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London South Bank U Signs on for IBM's Exceptional Student Experience

London South Bank University (LSBU) is investing in a major way with IBM to help attract and retain students, and it will be adopting an IBM cloud platform to facilitate those efforts. The institution has signed a five-year, $23 million agreement with IBM for its "Exceptional Student Experience." This program offers a combination of services and technologies to manage the student lifecycle from applicant to alumni.

The Exceptional Student Experience includes:

  • Recruitment with digital marketing;
  • Personalized portals;
  • Pedagogy that uses social networking collaboration; and
  • Student relationship management with predictive analytics.

IBM is pushing this mix to work with SoftLayer, a cloud computing infrastructure that IBM acquired in July 2013 with the purchase of SoftLayer Technologies and combined with its own SmartCloud cloud services.

"The key benefit of this change program is that it will enable LSBU to identify students who require support to complete their studies, and underpin our platform to enable repeatable, predictable, reliable and scalable technology-enabled learning for our students at best value-for-money," said Pro Vice Chancellor Phil Cardew.

The university anticipates that the transformation being undertaken will lead to multiple changes: better organizational collaboration; more experimentation with newer modes of learning with mobile access; and the building of education communities through social networking and online profiles.

The university's IT environment will also move to SoftLayer in an effort to increase the institution's agility in offering new services to the campus community. According to a statement from IBM, the space used to house the original data centers will be transformed into additional teaching space.

As part of the deal, the school will also gain access to IBM's no-charge Academic Initiative portal, which provides training materials, curriculum guides, software and hardware for teaching business analytics, business process management, cloud computing, supply chain, enterprise computing, IT service, security, software engineering and social business.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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