Bristol, UK and EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA – 25th October, 2016 – Unit4, a fast growing leader in enterprise applications for service organisations will showcase the Higher Education industry’s first Student Chatbot (Wanda) at EDUCAUSE 2016.
Built on Microsoft Azure and taking advantage of Microsoft’s Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services, the Unit4 Chatbot will have the ability to change the college or university experience and help institutions better serve students.
The Chatbot will utilise Azure platform-as-a-service components including machine learning, event stream analysis and complex event processing with Office 365 solutions. Through a simple interface built for Unit4 Student Management and other Unit4 applications, it will work inside an institution’s messaging app like Facebook Messenger, Skype and WeChat, providing students with a familiar experience.
Unit4 Student Management is a 4th generation system based on decades of higher education experience. Powered by Azure, it has outperformed go to market expectations, with Unit4’s higher education technology portfolio today serving millions of students globally. This success is attributable to the joint offering filling a 10-year innovation gap in the global SIS market. Bot innovation will be a big focus over the next few years.
Comment on the news
“Unit4 brings real expertise to student engagement and continues to deliver rapid innovation to the sector on our platform,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “Our global economy is reliant on access to new, skilled labor and higher education continues to play a key role in economic development. Institutions that serve their students well and embrace technology can increase employability around the world.”
“We selected Unit4 Student Management because we want to communicate with our prospective and existing students on their terms, using digital technology,” said Elly Taylor, Academic Registrar at the Royal College of Music. “Social and mobile is at the core of the technology and that was important to us. Managing campus life shouldn’t be an inconvenience. Student Management will provide a better student experience all-round through much easier two-way interaction.”
“Unit4’s success proves that this market is hungry for modern solutions,” said Ivo Totev, Chief Product Officer at Unit4. “Bots will replace apps in the not so distant future, not just responding to requests but initiating action based on what they already know. This holds incredible promise for all industries and use cases are endless. Examples in Higher Education include course admissions, financial aid, course transfers, communicating with faculty and advisors, and managing academic progress.”
Unit4 will exhibit at booth 1311 at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2016 in Anaheim, California, October 26-27. Unit4 will also host a breakout session titled “Your Students’ Digital Experience: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” with customers Scott Krajewski, Director of IT and CIO, Augsburg College and Jay Sample, SVP Operations/CIO, Claremont Lincoln University, Jeffrey Alderson, principal analyst at Eduventures and Rob Curtin, Chief Applications Officer at Microsoft, on Wednesday, October 27, 9:10-10:00, room 210D.