My friend, Ed Schlesinger can start saying I told you so about….NOW.
Ed has been toiling endlessly for the past roughly 4 years developing an AppExchange service called Studentforce for both higher education and high school students so that the current Gen Yers and younger set can conduct their lives online in school and with salesforce.com too. His work has received critical acclaim but not enough support in my mind from anyone.
But Ed, a true believer in the best sense of the word, and an evangelist, and a man proud of his family, not just soldiered on but generaled on.
To get an idea, here’s a Studentforce screen. Covers a lot of ground, doesn’t it.
Well, Ed’s efforts have been validated now by a study just released from Datamonitor entitled “2007 Trends to Watch: Education Technology” which speaks to the idea that Ed has been preaching for a long time – CRM solutions in higher education must support the entire student lifecycle.
But that isn’t the key to it because its not exactly what studentforce does. Much more of what Studentforce does goes to the heart of the following:
“The millennial generation has arrived at the schoolhouse doors with its consumer market technologies.”
THAT is more what Studentforce does and what Ed has generaled on with for years – ahead of the market curve.
As Ed himself puts it in a significant response to the Datamonitor monitored data:
“These students have grown up using consumer market technologies and expect – rather, demand, at least the same level of user experience when they get to school. And let’s face it – school isn’t only about classes, assignments, and grades. Its also about sororities and fraternities (blogger note: I NEVER would have been able to say that when I went to college. Never. But that was then…), parties, dating, establishing life long personal and career relationships, shopping, entertainment, and the pursuit of a career; all life experiences addressed well by the consumer web. Therefore, web services that integrate student’s social netowrking, media, academic and career interests while in school and well after they leave….must work like, and be as efficent as, consumer web technologies studentus use now on a daily basis.”
THAT is Studentforce in progress and the vision that Ed’s worked toward for years. Time for the marketplace and the savvy companies out there who get it to reward him.
Marketplace, don’t let me and him down.