customers.”

Since its foundation in 1968, the school has expanded considerably and now welcomes around 2,500 students every year across its campuses in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö. It offers a range of graduate courses in subjects as diverse as finance and strategic marketing as well as vocational training and executive education to help people further their careers.

The school’s 80 employees are supported by a community of around 250 consultant teachers across Sweden. “To deliver a seamless learning experience, we need a seamless organisation,” said Thomas Höstner, Chief Digital Information Officer at the school. “We wanted to unify our operations and future proof education for the next generation of students.”

Top of the class

To achieve its goals of offering students a modern learning experience, IHM Business School needed to replace its existing disparate systems and datasets with a single platform that would provide greater visibility and agility across the learning lifecycle.

In November 2016, Salesforce became that single platform. “We got all our users involved from the start and ran workshops throughout the 11-month implementation programme,” explained Karin Kämpendahl, Digital Business Specialist at IHM Business School. “By the time we rolled out the solution everyone knew our vision and was really engaged in making it a success.”

Tracking sales, administering courses, assigning teachers, and managing student records are just some of the processes that have been streamlined with Salesforce. “With a centralised platform, we can provide a consistent experience to every learner,” said Höstner. “We can also support more students without needing to increase our headcount.”

Fostering a community spirit

Establishing a self-service student community has been key to simplifying support and reducing reliance on phone conversations. Founded on Community Cloud, the community enables learners to raise support tickets and view FAQs. Every ticket is logged and tracked in Service Cloud, which helps ensure student queries are answered quickly and consistently.

IHM Business School has also created a community to facilitate collaboration with its network of teachers. “The teacher community has an enterprise social network feel and it’s really intuitive to use,” said Höstner. Teachers can update their own profiles, interact with each other, and share opportunities outside of the school. “With the community, we can match the right teachers to the right courses. It helps us make the best use of our resources and deliver the best learning experience possible to our students,” added Höstner.

IHM Business School has extended this social approach to collaboration across its entire organisation. It has around 12 Chatter groups that bring teams together to collaborate on key tasks such as planning new projects, processing invoices and progressing sales opportunities for courses and events.

Enabling integration and personalisation

Salesforce integrates with the school’s website to route new opportunities to the right sales rep, and automatically creates new student records when a learner signs up for a course online. “We operate on a B2B, B2C and business-to-government basis; being able to automatically segment and prioritise leads saves us a huge amount of time,” said Henrik Frohm, Sales Director.

The sales team at IHM Business School has also been able to streamline its reporting processes, which used to take hours of manual work to prepare. As Frohm explained: “By automating the creation of weekly reports in Sales Cloud, we’ve made an estimated time saving worth €50,000 per year.”

To nurture relationships with prospective, current, and past students, IHM Business School has introduced a personalised communications strategy. “We’ve created a number of journeys in Marketing Cloud which enable us to send more relevant content to people based on their relationship with the school,” said Höstner. “It’s completely transformed our processes and communications; we no longer have to import and export data from different sales and marketing systems and can create dynamic content in a matter of hours.”

Fast-tracking digitalisation

As the school’s digital journey progresses, it plans to use Salesforce to transform more repeatable processes and free up more resources. It has already implemented a host of apps from the Salesforce App Exchange for key tasks, such as managing courses and projects, organising events, and tracking online video views.
“With Salesforce, we’ve achieved a complete transformation of our business. Users are happier, processes are faster, and we’re delivering a better learning experience,” said Höstner. “With Salesforce we can keep innovating; I’m excited to see where it will take is in the future.”

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