Columbia Business School


"The Salesforce1 Mobile App is essential for our growing executive programs."

Gershom Gannon-O’Gara
Senior Associate Director, Information Design and Technology

Salesforce helps move Columbia Business School Executive Education from the classroom to the community

Columbia Business School’s Executive Education program gives successful executives the opportunity to acquire new skills without interrupting their careers. With the growing variety of continuing education, online, and virtual offerings now available, it’s important that the university makes strong connections with potential students and the companies that sponsor them; and designs the types of programs that fit best. Salesforce is helping the school make sure their executive business programs stay on the fast track.

The school started using Sales Cloud when they needed a flexible solution to track student information and help build relationships with executives and the companies that sponsor their continuing education. And, with 60+ program offerings, the business school wanted to track which programs best meet student expectations and needs. Salesforce keeps a record of all faculty, curriculum, and course content, and how relevant it is for different audiences. The ability to analyze data helps the school continuously improve and more effectively prepare proposals for custom programs.

“One of the reasons we started using Salesforce was to track what topics landed well with our audience, so we could better understand the needs of our customers and customize our program offerings. It helps us track and learn from the data,” says Gershom Gannon-O’Gara, Senior Associate Director, Information Design and Technology.

The school is not only using the data to customize program offerings, it’s helping them create more personalized marketing campaigns. “We’re using Salesforce Marketing Cloud for our outbound sales, program delivery, and marketing work,” adds Gannon-O’Gara. “Sales efforts are really focused, and everyone is more self-sufficient.”

With a sales team that is often on the road, the ability to access and use Salesforce from mobile devices is critical to Columbia Business School Executive Education. “Our team really benefits from using the Salesforce1 Mobile App on the iPad,” adds Gannon-O’Gara. “They can get real-time information from anywhere.”

Staying connected with students

Columbia networks with students through an online portal that offers customers the opportunity to stay connected with one another and further explore executive development opportunities. Using Salesforce App Cloud, the business school built custom tools that push information from Salesforce to the website, including class content, dates, and pricing.

Individuals or companies can apply to the school online, and easily add their human resources and employee history information. An app built on App Cloud tracks billing and lets students pay online, saving Columbia’s accounting department time and resources. Students can log on to view past payments and unpaid invoices. The platform extends to the group experience in class, too. “If there are opportunities to further engage students, for example, we can work in real-time to add value and recognize excellence in learning.” adds Gannon-O’Gara.

“Salesforce isn’t just a tool, it’s a member of our team,” concludes Gannon-O’Gara. “It’s helping our business in significant ways.”

Columbia Business School Executive Education
Columbia Business School Executive Education