Page 27 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
P. 27

Walking Users Back
When CIO Borre Ulrichsen joined the institution four years ago, adoption of a new constituent relationship management system was already in the works — sort of. Three units — undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions and university advancement — had picked different technologies for themselves, “and they were all basically looking at me, going, ‘OK, can we have it live next week or next month?’” he recalled. He spent a lot of those early days “walking them back a little bit” from a technology focus to more of a focus on the outcomes they were looking for.
The more the various groups talked, the more they realized that by sharing data and working together, “we would all end up with better data, which would mean that we would actually do a better job in each of our different areas.”
CRM work tends to be an “expensive proposition,” noted Ulrichsen. “It’s a multi-year engagement where we’re taking a lot of people’s resources, time, money and focus to really work on this.” But the outcome was that
senior leadership gave its support “when everybody started talking the same language and telling the same story.”
The Choice of Cloud
On the technical front, end-user departments had accepted that there were advantages to choosing a cloud-based application.
As Ulrichsen explained, there was already “a fair amount of comfort with the fact that our software doesn’t run in our data center anymore.” After all, Gonzaga uses Microsoft 365 and it has moved its learning management system (Blackboard) and its enterprise resource management system (Ellucian Banner) to the cloud.
And besides, cloud is where it’s at. “That’s really where all the vendors are going,” he pointed out. For the leading candidates, “that’s where investments are going to be made going forward.”
But those initial deployment requests clued Ulrichsen into something: People don’t always

   25   26   27   28   29