Recently, Salesforce announced its next generation product to support education organizations. After getting a firsthand look at the new Education Cloud’s innovations, our Consultants put together our top key takeaways:
- The new Education Cloud solution establishes Education as one of Salesforce’s industry verticals, meaning Salesforce will be able to provide best practices and solutions from other industry teams to Education organizations.
- Education Cloud provides a new data model and a suite of core capabilities that will underpin future innovations in Salesforce’s offerings for the Education industry.
- In addition to laying a solid foundation, the initial release of Education Cloud will focus on recruiting and admissions use cases and features.
- Existing solutions, including the Education Data Architecture (EDA), Student Success Hub (SSH), and Admissions Connect (AC) will continue to be supported by Salesforce, with no plans to end that support.
Education as a Salesforce Industry Cloud
With this new product launch, Education has been elevated to an Industry Cloud built directly on the Core Salesforce Platform. All legacy Salesforce for Education solutions (EDA, SSH, AC) require you to install/upgrade managed packages into your Salesforce environment in order to use them. The new Education Cloud will be delivered directly in the Core Salesforce platform, meaning no more managed package installations and problematic upgrades.
In addition, now that education has been established as an Industry Cloud, education organizations can now take advantage of innovations that are already built for other industry verticals, such as Financial Services Cloud and Health Cloud. A few of these features included in the Education Cloud licenses are:
- OmniStudio – Enables you to build guided user experiences using data from Salesforce and external data sources through a collection of point and click tools.
- Sample Use Case: Build a custom application wizard that walks a student through collecting all necessary information to apply to a program.
- Salesforce Scheduler – Provides students and staff a simple appointment scheduling experience that incorporates staff availability.
- Sample Use Case: Allow for students to schedule appointments with their academic counselor from their student portal.
- Timeline View – Lets users see interactions and activities stored in several different related objects in a single timeline view. You determine what information is shown by choosing which related records you’d like to display.
- Sample Use Case: View the timeline of a student’s CTE activities, including when they earned industry credentials, participated in CTE competitions / events, and joined a CTSO.
- Document Generation – Easily generates PDF or Word documents using Salesforce and external data sources.
- Sample Use Case: Save a PDF copy of a student’s application for a WBL opportunity that can be shared with your industry partner.
- Business Rules Engine – Provides a rules engine that allows you to automate complex decisions based on a defined set of business rules.
- Sample Use Case: Automatically confirm a student’s eligibility for course enrollment.
Laying a New Foundation
Salesforce has mentioned that the new Education Cloud is not merely a replication of the existing solutions on the Core Platform. Instead, they are incorporating feedback about the current tools to deliver a reinvented data architecture to support education use cases.
- An entity relationship diagram (ERD) for Education Cloud can be found here. While there are several minor differences in the two data architectures, the biggest difference to note is that EDA uses a standard account / contact data model, while Education Cloud utilizes Person Accounts. For those users who are familiar with EDA, it will be important to understand the Person Account model.
- EDA and the new Education Cloud data model can not be used at the same time. While many of the new Education Cloud features can be used with both EDA and the Education Cloud data model, there are some features that can only be used with one of the data architectures. For example, legacy features such as Student Success Hub and Admissions Connect will require EDA; while the new Education Cloud Recruiting and Admission features will require the Education Cloud data model.
Initial Release Emphasizes Enhancing Recruitment and Admissions Experiences
In addition to the foundational components included in the initial release of Education Cloud, the Spring release focuses heavily on Recruiting and Admission use cases. This includes:
- A customizable applicant experience that allows students to easily submit applications, request information, and interact with admission teams
- An application review workflow that streamlines application processing
- Actionable Lists that enable smart prospecting for recruiters
While the functionality in the current release is most relevant to higher education use cases, future releases of Education Cloud will focus on Student Success capabilities which will be valuable for both K12 and higher ed.
What Does the Education Cloud Launch Mean for Your Education Institution?
If you are currently using EDA, Salesforce is committed to supporting the legacy products long term, so you can continue to use and enhance your current solutions built on EDA. You will not need to migrate to the new Education Cloud data architecture until there are features in the new product that you’d like to take advantage of that require the new data model.
If you have Student Success Hub or Admissions Connect licenses, great news – you automatically received license entitlements to the new Education Cloud features! This means that all of the features included with the Education Cloud license are now available (but not enabled) in your org. Here’s what we’d recommend:
- Start learning more about the features that are now available in your org. Salesforce has created a great article that provides additional details about these features and how you can enable them. For features that you think may be beneficial to your organization, we recommend enabling and configuring them in a sandbox environment to explore them further prior to implementing in your production org.
- While you can use many of the core capability features provided from other industry teams with your current data architecture (EDA), some features will require you to migrate to the new data model.
If you are new to Salesforce and currently trying to decide which Salesforce for Education product(s) would be the best for your organization, I’d recommend working closely with your Salesforce Account Executive and a preferred implementation partner (like Elevation Solutions) to understand what license(s) make the most sense for your use cases and future vision of using Salesforce.
We know that new product announcements drive questions. If you are interested in learning more about this release or have questions about how this affects your organization, please complete the form at the bottom of this page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.