How 360° Student Relationship Management Could Benefit Your Educational Institution

If you run a higher educational institution, your student is your customer. Surprising as it may sound, consider this: the focus of most initiatives in your institute needs to be the student. Starting from attracting them to join your institute, to the way their association with you is managed, you could achieve desired results if you plan your strategy keeping the student in the spotlight.

IT can play an essential role in helping you manage student relations. A Student Relationship Management (SRM) framework can help you forge a better connection with your students, keep you aware of any reasons that could cause dissatisfaction or churning and provides mechanisms to address such situations at the earliest.

Challenges to be addressed by an SRM Solution

Some of the challenges faced by higher educational institutions are:

  • Improving student enrolment and retention

  • Encouraging a lifelong learning process, including alumni engagement

  • Bringing about pricing optimization for education companies to make higher education affordable for the student yet profitable for the provider

  • Motivating the creation of educational products and services

  • Building and maintaining the brand image across all channels of publicity

  • Engaging and retaining staff

Other than the students, it is the faculty who play a very important role in establishing the reputation of an institution, which, in turn, attracts the required students. An efficient 360° SRM system would consider the goals of all the stakeholders and incorporate them in a student-centric manner.

SRM Systems Incorporate Changing Roles and Experiences

All the stakeholders, including students, faculty and administrative personnel go through a range of experiences in association with the institution.Beginning from when they enter the institute as strangers to the sense of belonging them cultivate over time; they would need to be treated differently according to their changing role. A seasoned vendor such as HCL Tech would ensure that these changing roles and functions are also a part of the provided system. This means that any situations that require intervention, such as a dissatisfied student who may be thinking of leaving the institution, would definitely have an addressing mechanism. If the design accounts for all such cases, hardly any scenario would remain truly “unexpected”.

SRM Solutions Harness Social Media

The management bodies of educational institutions would definitely be aware of the reach of social media among students. You can now harness the might of this medium in a positive manner. A service provider like HCL Tech could help you with using a popular platform like Facebook or Twitter to actively engage with an existing and prospective student population. For example, a Facebook page could be a medium used by the institution for such interaction. Social media apps used along with pattern recognition mechanisms may also be used.

Choosing HCL Tech to implement your 360° Student Relationship Management System is an important step, as it ensures that you receive a comprehensive, modern and efficient solution. All the building blocks including the data layer, CRM services, data analytics and social ecosystem, including mobile apps, would beput in place for you. All you need to do is to build on them further and operate them efficiently to ensure the success of your institution’s student relations strategy.

To know more about the topic please read the whitepaper presented by HCL Technologies.

Is Detachable Hybrid Computing Our Next IT Paradigm?

If you Google “detachable computing” today you will mostly get a selection of links relating to removable storage media.
It’s a trend that’s slowly changing, but detachable computing is also coming closer to meaning the use of laptop devices that function and fully working laptops with a detachable screen that will serve as a tablet when needed.
These devices are also known as detachable or hybrid or two-in-one PCs.
This ‘trend’ within the wider computing firmament has been reflected at various levels. Smartphone manufacturers (such as BlackBerry) have tried to build operating system functionality that allows the user to segment home/personal usage on the one hand – and business/corporate usage on the other.

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@ThingsExpo Session: Monetizing the Internet of Things [by @AriaSystemsInc]

There’s no doubt that the Internet of Things is driving the next wave of innovation. Google has spent billions over the past few months vacuuming up companies that specialize in smart appliances and machine learning. Already, Philips light bulbs, Audi automobiles, and Samsung washers and dryers can communicate with and be controlled from mobile devices. To take advantage of the opportunities the Internet of Things brings to your business, you’ll want to start preparing now.

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@DevOpsSummit Panel | Is #DevOps Changing Enterprise IT?

Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. In this DevOps Summit Power Panel on June 9 at our New York City studio, moderated by Andi Mann, DevOps Summit conference chair and VP of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, JP Morgenthal, Director of Cloud Computing Practice at Perficient, Inc., Gordon Haff, Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat; Larry Carvalho, Cloud Expo Tech Chair and Research Manager & Lead Analyst, Platform as a Service at IDC; and John Willis, VP of Customer Enablement for Stateless Networks; discussed how DevOps is changing the way IT works, how businesses interact with customers, and how organizations are buying, building, and delivering software.

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Analysing cloud identity as a service for governments

The OIX (Open Identity Exchange) is a new Internet standards organization that provides the framework to implement Assured Identity.

An example of this in practice is explained in this case study published by the new UK chapter of the OIX, for South Yorkshire’s Digital By Default project.

Bridging the Digital Divide

This is an excellent, leading edge case study (featuring SecureKey) that explains this technical field, and it is also notable for its pioneering work with regards to the concept known as ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’.

For example in the South Yorkshire case study, they describe:

  • Enabling new financial e-services for the “unbanked”.
  • Overcome two-way distrust: The person of the system, and the system of the person. Identity proofing issues were too demanding of this group, and they themselves did not feel their money was safe virtually.
  • The goal is to enable more use of virtual money, via changing payments to be via an O2 Money prepaid VISA card, however this group would fail the required Identity proofing procedures or they would be too onerous.
  • The solution is achieved through a combination of Identity federation and ‘trust networks’ – The financial sector trusts the Credit Union process to implement a suitably robust enough procedure, and they in turn make better use of their on-premise relationship to make it simpler for the customer.

