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Higher Education

With over 300 higher education institutions in the UK, competition to attract top students is fierce. This is set against a decline in student applications experienced since tuition fee levels for universities in England were increased. Universities now need to ensure that the entire student lifecycle is as efficient and as student orientated as possible, converting as many individuals as possible from those simply “showing interest” to students who actually enrol.

Our role at Leeds university managing the transformation programme that is creating an end-to-end student experience and moving the university towards the concept of a digital campus has given us a unique insight into how this whole concept can create a truly different model for delivering higher education, not just in terms of attracting students, but also transforming the delivery of learning, managing student welfare and in engaging with alumni.

Through our consulting services and Tech Infrastructure services we have been able to design new models that utilise CRM, Mobile, E learning, Data Analytics and Social Media Solutions. The Digital Campus is now entirely possible.

CRM technology allows the university to develop a commercial approach to the management of students, by capturing and connecting data intelligence from across disparate departments. Individuals can then be presented in a single relationship view that spans the entire student lifecycle. From this intelligence, universities can develop far better plans and undertake repeatable and targeted activities that result in a higher degree of enrolment success and student retention, helping to:

Attract a greater number of better-qualified students
Incentivise prospective students during the enrolment process with relevant initiatives
Enhance and improve the student relationship management process to reduce the numbers of students dropping out before completing their degrees
Increase and grow professional connections to develop future post-graduate employment opportunities and increase opportunities for research revenue
Wherever a higher education establishment is on its Digital roadmap we are able to provide practical support and deliver tangible results. Please read about our recent work at the University of Leeds.

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Digital First were commissioned to work with the Brent Housing Partnership to support its digital transformation, improve the overall customer and staff experience and delivery efficiencies through digitisation.

In developing the digital strategy we:

  • Undertook widespread staff and stakeholder engagement via digital transformation workshops
  • Assessed the options for digitising the customer front end and a wider assessment of the back office systems, data and integration opportunities
  • Developed a commercial business case for investment in a programme of digital transformation.
  • Produced a detailed design and specification of over 100 business processes and the including multiple integrations to create an end to end platform

Key outcomes achieved:

  • A clear technical roadmap for incremental digital transformation to create a new customer digital platform
  • Early rationalisation for the business applications portfolio generating over £200,000 per year in savings
  • Agile development of a new housing portal design to drive self-service and a richer customer experience
  • Production of a business case for change for a Dynamics 365 platform and wider savings of £600k annually – delivering an 18 month digital ROI
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