A cloud-based Student Information System
With a heritage dating back to 1898 and its first lecturer, Ronald Ross, as the first British recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is a unique organisation. LSTM is a major research partner for leading philanthropic funders such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation, and is at the vanguard for the elimination of malaria and other tropical diseases.
Brave New World
To provide maximum flexibility LSTM choose to develop a custom-built SIS, based on Salesforce.com, the market-leading cloud-based CRM platform. The first phase of the project provided for online applications for LSTM’s MSc programmes, Professional Diplomas and short courses. This greatly reduced the previous administrative burden of paper applications, but the LSTM executive team fully realised this was only a first step into the brave new world of cloud solutions, and so began a search for a Salesforce consultancy partner that could help LSTM reach its ambitions.
The SIS project team built up a checklist of requirements and prioritised the need for a more coherent application experience, better tailored to the requirements of the programme applied for and with bespoke communications to the applicant. Additionally, potential applicants needed to be directed straight to the course of interest to begin an application or make an enquiry, rather than following a generic route to the application portal. At the same time the LSTM website was to be replaced!
Having started the programme, the student’s choice of modules was managed by the internal administration team with a manual system of shared spreadsheets and email – a time-consuming and cumbersome process. This then had to filter down to the manual creation of other spreadsheets to allow the administration of assessments and student marks, and the subsequent communication with internal and external assessment markers. Any new system had to improve upon these manual processes whilst maintaining their robustness. Upon completion of the programme, the system was required to produce correctly formatted and branded certificates and transcript outputs.