Defragmenting communications with Slack
SAE Creative Media Institute is a hub for budding visionaries, nurturing an environment where ideas thrive.
But before SAE optimised its operations, some of it was fragmented, which was holding back productivity and creativity.
For example, students and staff all used different platforms—like Google Chat, email, Discord, and Facebook—to try to do similar things. To help bring its staff and students together, SAE chose Slack.
“The decision to embrace Slack wasn’t just about choosing a tool. It was about shaping the student learning journey to create an environment that encourages interaction, collaboration and growth,” says Akshay Kalawar, Manager of Digital Experience at SAE Creative Media Institute.
“Slack’s unique benefits have allowed us to achieve a level of engagement and usage that would be hard to replicate with other platforms.”
Slack successfully broke down silos and fostered collaboration at SAE. The platform supported project-based learning and promoted a collaborative environment similar to the real-life creative media industry.
“Slack’s unique benefits have allowed us to achieve a level of engagement and usage that would be hard to replicate with other platforms,” says Geoff King, IT Support and Operations Manager at SAE Creative Media Institute.
Walking the path towards being “One SAE”
Slack proved critical in making that “One SAE” dream a reality.
Security and automation were high priorities in the unification project, and Slack’s secure features ensured data safety and streamlined processes for SAE.
With Slack, SAE brought together students from diverse disciplines in dedicated collaborative spaces. This mirrors real-world industry practices, where cross-disciplinary collaboration is encouraged and increasingly essential.
Features like Slack Workflow, which transforms everyday tasks into efficient processes within minutes, streamlined admin workload for staff and saved time.
“Nearly half of our 1500 Slack channels are created automatically to match each subject and class we teach, along with various management channels and small collaborative groups for projects and tasks.”
SAE uses Slack Integrations, like Google and Zoom, to keep students engaged beyond class hours—it’s a secure and seamless way to keep tools in one place.
Student onboarding and support have also been revolutionised. For example, student queries are now answered significantly faster.
“Thanks to Slack, we can now get back to students more promptly than ever before,” says Kalawar.
Slack has created opportunities beyond our imagination. Achieving this manually would have been impossible for my team.
Unlocking efficiency beyond communication with bespoke APIs
Tailoring interactions for each student’s unique academic journey is crucial in education. King saw the potential to create that personalised student experience with Slack’s bespoke APIs.
Data from the student management system like class assignments and faculty information was turned into a provisioning script. This script then created private channels for students and facilitators of different classes.
“We used bespoke APIs to set up their Slack workspace. When they log in, they already have memberships to the channels they need,” King says.
Why is such precision necessary? It’s not just about organisation. It’s also about sustaining a concentrated academic atmosphere to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
With Slack’s integrated functionality, managing student data has become effortless. These scripts synchronise smoothly with the student management system, automatically updating channel memberships as enrollment statuses change, enabling real-time data reflection.
As Kalawar says, “Slack has created opportunities beyond our imagination. Achieving this manually would have been impossible for my team.”
Charting the path forward with Slack
As SAE Creative Media Institute continues to embrace Slack, new horizons await. One exciting development includes a plan to create an alumni network using Slack Connect—a feature that seamlessly integrates external communication into Slack.
“Slack could help us establish an alumni network to reconnect with successful industry professionals who were once our students. We aim to run workshops and create a platform for students to find mentors easily,” says Kalawar.
With everything Slack has to offer, SAE is all set to lead the way in creative media education, ensuring its students thrive in this ever-changing industry.
“I have a lot of confidence in Slack’s ability to align with our culture. After just one year of working with Slack, we’ve achieved more than we expected. Slack has provided us with capabilities we’ve never had before,” shares Kalawar.