Advancement Expert Doug Barrow Shares His Insights on What the Education Cloud Updates Mean for Higher Education Institutions
If you’re a Higher Education Advancement professional, or an Advancement CRM nerd like many of my friends, there was a lot of buzz created today at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce Conference where it was announced that Salesforce’s Education Cloud will soon be extended to include core Higher Education Advancement functionality. This is an exciting announcement, one long in the works. It does likely leave a few questions for many since Salesforce CRM has already been the primary advancement solution selected with its AppExchange partners (also known as “ISVs,” or Independent Software Vendors) over the last half-decade.
As a Salesforce Higher Education alum where I spent the last five of my nearly nine years at Salesforce in leadership positions focused on creating a presence for Salesforce in the Advancement CRM Market, I continue to see innovative offerings provided to give clients choices. My firm, Attain Partners, delivers Advancement solutions on the Salesforce platform and is the 2022 Salesforce Education Consulting Partner of the Year.
Extending Education Cloud
So, with this much success, why is Salesforce extending the new Education Cloud, which released functionality for Recruitment & Admissions this past April, and Student Success in June to include Advancement and Alumni Engagement?
It’s simple: Institution-wide CRM.
This has always been the vision and it simply can’t exist without foundational functionality that serves alumni and donors. This release—available in October—fulfills the vision for institution-wide CRM by Salesforce on a singular data architecture with functionality from birth to bequest.
Salesforce provides a vast support system to its customers and partners to help them find success and adapt to an evolving landscape. Much of Salesforce and its ecosystem is based on the free-market premise that customer choice is good. Salesforce makes it easy for companies to build native applications on the #1 CRM even if there is the potential for overlap. They support their partners immensely and are largely indifferent to what path is chosen.
It’s important to note that Salesforce is very much an industry-focused company, and Salesforce Education Cloud is now a full-fledged member of the Industry Product strategy and Data Architecture (Person Accounts).
While AppExchange applications deliver success today, such as ascend, a successful and proven solution from UC Innovation, there is room in the market for a foundational solution that targets a full, institution-wide, constituent view.
Disproportionately, the current AppExchange partners serve the largest fundraising universities/foundations which raise more than $30 million a year. What about the other 4,200 institutions that use old and outdated technology? They also deserve a modern, extensible platform to engage donors and alumni. What about the REALLY large fundraisers who may want to take the foundation of Education Cloud and build a bespoke solution? Is this a viable option for them?
For some institutions, it may make sense to maximize limited resources to administer a single Salesforce CRM to serve all of the campus from Recruiting to Alumni Engagement. The good news is that this extension of Education Cloud is focused on solving these challenges and others.
How Does This Impact ISVs?
The current solutions on the market are strong and deliver on the Salesforce promise made to Higher Ed Advancement: That fundraising organizations deserve a single, strategic system for advancement success built with leading technologies. Salesforce AppExchange solutions are now very mature, have a robust and influential user base, and a community where those users support each other. Short story, they’re not going anywhere and will continue to flourish, particularly for institutions not looking to go institution-wide on a single Salesforce instance. These partners now have the option of aligning to the Education Cloud model to help further accelerate enterprise-wide CRM adoption.
Salesforce will flourish as well. They have a brilliant team led by the GM of Education Cloud and are now fully part of the Salesforce Industry Product strategy team, not a smaller organization that had to build their own technology without proper Salesforce resources.
Answering Questions as they Arise
As you think through how the expanded Education Cloud can help your institution achieve its goals, I encourage you to reach out to Salesforce directly as well as the AppExchange partners. There is new information to digest, and the best decision is a fully informed decision.
We’re Here to Help
Of course, our experts have deep knowledge and experience to help navigate the current advancement landscape. Attain Partners wants to become your trusted advisor to help your institution successfully transform. Send me a note on LinkedIn, and I would be more than happy to nerd out together.
Attain Partners – Salesforce Experts
No matter if your organization is beginning its Salesforce journey or 10+ years into development, Attain Partners is here to help you achieve your goals. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you advance your mission by harnessing the power of Salesforce.
To learn more, check out our Salesforce Innovation services, read case studies about our transformative work, and explore blog posts from our Salesforce experts. Read our latest advancement insights here.
Learn more – Doug Barrow
Doug Barrow has spent his entire 20+ year career in educational technology in strategy, business development, and advisory services helping others achieve their goals. As a first-generation college graduate, the son of a Headstart teacher, and husband of a high school advanced physics teacher, Doug fiercely believes that Education has the power to positively transform lives. The work of Salesforce and its partners empowers those who power education.
With a front-row seat to the amazing growth of Salesforce.org over the last decade and his creation and leadership of the “Higher Education Industry Advisor” team at Salesforce, Doug provides tremendous insight to help ensure implementation fidelity and digital transformation success.
Interested in chatting with Doug and our Advancement team directly? Fill out this form to be connected.
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