Ivy College is not your typical education provider. The entire business has been built around meeting the unique needs of adult learners. Catering to job commitments, family or personal demands, Ivy’s founder and CEO Peter Mobbs knew that set semesters, fixed timetables and limited access to trainers could never truly meet the real needs of adult learners.

To achieve a flexible and personalised learning experience, the Ivy team embraced its passion for innovation and technology to develop a truly student-centric service model.

Since launching in 2009, Ivy has experienced exceptional growth – topping 100 staff and thousands of students.  Ivy was voted in the Top 5 Most Innovative Companies in 2015 by BRW and attributes Salesforce as a key innovation partner.

Here Ivy shares the key insights to business growth through innovation and technology.

1.  People

Our people have been key in how quickly we’ve managed to get up to speed. Our team bring a wealth of industry knowledge with them, and our CEO Peter Mobbs, had a very clear vision from the beginning – Impress the Student Every Time. This is embedded in our company culture, and in our platforms. For example, we have recently launched Work.com for employee recognition – using badges to recognise when we do something great that aligns with our core behaviours – our students being the centre of all of these behaviours.

2.  Plan for growth

We knew investing additional time in scalable solutions up-front would pay off. Initially these solutions seemed over-engineered, however, this planning and our decision to utilise cloud-based products have played a key role in how quickly we were able to grow – we’ve had 6 offices in 12 months so being less reliant on servers has kept growth from impacting BAU to a minimum.

As a SMB, we recognise the incredible advantage we have with having a simple system architecture and we do everything in our power to keep it this way. For us, keeping our solutions as simple as possible means we’re ready for change, plus it opens up more possibilities for plugging-in Apps from the App Exchange.

3.  Bigger picture

We mapped out what the ideal customer’s journey would look like and how technology would help us achieve this.

  • Salesforce sat at the centre of our ideal tech landscape, and like most, we started out with the Sales Cloud platform, not long after that we recognised we needed tools that would enable us to attract and nurture more prospects.
  • Pardot enabled us to get more value out of our prospects, where we can nurture them with multi-channel marketing campaigns and use scoring to help profile our potential customers so we can personalise our message to them.

4.  We deliver a great student experience

The student experience has always been key for Ivy and it’s been a big part of our plan from the get go. Named Australia’s top medium-sized business for service excellence in 2015 by the Customer Service Institute of Australia, Ivy consistently deliver on a great customer experience by focusing on nurturing and progressing our students. To achieve this we ensure we personalise their experience – for example we knew that 35% of our students study on a mobile device. Therefore, we ensure that our LMS is mobile ready.

At Ivy we take on the complexity, so the student doesn’t have to, and we continue to simplify and streamline their entire experience with us. The student sees one system, but behind it there are several different tools, including;

  • e-Signature solutions – we enabled this before we even launched, enabling 24/7 online enrolment
  • Call Connector – integrated with Salesforce, we know who we’re talking to as they call us.
  • Workflow and process builder – to help automate internal processes so we can support more students, and support them better.
  • Surveys in Salesforce – we don’t want to stop learning about our students, so we send them surveys, and route their responses back into Salesforce.

Another important decision we made at the very beginning was to have on-shore support and this enables our students to gain comprehensive expertise 7 days a week with Australian qualified and Australian experienced teachers. Our next step will be to launch Service Cloud to further improve student support, and strengthen our mission of impressing our students every time.


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