Client Story


Revolutionising the digital student experience and supercharging growth ambitions

BPP – a leading global education provider – needed to transform its digital experiences and platform to better serve students and accelerate its growth in a competitive market.

We partnered with BPP to start the journey towards designing and delivering an end-to-end digital transformation that resolves persistent pain points, delivers a superior digital experience for students and employees, and positions BPP for growth and scalability. What’s more, BPP and our team were able to deliver large-scale change at an accelerated pace while adding value at every opportunity.

As a result of our collaboration, BPP is on its way to having a digital and mobile-first experience, reliable data that powers every student and staff interaction, a scalable digital platform for growth, and a culture of digital excellence.

The success of the project was recognised with the joint team winning the ‘Transformation Team of the Year’ award at the 2024 Digital Transformation Awards.

We’ve stuck to the high-level roadmap we made and were brave enough to choose the hardest things first to prove the approach. It’s all very exciting.”
Chief Product & Technology Officer, BPP

Making education more accessible

BPP is a global education provider which delivers a full range of qualifications for professionals at every stage of their career. This includes professional qualifications, university degrees, apprenticeships, work-based learning, and accredited short courses. Its mission is to build careers through education and empower students to become learners for life. However, it was burdened by its outdated and cumbersome digital platforms. If it was to maintain its market-leading position, BPP needed an end-to-end digital transformation that would turbo-charge its growth ambitions and enhance the experience of students, clients, tutors, and staff.

“Everyone in the organisation could see the urgency for transforming the digital estate,” confirmed Jo Wickremasinghe, Chief Product & Technology Officer, BPP. She continued, “our people knew that our technology needed to play catch up with the speed of our growth, and we also needed to scale up BPP’s technology expertise to deliver a transformation. So there was a complete agreement across the business to do this.”

Partnering to perfect the end-to-end digital experience

To tackle this challenge, BPP needed a clear vision, strategy, and roadmap that could strike the right balance between building foundational capability and delivering value quickly. “We had to bring our people with us,” explained Wickremasinghe, “the success of the project would hinge on their buy in to this new vision”.

BPP knew our proven track record in the digital transformation space, our end-to-end delivery capabilities, and our ability to build product and digital teams from the ground up.

We were able to stand up a senior team of experts with the right mix of skills and the ability to turn strategy into new product releases within a few months.”
Digital strategy & experience expert, PA

Putting users at the heart of service design

The scale of the task meant we had to call on expertise across strategy and product; digital design; agile; architecture; delivery; and data engineering. This multi-disciplinary team was tasked with enabling BPP’s vision to create a guided, joined-up, and well-crafted digital learning experience.

We started by analysing existing data sets and conducting user research to unearth 300 pain points encountered by students, clients, and employees.

Among the pain points was the application process. BPP needed a streamlined platform that set the tone for the learning experience students would receive and help convert prospective students to enrolled students.

The team began to lay the technology foundations that would support the new platform. “We started by selecting a modern technical stack that would provide BPP with a high performing, sustainable infrastructure,” explained PA digital engineering expert, Nick Dunn. He continued, “then it was about building for scalability. This meant embracing Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) components and establishing a design system of reusable components that multiple teams could build on over time.” With the foundations laid, the first set of features could be rolled out, solving some of the biggest customer pain points.

The team’s ability to ask the right questions and get to the root of the problem was impressive, even to stakeholders who had been with BPP for 10 years or longer. Within weeks, it felt like PA were part of our team.”
Chief Product & Technology Officer, BPP
Transformation Team of the Year award at the 2024 Digital Transformation Awards
‘Transformation Team of the Year’ award at the 2024 Digital Transformation Awards

Creating a single view of learners

As the new digital architecture took shape, it became clear that BPP needed its new and existing services to communicate seamlessly through events. This would improve scalability, speed of development, and resilience. The event-driven architecture enabled us to build a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that was closely integrated with Salesforce to give BPP a single view of the learner, enabling their customer service teams to have complete visibility of student’s interactions with BPP as they happen and provide tailored assistance to support their requests.

The speed at which we’re now able to make changes is unprecedented at BPP. Thanks to the new digital architecture, we can release updates multiple times an hour, not the multiple times a month that it used to be.”
Chief Product & Technology Officer, BPP

Becoming a scalable, digital-first, market leader

The first major release on the new digital ecosystem – the new application process – allows applicants to upload and store their documentation securely in a portal that combines an intuitive, mobile-friendly design, with features that nudge the right customer behaviours. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with users rating the new experience as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

A new CRM for business users to review applications has reduced operational overheads by 30 percent in its first two months since release and is forecast to increase to around 60 percent savings as new features are developed and rolled out.

Once enrolled, students can make use of the upgraded hub, which will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for students, clients, and tutors to access data and services at every touchpoint. This has resulted in significant time savings. Account-related queries are down by 50 percent versus the same period last year.

The success of the project was recognised with the joint team winning the ‘Transformation Team of the Year’ award at the 2024 Digital Transformation Awards.

Overall, our end-to-end service design approach has put BPP on the path to better serve its students and able to get the most out of their data for future reporting and analysis. With the digital fundamentals taking shape, BPP is well positioned to accelerate its growth ambitions and become the scalable market leader it needs to be. This represents a big investment from BPP, but based on the current trajectory, one that is due to pay off within three years.

It’s no exaggeration to say we couldn’t have done this without PA. From setting the vision, to building our digital capability, they’ve been side-by-side with us from the start as a strategic and delivery partner. It’s been a pleasure collaborating with them and now we have the tools to better serve our students, employees, and clients.”
Chief Product & Technology Officer, BPP

Explore more

Contact the team

We look forward to hearing from you.

Get actionable insight straight to your inbox via our monthly newsletter.