How do you overhaul a technology system with thousands of users around the world and quickly make it more nimble, scalable, and efficient? For EF International Language Campuses Chief Information Officer Patrick Kammermann, it comes down to people, partners, and passion.
Kammermann and his team are radically updating the technology platform behind EF Education First’s language schools, which span more than 50 destinations and offer over 150 different study programs to students from several dozen countries.
The goal is “perfect personalisation,” according to a recent Interface Magazine article. In a not-too-distant future, EF International Language Campuses aims to deliver a unique experience to each customer at every stage of their relationship with us – from marketing and sales to classrooms and online learning.
Achieving the vision requires people with a can-do attitude. “There’s no such thing as ‘it’s not my job’ here,” says Kammermann. “We all do what needs to be done. It’s part of an entrepreneurial culture.”
How does Kammermann find the right people? “Of course, the technical skills need to be there,” he says, “But passion is always critical.”
This passion-fueled approach was on full display when Covid-19 forced EF to shut down language school campuses starting in February. Over one weekend, they launched three “e-campuses”, moved thousands of students to online learning, and helped every teacher whose local classrooms had closed begin working remotely. You can’t pull that off if you are apathetic.
It also takes great partners since EF’s tech transformation relies on a “cloud-exclusive” strategy using software-as-a-service. We seek out partners who share our passion and tap their technical know-how to get exactly what we need. This article by Jon Simpson, Chief Architect at EF International Language Campuses, offers an inside look at how it works.
In the end, Kammermann wants to use technology to make a bigger, more positive impact on our customers. With the right people, passion, and partners, his team is getting it done. And they are hiring.