Driving Business Value

We can see the critical role Identity systems will play in helping governments realize the business benefits of Digital Government.

As the SOCITM report identifies the cost to government to perform customer interaction activities drops dramatically the more the process moves online.

This case study is so important because not only does it identify how this cost reduction can be achieved but also does so for a group who are the least connected and have no ‘digital footprint’ at all. Helping this group move online not only validates that the service is universally accessible but also how it can play the critical ‘bridge’ role needed to actually cross the Digital Divide.

In this scenario the project targeted those with no ‘digital footprint’, ie no online use of any kind, and who experienced poverty, social exclusion etc.

In particular the project identified:

“The project aimed to test the hypothesis that if Credit Union customers had a familiar authentication mechanism they would be more inclined to access services digitally, and less inclined to use telephone and face-to-face access channels.”

The initial pilot scope proved successful, where the the CU could perform the Identity ‘enrollment‘ process, creating a one time link between an in-store visit by a customer, their payment card ID and also an online identity entry that includes the same photo. SecureKey created a mechanism where the photo and authorization tokens were linked via a unique identifier.

This means any one who accepts the card can also use it for their own identity proofing procedure, for example the local pharmacy accepted the card in this case, with others such as GPs expressing interest to do so too. So in short the answer is yes, these improved tools do indeed make service access easier and more inviting.

It also helped with adoption too. For example a concern was virtual money would be harder to manage, more easily spent and uncontrolled, when actually features like receiving a balance update via text alert after each purchase, helped improve this too.

A key trend noticed was that while there was little existing use of the Internet or email, there was a high usage of smartphones, so these features could be exploited for this reason, better empowering each individual as well as smoothing some of the many corners they face each day.

As is:
$14 per person per identity proof process
Duplicated ID checking procedures – manual paper-based

To be:
$0 – Cash sent straight to money card
Eliminated visits

Look Beyond the Big Data with the IoT

I’ve been writing recently about the dimensions of Big Data in the IoT: urgency, importance, frequency, consequences, remedy, cost. You can find my stories on IoT Journal or at my personal website.

The big item missing from this list is, of course, size. How big are individual messages or files? A couple of kilobytes? Many megabytes? And are there still a lot of people who think of Big Data as massive, petabyte-size repositories of epidemiological, meteorological, or particle acceleration data?

I didn’t originally include it, because I saw it as twinned with frequency. In the IoT, most message & file sizes are going to be small. Big Data in the IoT has more to do with sensors and less to do with massive scientific apps.

Frequency might mean a real-time sampling rate of 10 times per second, 100 times per second, or more. Or it may be tethered to a passive device that reports in a timeframe we can call “every once in awhile.” So the frequency dimension might vary by several million times from one application to another. Even if expressed logarithmically, that’s a lot of variance.

Nevertheless, I think I’ll combine the two, and change one of the six categories to size/frequency.

Pay to Play
I go through all this because, in the end, someone has to pay for the dataflow and all tha supports it. Most analyses seem to focus on the amount of data being consumed and stores, ie the size/frequency dimension.

But urgency and importance are mission-critical in setting up proper IoT monitoring, analysis, and the speed of that analysis. Furthermore, the consequences of something gone bad can vary from “there’s a lightbulb out on the bridge” to “a section of the bridge just collapsed.”

The dimensions of consequence and remedy are therefore potentially much more important to cost than the dataflow.

Designing and deploying an IoT project, whether something fun like installing a smart public bench or something grave like monitoring traffic flow, is thus far more than an IT project.

As we get involved in analyzing the cloud computing infrastructures that will no doubt underpin and serve most of the IoT, it’s time to focus not only on cost-per-whateverbyte—the size/frequency dimension–but also the other dimensions, which tell us what this IoT thing is supposed to do and what happens when things go wrong.

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@ThingsExpo: Stop Reacting to Outages (#IoT)

It feels as if we can’t even go a week anymore without hearing about a new breach or outage. For years, IT departments were always on stand-by should the unimaginable happen and were judged by how quickly they could curb a bad situation. These days, however, it’s not good enough to fix a problem – even if it’s taken care of within a few minutes. Questions start to arise the minute something bad happens, and to really show strength IT departments have to stop the problem before it happens. Magic? No, it’s just being proactive and it’s imperative more than ever that IT closely monitor the health of their infrastructure to keep the business running.

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Internet of @ThingsExpo Interview: Enterprise #IoT with @RedHatNews

“The Internet of Things is the next wave of cloud. As these distributed devices become more prolific they can really start to gain a lot more insight and gather more date from the environment,” explained Chris Gray, Director of Embedded Intelligence Systems at Red Hat, in this interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4-6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.

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Improving Service Delivery Through Cloud

NNIT uses HP Cloud Service Automation to improve their deployment of IT applications and data, and to provide higher overall service delivery speed and efficiency.
As a provider of both application development management and infrastructure outsourcing, Denmark-based NNIT needed a better way to track, manage and govern the more than 10,000 services across its global data centers.
Beginning in 2010, the journey to better overall services automation paved the way to far stronger cloud services delivery, too. NNIT uses HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA) to improve their deployment of IT applications and data, and to provide higher overall service delivery speed and efficiency.
To learn more about how services standardization leads to improved cloud automation, BriefingsDirect spoke with Jesper Bagh, IT Architect and cloud expert at NNIT, based in Copenhagen. The discussion, at the HP Discover conference in Barcelona, is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

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