With the aim of competing for a larger market share of international students, Langara College turned to Frequency Foundry (“Foundry”) and greymatter to enhance their international education (IE) team’s efforts in attracting, recruiting, admitting, and retaining students from around the globe. Since its implementation in 2016, greymatter has served as Langara’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for international education, offering marketing, recruitment, enrolment management, event management, and appointment scheduling, all from within a single platform that is fully integrated with Langara’s Banner Student Information System and Office 365 environment.
Built specifically for Higher Education, greymatter is an exceptional enterprise-level CRM solution designed to aggregate constituent data for either specific institutional needs – such as a focus on recruitment and admissions – or across the full spectrum of the student lifecycle, from prospective student to alumnus, even capturing peripheral data on such constituents as parents, donors, partners, and more. No matter which features of greymatter are implemented, users are certain to better understand the holistic nature of a student’s experience and better respond to student needs for having a more complete and centralized set of constituent data.
Key objectives for greymatter at Langara College:
- Implement a scalable licensing model to accommodate seasonal / temporary users.
- Support prospect management, new student entry and transitions, student enrolment and retention (including advising and front counter services for credit and non-credit courses), and the facilitation ofe relationships with other constituents such as alumni and stakeholders.
- Implement best practices in contact management, marketing, and other aspects of strategic enrolment management and retention.
- Provide a quality platform for reporting and analysis.
- Management and visibility of homestay relationships.
Facing several communication challenges within its international education team, Langara College’s initial challenges required a comprehensive, cohesive tool for interacting with students and securely storing related data. Langara’s focus on international students required an elegant solution with which international prospective students and applicants could clearly and efficiently maneuver extremely complex rules, parameters, protocols, and checklists and succeed in entering Canada and their studies at Langara. Furthermore, Langara College faced several communication challenges within its international education team. The College required a more comprehensive and cohesive way of interacting with students and capturing information to be stored securely. The IE department had outgrown current systems and technology. Langara’s needs required was in need of a tool that would integratione with its current ERP system to allow for better communication management with students and easier access to data related to student enrolment data.
securely storing related data. Langara’s focus on international students required an elegant solution with which international prospective students and applicants could clearly and efficiently maneuver extremely complex rules, parameters, protocols, and checklists and succeed in entering Canada and their studies at Langara. Furthermore, Langara’s needs required integrations with its current ERP system for better communication management with students and easier access to student enrollment data.
greymatter for Microsoft Dynamics 365 was the proposed solution to Langara’s needs of communication with prospective international students and accessing related data . Frequency Foundry and Langara College identified that the key scope areas for this project would include: support prospect management, new student entry and transition, student enrolment and retention, and the facilitation of relationships with alumni and stakeholders.
Another area of focus was to implement best practices in contact management, marketing, and other aspects of strategic enrollment management and retention, while providing a quality platform for reporting and analysis.
The solution was particularly required to support recruitment initiatives and support new applicants moving through the admission process. Before implementing greymatter, Langara had no prior system in support of prospect tracking and effective new applicant communication.
greymatter is built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Platform and Common Data Services and relies on Azure services for infrastructure, platform, and software. The solution sits within the customer’s Azure and Office 365 tenants and brings together the Power Platform, Azure AI+ML, Productivity, and business apps on the common data service. It has been technically validated and certified for AppSource and is the only solution built on both Microsoft’s Higher Education and Nonprofit Accelerators. Foundry is the only vendor to combine two of Microsoft’s industry solutions using the Common Data Services model, which ensures that greymatter remains standards-driven and standards-based to allow for ease of integration.
Valued features implemented at Langara:
- Reduction in manual process and resources needed to create and run campaigns
- Automated admissions notification workflow
- Analytics on segments, campaigns, and programs
- Visibility of student success and progress which enabled appropriate action to be taken at an opportune time
- Customized student web portal for service request submission, tracking and editing
- Increased event attendance after using the greymatter app to register students
- Utilization of the "ask a question" service request feature, helping to track prospective students
- Utilization of quick campaigns to send communications to select groups of students for event registration invites or academic reminders and requirements
- Ability to identify which students had been a part of a communication campaign and tracked within their record
According to Langara, the most beneficial aspect of the greymatter implementation has been the admission notification workflow, which automatically sends information by email to applicants as they move through the various stages towards admission. These features were a one-time setup that have performed seamlessly with minimal intervention or maintenance.
Prior to the greymatter implementation, several members of the Langara team would be required to spend approximately two to three weeks, three times per year, when setting up admission templates for upcoming terms. Since implementing greymatter, this time commitment has been eliminated. With their newfound increased capacity, admissions staff spend much more time processing applications over programming communication templates.
Langara also used greymatter to program an automation workflow to assign students to advisors. Like the admissions department, Langara’s advisors also have a newfound increased capacity, allowing them more time to directly support students instead of manually sorting through spreadsheets of enrolment reports to determine student/advisor assignments.
Langara estimates that the time savings from automation, analytics tools, and improved business processes is likely equivalent to a full-time staff member, which has freed Langara to focus on building lasting student relationships. With the ability to easily access and manage data, without making requests from IT or institutional research, Langara management has more time to make better, clearly informed, timely decisions within international student enrollment. Additionally, the automated issuing of letters of acceptance, which is a newly launched feature for Langara, has further saved departmental hours and improved student satisfaction.
Langara College looks forward to expanding its greymatter footprint to the domestic recruitment and student services teams.