Page 29 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
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In these kinds of extensive projects,
it’s important for IT to continuously focus the conversation back on the big picture and required outcomes.
admissions and law school admissions; and for every other unit, Campus Management CampusNexus Engage.
Slate is already in use, put in place in the fall of 2019. And now IT is working on three high-level implementation projects for Engage: in marketing communications, university advancement and graduate enrollment management. The PMO is also doing a small pilot for student affairs. Beyond those, said Schut, “We’ll be doing road mapping to figure out where we’ll continue to roll out; we have a lot of other areas that are very interested in moving forward and we can only do so much at one time.”
To keep data in sync among the CRM and ERP programs and other applications in use, IT has also implemented Dell Technologies’ Boomi, an integration platform “that sits in the middle of all these different systems,” Ulrichsen explained. That tool is also cloud-based.
“It’s making more and more sense for all these solutions to not live here on our infrastructure,” he said. Besides the many preconfigured integrations included in the box, the choice of software-as-a-service also delivers the values cloud companies have long talked about: quick deployment, resilience and ready capacity and scalability. “We want to make sure that we can handle the volumes, and we’re just finding it’s much easier to scale the infrastructure in the cloud than if we have to implement physical servers and so forth on premise.”
Too Early for Outcomes
It’s too early to identify what kinds of improvements have come about with the introduction of the CRMs. But the initiative has
a “number of key performance indicators” that will be used to measure the success of the project, said Ulrichsen. One referenced in the Educause presentation was this: “On Aug. 14, 2019, GU’s Undergraduate Admissions launched its first Communication Plan via the CRM to over 50,000 people.” As a result, Schut told the audience, that single communication “will save up to 15 hours a week through automation of formerly manual tasks.” Now that the undergraduate application process is “fully online,” she noted, ease-of-use is improved too.
“Our staff are able to provide much more of a personalized experience for the prospects — all the way down to doing things like scheduling personal phone calls, to really make sure that the students understand how much we’re looking forward to having them here on campus,” added Ulrichsen. “It’s still early but our expectation is that by keeping [students] engaged in the way that they want to be engaged with us is going to make a difference when they make that final decision of where they go.”
In these kinds of extensive projects, it’s important for IT to continuously focus the conversation back on the big picture and required outcomes, advised Ulrichsen. “Our users have mobile devices where installing and using new applications is fast and easy. They don’t always appreciate that enterprise software is a lot more complex. If you can invite the community into a conversation around what they are trying to accomplish and then get into exactly what technology to use to support those outcomes, you’ve come a long way.”
Dian Schaffhauser is content editor for Campus Technology.

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