Whether you’re offering flexible or more structured learning, the ability to offer personalised support at scale is really a must have for education today. Salesforce gives us the data we need to do that.”

George Gemayel, Chief Technology Officer




Open Colleges has provided life changing education for more than 100 years. An early pioneer of distance learning, the organisation helped individuals earn qualifications by post before reinventing itself for the digital age. It now provides a range of vocational and professional courses that are accessible online and can be completed in a flexible way.

“At Open Colleges, we’re not just putting courses online but reshaping the way people learn. We allow students to complete courses in their own time and provide personalised support along their journey,” said George Gemayel, Chief Technology Officer at Open Colleges. “With Salesforce, we’re able to scale that 1:1 support and connect with students in a more meaningful way.”

Salesforce has also given Open Colleges a platform with which it can manage the entire student lifecycle, from lead generation through to graduation. 

Open Colleges has now expanded its flexible and digital model both in Australia and overseas. It has 50,000 students supported by a network of academic and support staff, all connected in the cloud.

This connection and the use of technologies like Salesforce allows the organisation to recruit the best talent from across the country. It’s also made it easy to scale internationally— so easy in fact, that Open Colleges was able to bring its international support centre online in just two days. Based in Manilla, the team supports a growing number of students in Malaysia and India.

While growth was a key driver for connecting all its systems, it wasn’t the only one. Open Colleges wanted to support its students in a more personal and efficient way. Layering its ERP, education management, and finance management all on Salesforce gave it the data it needed to succeed.

Open Colleges now has a complete record of all of its students. It can track their progress and manage assessments online. It can send automated and personalised alerts to those students who are flagged as falling behind. It can also push out links to webinars and other resources designed to help students manage their time. In this way, the organisation can encourage and support its students without even picking up the phone.

“The added intelligence and automation we get from using Salesforce has made us much more efficient,” said Gemayel. “We can provide 24/7 support and help resolve any challenges that might prevent our students from completing their education.”

As a result, engagement is on the rise and the number of students completing their first assessment has increased 12%.

Today, Salesforce is helping Open Colleges recruit the next generation of students. Leads flow from the website into Marketing Cloud where the organisation can analyse the ROI of advertising and other lead-gen activities. It can also track leads from recruitment to enrollment and then all the way through the student lifecycle. This helps Open Colleges make better decisions about how it recruits and manages leads.

The end-to-end view of the student is also a key differentiator for the organisation which, according to Gemayel, runs on data.

“Whether you’re offering flexible or more structured learning, the ability to offer personalised support at scale is really a must have for education today. Salesforce gives us the data we need to do that,” said Gemayel.

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