Bespoke system for Open University Global MBA sales processes

In 2009 The Open University, the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality online degrees and distance learning, partnered with Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, to bring to market a pilot Global MBA programme in India, Ireland, Norway, Malaysia, Singapore and Sweden.

Business challenge

The partners needed a content managed website with numerous online forms for seamlessly managing the sales cycle from prospect enquiries through to online payments split over the three year MBA programme. With content, graphics, process maps and form specifications all in place The OU hired a Drupal developer who, unfortunately, quit partway through the project due to its complexity. Following an initial meeting, and with a fast approaching deadline, Muon were contracted to complete the project and make the sales processes work online.

The solution

Muon developed, deployed and documented a bespoke Drupal module that:

  • validated form entries from prospective MBA students;
  • recorded interactions between field sales agents and prospects;
  • calculated amounts payable for the MBA programme (depending on whether bursaries were applied, instalments were made or the student was to be sponsored); and
  • received payments from students that were accepted onto the programme.

The Drupal CMS was configured for different user roles, including content authors and field sales agents. The online system also made use of the Drupal Rules module to send emails to The OU Student Services’ VOICE CRM system and provide form entry feedback and payment forms to prospects.

The results

Following the successful launch of the Global MBA website, which was developed and deployed within three months, Muon trained key users and authored a user guide that explained every feature and function of the site in great detail and included dozens of labelled screenshots.

Note: Pearson learned a great deal from their pilot programme with The Open University and in 2013 they launched a new online MBA programme in conjunction with The University of Maryland.

This was a very political project in which the website needed to project the impression that the Pearson representatives were indeed accessing VOICE, and for all intent and purposes this was achieved due to Muon’s ingenuity and attention to detail.

Hannah Gore, Senior Producer: Social & Syndication, The Open University
Screenshot of the Global MBA website's homepage
Fig 1: Screenshot of the Global MBA website's homepage