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April, 2009 - FE blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The FE Blog
News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team
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April, 2009

  • FE blog

    Microsoft CRM in Further Education - webinar


    I’m pleased to introduce the following webinar for later in April which I hope will be an illuminating event and something you may wish to attend.

    Discover Microsoft CRM for Education - Free Webinar, Thursday April 24th, 10:00am

    Pythagoras CRM for Higher, Further Education, Schools and Learning Academies provides the tools for easily creating and maintaining a clear picture of the information that educators and administrators need. This solution developed with Microsoft Dynamics helps drive consistent, measurable improvements in daily work processes, promotes more effective cross-departmental collaboration, and enables new levels of efficiency.

    Our free webinar will take you through Pythagoras’ offering and introduce our unique approach to the sector. Register here to take part.

    The pressure is growing on educational organisations to perform with the efficiency of a for-profit business. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution enables you to build closer relationships with your students, tutors and lecturers. It helps you improve your student recruitment and retention rates and, by combining data sets, lower the administrative burden.  This Student Relationship Management (SRM) solution combined with all the usual features of Microsoft CRM creates a cost effective and flexible solution.


    The above image represents the classic student journey at UK Education establishments. But typically how many systems do you use to track this crucial journey ? The chances are there are many, but a Pythagoras’ SRM solution provides a single point of reference for the whole student lifecycle.

    SRM – Managing the full student life-cycle





    Targeted Communications

    Effectively manage your data to ensure consistent and targeted communications


    Campaign Management

    Plan and run campaigns and events to targeted audiences and measure the results


    Enquiry Centres

    Respond quickly and consistently with all enquiries and maximise acquisitions


    Student Record Management

    Consolidate your existing student records data into meaningful, holistic information



    Proactively deploy Interventions to maximise student success


    Process Deployment

    Automate processes and drive change through Outlook, Web and Mobile tools


    Event Management

    Plan more successful events with your Alumni and measure the results


    Revenue Generation

    Generate more income from major donors by understanding your targets


    Social Networking

    Build a 21st Century network and communicate your brand

    The latest version 4.0 of Microsoft CRM is ideal for the Education sector.  The new version allows you to help streamline vital processes around the organisation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM fits the way you work. CRM integrates easily with your existing systems, including the Office system software your users rely on, and has the flexibility to wrap around your processes. And through Academic license pricing, the upfront cost is significantly lower than any off-the-shelf Education CRM solution.

    Alan Enfield, Vice Principal at New Line Learning Academy, said: “We chose Pythagoras because they listened to what we wanted, and they set up a working model with our data. The fact that they have a dedicated educational business unit showed us that they were serious about what they do and not just after adapting a standard sales model to get a quick financial return. They were interested in our approach to the problem, and we felt that they wanted to produce a good working solution almost as much as we did.”

  • FE blog

    Microsoft Surface in Education


    Whilst this is not Further Education this is a really interesting video showing how Surface can be used to aid learning.  Whilst this is clearly not FE I’m sure you’ll get the idea of just how Surface can transform some learning processes.

    It is a great video showing how both Students and Teachers can engage and use Surface within Education. Without prompting they talk about the interface, collaboration and interactions and what it means to them. Are we really tricking them into learning!

    Please get in touch if you want more information.

  • FE blog

    Capita’s FE & HE Conference presentation


    I’ve just been at the Capita Further and Higher Education National Conference, in the lovely (if wet) county of Warwickshire.

    I read recently that many people can’t put Warwickshire on a map, because it is one of those ‘in-between’ kind of counties, but it’s got lots of lovely countryside, and it starts only 15 minutes up the road from my house, so I can definitely put it on the map.

    The subtext of the conference was “Facing Challenging Times”, which isn’t something you could disagree with, whether you are a student, work for a college/university or are a government policy maker in the world of either FE or HE.

    I’d been asked to do a little crystal ball gazing about the direction that students’ lives are going, and their expectations, and to talk in broad terms about how we see SharePoint’s position in helping organisations manage the changes needed to react. The SharePoint area was specifically to link into some of the product announcements made by Capita at the conference.

    You can download the presentation from my SkyDrive, and I have also uploaded the two videos that I used – both are shortened versions which you may want to use. If you stick all three files into the same directory, then the PowerPoint presentation will find the videos and show them in the right place. Unfortunately, I’ve done my usual mode, which means that the slides aren’t designed to be clear without my explanation, so perhaps I’ll be able to get a copy of the audio recording of the presentation, so that I can put words to it.

    (If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, then here’s the links to the presentation, and the first and second videos)

    The first video is a shortened version of Shift Happens, which was originally created to show to a large group of Diploma students who visited Microsoft a month ago. It doesn’t jump into all of the detail about the pace of technology change, but instead focuses on the way that today’s students are being prepared for tomorrow’s workplace.

    The second video above is an edited version of our FE & Skills demonstrator – the full length video is available to download here

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