Higher education institutions are turning to customer relationship management (CRM) technology solutions to differentiate themselves in a bid to compete more aggressively with one another to recruit and retain the "right" students. The report, 'CRM in the Higher Education Market' by independent market analysts Datamonitor, predicts IT revenue from CRM solutions in the higher education markets of the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia will grow from $184.9 million in 2007 to $324.5 million in 2012. This growth will be driven both by the purchase of new solutions and the expansion of existing installations.
CRM enables institutions to create a 360 degree view of the student experience
Colleges and universities have historically targeted CRM to support specific processes, such as campaign management, in the admissions and development offices. Fueled by developments in the consumer market, student expectations for institutional services are rising fast and prompting institutions to extend their view of CRM to include a larger and more diverse set of processes and departments.
While corporate-sector CRM solutions are a good start, higher education has unique requirements that must be addressed
Translating a corporate sector CRM solution into one that meets the specific needs of higher education is a far more complicated task than simply changing references to customers and sales to students and admissions in the end-user interface.
The degree to which CRM vendors have successfully made these changes varies considerably and has given rise to a large and diverse competitive landscape. The current landscape, however, is likely to evolve.