Feb 17, 2021

College/Strategic Partner to design for Poverty-Free Future

CampusWorks
Technology
Education
Dallas County Community College
William Smith
3 min
College/Strategic Partner to design for Poverty-Free Future
Dallas College with CampusWorks taps unmatched expertise to drive transformation, think differently, and embrace the possibilities created by change...

Doing what’s best for clients is what motivates CampusWorks. 

Since 1999, the firm has delivered unmatched leadership expertise to colleges and universities of all shapes and sizes to increase institutional effectiveness and enhance the student experience. Its relentless drive to solve deep, systemic challenges and create the conditions required for lasting change has earned CampusWorks a reputation for being bold – something that made Dallas College take notice during its search for a strategic partner. 

When college leadership set the audacious goal of eradicating poverty in the region, Chief Innovation Officer Tim Marshall knew significant transformation was on the horizon. Overtime that came into focus: seven individually accredited institutions would need to be consolidated, groundwork for the adoption of a single enterprise technology platform established, and a shared vision of the ideal student experience created. As it embarked on this journey, Dallas College knew that having an independent perspective at the helm would be key to its long-term success. Having found a unique synergy with CampusWorks, the firm was engaged. “There’s a reason why they’re called CampusWorks,” Tim Marshall, Chief Innovation Officer for the College, reports, “the name is very appropriate.” 

“Our ambition was to uplift the community, which is different from the aims of a lot of other colleges,” continues Marshall. Attentively digging in, CampusWorks set about aligning the College’s people, processes, information, and technology in preparation for the future, but Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair Liz Murphy confirms her team’s work went deeper, “while we used our standard methodologies, we had the blessing of the chancellor and leadership team to really push the organization to think completely differently about how they would operate as a single institution.” Exploring beyond stated needs and desired outcomes CampusWorks’ student-centric approach was critical to helping faculty and staff identify and embrace the possibilities created by change. 

One such possibility was creating the nation’s first career connected learner network. “We coined the term ‘enroll in a job’, because that’s what students really need and want,” says Marshall. “Our mission and our vision, our goals and objectives, are all about moving students into jobs. When CampusWorks came in and created cross-functional teams to investigate the new environment, discussions became less about functions as opposed to how it enabled interesting approaches to the students.” 

With that network in place, Dallas College is helping students connect learning to living wages and sustainable careers - moving the College one step closer to reaching its goal of ending systemic poverty in the region. “Colleges and universities have a profound ability to make real change,” says Murphy. The CampusWorks CEO believes Dallas College has set the bar high, but she reports seeing an uptick in the number of institutions setting similarly ambitious goals. She says her team routinely advises clients to “begin with the end in mind” and to have “a really clear sense of the impact they want to make”. 

Murphy encourages today’s higher education leaders to think about the ripple-effect they wish to have because it’s not about “where your pebble drops, but where the ripple goes when it reaches the shore – what is it that you’re changing in the world?”

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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