Appirio Goes Back to School with the Lightning Bolt

August 14, 2018 Phil Nemeth

Lightning Bolts are a gift from the Salesforce gods. Striking down from the heavens with pinpoint accuracy and purpose, Lightning Bolt solutions blend industry best practices with Salesforce’s latest technology to provide you with an accelerator that allows you to quickly deploy a solution that addresses a specific business use case.

Neatly packaged and wrapped with a bow, when you open your new Appirio Lightning Bolt you’ll discover custom business logic, themes, and process flows, working together with Lightning components to create a richer, more powerful, and more integrated user experience.

Easy to install and configure, Lightning Bolts are accelerators that grant you not only a massive head start in crafting a solution, but also a flexible foundation upon which you can build, tailor, and fully customize. This ensures that you are delivering an experience where faculty members can be engaged, productive, and agile, and students and alumni can be more aware, satisfied, and amplified. 


Appirio Higher Ed Lightning Bolts

The Appirio Higher Ed Lightning Bolts were built in close partnership with Georgetown University as part of a GU360 initiative to transform the way their faculty and students engage with one another and the world at large. And now, we’re happy to announce that these state-of-the-art solutions are available to the broader Higher Education ecosystem. 

But before you pick up that phone, let’s take a look at the landscape of higher education and what makes these Bolts (details below) truly unique and transformative to education. 

If you were to hop on a plane (I’ll buy your ticket), ascend to 35,000 feet, and take a peek out your window at the current state of higher education, from a technological and end user experience point of view, you’d see that there’s a lot going on — most of it not so good.

On one end of campus you’d see students, frustrated and trudging along through a swamp of disparate systems to access relevant academic, financial, and social information. And on the other end of campus, you’d see faculty, isolated and far from public view, creating their own basic webpage in an effort to showcase and share their unique background, experience, and areas of expertise with colleagues, students, and the world. 

Two unique sides of campus, two unique groups of people — sharing in the misery of disjointed systems and lack of community. 

But no more.

The Appirio Higher Ed Student Experience

Students are the lifeblood of a higher ed institution, and today’s students expect more than a basic portal and legacy systems. They want consumer-grade experiences, real-time collaboration tools, mobile-first capabilities, and tools that simplify seemingly complicated processes. Furthermore, they want to be able to access all of those things through one, cohesive experience. 

And this Bolt provides all of those features and more. 

A powerful Student Dashboard helps students see the “whole picture” of everything going on in and around their academic life — from their class schedule and assigned tasks to their financial standings and social media feed — all in one place. 

The Bolt also provides students with a centralized location for the required tools and resources they will need to not only survive, but thrive, during their time at the institution. Academic policies and procedures, instant access to advisors and mentors, and seamless access to faculty information are all at students’ fingertips. 

A suite of collaboration tools streamline the interactions between students and faculty and allow the institution to share information with each and every student, fostering an inclusive learning environment and a connected community where all students are “in the know”.

Combining the required tools and resources that are essential to graduation with the social and collaborative capabilities that students have come to expect, the Appirio Higher Ed Student Experience is a single hub making students happier, more productive, and more engaged. 

The Appirio Higher Ed Faculty Experience

If students are the lifeblood of a higher-ed institution, then the faculty are the heart and backbone. Wearing many hats and garnering numerous responsibilities, it’s always been difficult for faculty members to build their own personal brand, interact with the public, and build effective relationships with their students because there hasn’t been a digital solution available to make that happen. 

We all know that happy faculty means a healthy institution and a better student experience. And the Higher Ed Faculty Experience Bolt makes the faculty experience exceptional by enabling them to do the crucial parts of their jobs better, faster, and more effectively. 

For starters, faculty can easily create and manage a public-facing profile that follows institutional brand guidelines. Gone are the days of faculty going rogue and creating their own webpage to highlight and promote themselves. Now, faculty can easily showcase their background and experience, scholarly accomplishments, and areas of expertise, and it’s all easily accessible by their peers, students, and public alike. 

Just like students, faculty can also leverage a powerful dashboard to easily access all university systems from one place. Faculty can also take advantage of collaboration tools that make it easier than ever before to message an entire class, individual students, advisees, mentees, and more. 

Lastly, intuitive and powerful search tools provide students, faculty, and the public with the ability to quickly search for and locate faculty members, their profiles, classes, publications, labs, and more. These search tools also make it easy for the media to quickly search for faculty members who are the subject matter experts in their fields of study, and then engage them through meaningful conversations and interviews.

All of these features and more combine to make the Appirio Higher Ed Faculty Experience a single place for faculty to build a profile, share it through a community, and make impactful connections with students, and the greater public alike.

Shaking Up Education

Appirio’s Higher Ed Lightning Bolts will shake up the educational industry, making it more interactive and engaging for students, and streamlined and collaborative for faculty. 

These are the only Salesforce-powered solutions available today to allow institutions of higher education to provide both their students and faculty with the next-gen, consumer-grade digital experience that they have come to expect. And together, these Lightning Bolts provide institutions of higher education with the means to transform the Faculty and Student experience and attract the best and brightest to their campus. 

In our first year, the Global Solutions and Innovation team produced seven unique solutions, including these Higher Ed Salesforce Lightning Bolt solutions. All of our solutions are available on the AppExchange today. In the coming months, you can expect to see several more new Appirio solutions rolled out to market. Visit us at Dreamforce 2018 to meet our experts and find the latest information on our Global Solutions and Innovation team.

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