Inspired by various discussions with Marketing professionals in Higher Education vertical.
What it does
A demonstration of a personalized school website that gives a visitor access to on-demand critical information, and offers some social media aspects for existing students, via a campus profile page. The student, will be able to access school transcripts, and any other sensitive documents for school transfer, job applications, etc. via email or download. Since college sites have an abundance of information, a chatbot could be used to direct visitors to the specific location for information they are seeking (if you don't find what you're looking for in the top few results, forget it!). Due to possible time-sensitive scenarios, it is important that the site always perform at peak and without downtime... A corresponding mobile app could be possible.
One of the top complaints from marketing (or anyone who manages a school website) is the vast amount of information potential/new/current students need access to, and the difficulty of getting the right content to them at the right time. Also, with the recent changes to the rules of marketing in the higher education vertical, it is imperative that schools not only attract new students, but also keep students. It is being predicted that many colleges will be out of business within 5-10 years, because of this change.
In today's world, people expect information to be immediately accessible digitally, through all channels. This also applies to college students. The process of applying for college, filling out financial aid, requesting/submitting school transcripts, and any other document is difficult and time consuming. Minimizing the time and difficulty to access/submit this information would be a huge benefit for both administration and student.
In addition, social media presence is one of the top priorities for young adults. Not only is it used as a form of social interaction and entertainment, but it is also used to build your personal brand/reputation for job seeking, political & community awareness, charity support, and so much more.
Showcasing the ability to personalize the student experience, offer help via a chatbot, provide access to critical documents would be a key advantage school could have over the competitors. It will also help alleviate the workload placed on administration. Also, offering a social campus channel, that integrates with other social platforms, such as LinkedIn, would help keep the student engaged, thus providing more opportunity for marketing to engage with that student.
How I envision this be built
- Sitefinity: website/portal
- MoveIt: sensitve file request and transfer
- DataDirect: to access student various documents, stored external to the website.
- WUG: site monitoring, performance, traffic monitoring for security
The in depth exploration of these concepts had to be excluded for this phase due to time constraints
- KinveyChat: for on demand site content search help via a chatbot.
- Kinvey: mobile app
Challenges we faced
- Time: there was a lot of thought and great ideas from the team.
- Technical: although we had SEs for MoveIt, DCI, Sitefinity, and WUG, we lacked the hands-on development experience with these products for implementation.
What we learned and accomplished (hopefully in this order of priority)
- We had fun. We worked hard too, but it was fun to be part of a friendly competition with our colleagues. There were a lot of laughs!
- Get to know fellow colleagues better. We will even remember some names!
- Learn about other products in the Progress line. 2 members of the team are less than 3 months employed with Progress, and the others come from the newly acquired Ipswitch family. We each learned more about WUG, MoveIt, Sitefinity.
Great Team Work!
- Jeff Laliberty
- Mark Singh
- Peter Nguyen
- Mike Drasher
- MeiLani Dumont