With application rates dropping and competition rife, getting top marks in the student experience league table is now the Holy Grail for the education sector. But with the ever-evolving student life cycle now stretching from pre-application to far beyond graduation, it’s imperative that a university’s customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution can facilitate these lifelong relationships.
Here, we’ll look at how you can leverage Microsoft’s latest CIAM technology – Azure AD B2C – to enhance your extended student experience life cycle: building meaningful connections that last from enquiry through to alumni, and onwards to that all-important goal of lifelong learning.
Turn Applications into Enrolments
As the dynamics of the education landscape continue to evolve, the university recruitment process has become increasingly competitive. With 32% of students citing technology as a factor in their university choice (NMC Horizon Report), presenting them with a seamless communication process can have a significant impact on your attraction and conversion rate.
Frictionless and familiar interactions
With Azure AD B2C, you remain in complete control of your authentication experience, providing students with a personalised login process and familiar ways to authenticate.
Free students from the burden of security fatigue by allowing them to bring their own social identity via their favourite Google+, Facebook, Amazon or LinkedIn accounts.
With your user-friendly B2C interface, you can utilise ‘out-of-the-box’ authentication options and code-free customisation to create a welcoming sign-in process for your student community.
Consistent and clear branding
At this early stage in the student life cycle, applicants are still getting to know your university and what it stands for. As such, creating a branded sign-in experience can help to build a consistent and clear image within your prospective student community.
The Azure AD B2C portal facilities this without the need for lengthy coding cycles. Its user-friendly tenant allows you to remove the Microsoft branding, easily customising your sign-in experience with your own brand colours, images and messaging.
Turn students into graduates
In this new age of student consumerism, maintaining and improving student satisfaction is proving harder than ever.
Dropout rates increased across the 2014-15 academic year (SMF – Stating the Course Report), with 13% of students finding their University experiences to be below their expectations (HEPI – The 2016 Student Academic Experience Survey). Using a strategic CIAM solution can help to prevent this by providing unified and secure ways to encourage engagement.
Gone are the days when students will accept the existence of clunky access procedures, institutional devices and multiple credentials. Students now expect you to provide access to unified learning platforms that are easy to access and available 24/7 from anywhere and using any device.
Azure AD B2C can support this by allowing you to create one single sign-on portal which is linked to a limitless number of your chosen apps, faculty sites and library resources.
Compatible with mobile and on-premises devices, it supports the BYOD culture and enables you to empower students with self-service password reset (SSPR) capabilities. As all SSPR requests are automated through the Azure AD B2C portal, you can also significantly reduce the administrative burden on your IT department.
Security you can trust
Having a trusted reputation is one of the most important factors in harnessing brand loyalty in your student base.
By switching your identity management into Microsoft’s cloud-based platform, you can benefit from the market leader’s substantial cyber security experience.
Microsoft’s Azure platform will not only take control of authenticating your identities, but it will also securely protect your student identities from bad actors and malicious activities. With its flexible, policy-based approach, you can even setup additional security protocols to protect confidential data from unusual behaviours or unrecognised devices.
Build lasting relationships – from graduation to alumni
In the 2016 Student Academic Experience Survey (HEPI), only 37% of students felt like they were getting good value for money from their university investment. This perception is forcing universities to rethink their approach to alumni engagement, building new revenue streams based on lifelong learning.
Find scalability in the cloud
Azure AD B2C can help you to manage the trend towards lifelong student relationships by providing you with a scalable platform that can easily manage millions of identities.
With Microsoft’s Azure platform, there’s no need for you to worry about server capacity, as your identities sit securely in the cloud for as long as your user journey lasts. You’re also able to provide your students with a seamless and hassle-free transition into alumni where they can retain the same login credentials to access valuable services.
Keep costs to a minimum
Managing a growing number of identities in your on-premises identity management system can lead to unfeasible server and maintenance costs.
Azure AD B2C operates a SaaS-based cloud app with a consumption-based, pay-as-you-go pricing model. Costs are based on both the number of stored users and the number of authentications, meaning you pay less for dormant accounts or inactive students. This can help to make the management of lifelong identities a cost-effective part of your extended student lifecycle.
So don’t get left behind in the search for that golden student experience. Take the first step in revolutionising your customer identity and access management solution. Take our Customer Identity and Access Management Assessment now. In just a couple of minutes, you will be able to assess your current CIAM challenges and needs. You will then receive a tailored report with recommendations and actions for improvement.
Want to see Azure AD B2C in action? Watch a recording of our webinar, ‘Discover the Potential of Microsoft Azure AD B2B Collaboration and B2C’, for guided demos of B2C and B2B Collaboration, and expert insights into how to solve the problem of customer identity and access.