Composable solution supported by Sitecore 360 drives seamless digital experiences for students at Polimi School of Management.

Q. Tell us a bit about POLIMI GSoM.

Luigi: Politecnico di Milano – or Polimi for short - is the largest technical university in Italy, with around 42,000 students specializing in engineering, architecture, and industrial design. The Graduate School of Management offers post-graduate programs, such as MBAs, along with customised training for companies. Our goal is to foster individual growth, so business leaders can contribute more to create a better future for everyone.

Q. What were the drivers behind your digital transformation?

Luigi: We started our digital journey in 2014 when the Business School launched our first fully online program – the Flex Executive MBA. Since then, we’ve been constantly advancing our digital capabilities. This has included the development of a lifelong learning solution called Flexa, which is an AI-powered personal mentor that suggests the most appropriate training opportunities for an individual’s chosen career path.

The next step was to focus on delivering a seamless online experience for all our students. To make their lives easier, we wanted to provide a single site from which they can access every service. This meant developing an intuitive front end that integrates flawlessly with back-end systems and data so processes are efficient and automated.

Q. What were the digital challenges that led you to Sitecore?

Luigi: With our previous systems, we struggled to connect all the services - but this is no longer an issue. Now, we’re using Sitecore solutions to power the front end with Microsoft Dynamics 365 providing the back-end CRM capabilities. We selected Sitecore for two key reasons: firstly, it’s cloud-based, and secondly it supports seamless integration with Microsoft, enabling a composable approach.

Q. Which Sitecore solutions are you currently using?

Michele: We’ve combined Sitecore XM Cloud for content management with Sitecore OrderCloud for headless commerce and Sitecore Personalize to create customized and optimized user experiences. I’m a particularly big fan of Personalize!

After building the new site and migrating our existing content, we went live with the new architecture – including content management, personalization, and ecommerce capabilities - in September 2023.

Q. How has Sitecore360 been beneficial throughout the project?

Luigi: Sitecore360 gives us access to 24/7 support, which was a really important factor for me when selecting a solution. As a business school, we have students across the globe and many of them have day jobs so are accessing our services outside standard working hours. With Sitecore360, we have the assurance of round-the-clock support, should we need it.

Q. What outcomes have you achieved so far?

Michele: Crucially, we now have integration between the editorial and ecommerce parts of our website, so students have a single login from which they can navigate all our content and course information, perform self-service check in, and attend live sessions, as well as registering and paying for courses. As well as a more unified experience, the new website offers better performance.

Q. What’s next in your digital journey?

Luigi: We still need to integrate the digital learning experience, so that’s next on the agenda. Then, the website will deliver the actual services, as well as enabling students to register for them. Secondly, we will integrate our AI-powered mentor, Flexa. The final step will be to bring the digital experience into the classroom. For example, students might be in a physical classroom, but with a live digital session run via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Q. What advice would you give to others starting a similar journey?

Luigi: Find the right partner! Take the time to thoroughly analyze and evaluate your selected service architecture to ensure you understand every opportunity and can deliver what you need. Sitecore’s solution portfolio is very broad, so there are a lot of possibilities. For example, you can choose a CDP (customer data platform) and add in Sitecore Personalize – which we love – and OrderCloud. With a clear understanding of how you can fit together these different parts of the puzzle, you can achieve your desired result.

Luigi Gangitano is Chief of Digital Innovation, POLIMI Graduate School of Management. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Michele Locuratolo is Enterprise Architect, POLIMI Graduate School of Management. Connect with him on LinkedIn.