Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pepperdine Adopts Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Dear Pepperdine CRM Colleagues,

On behalf of Integrated Marketing Communications and Information Technology, I am pleased to share that on December 22, 2014, we made the decision to adopt Salesforce Marketing Cloud (formerly ExactTarget) as Pepperdine's unified marketing app to sit on top our enterprise CRM platform. This decision came after weeks and months of demos, evaluations and discussions with stakeholders and key groups such as the Integrated Marketing Group (IMG).

Rick Gibson, Matt Midura and I would like to thank all involved in this process. Collectively, we have made a key strategic decision that will revolutionize how we – as one institution - engage our constituents moving forward. The next steps are to prepare an implementation strategy and start the implementation sometime in latter January or early February. We will supply more details as soon as we have them.

The unified marketing app is a critical piece for our Engaging Waves CRM initiative. Thanks again for your involvement in this process. Wishing each of you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Salesforce Foundation Higher Ed Summit 2015

The 3rd annual Salesforce Foundation Higher Ed Summit is scheduled to take place on February 12-13, 2015 with University of Miami as the hosting institution. Click on the Events link to learn more about the Summit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

IT Plays A Role in Recruitment; As Do Others

If Pepperdine isn't already there ... Increasingly, prospective students are basing their enrollment decisions on whether or not their choice universities have wireless access to the Internet. As this EdTech article states, the question has shifted from "Do you have Wi-Fi?" to "How do I get on your Wi-Fi?"

Dorm Wi-Fi a Selling Point for Many Universities

Pepperdine's recruiters deserve a special recognition for their tireless efforts in recruiting Pepperdine's future students. But their efforts alone don't sell the university. In addition to institutional reputation, standings and program offerings, prospects are interested in what experience they will have throughout their academic career and what they will do after graduation.

Every division at Pepperdine University, including Information Technology, plays a role in recruitment and in contributing to the overall experience of our constituents. Working in concert and with the constituent as our main focus is and will be the formula of success for our Engaging Waves initiative.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CRM Governance Committee Charter Approved and Adopted

On November 4, 2014, the newly formed CRM Governance Oversight Committee convened, and reviewed and adopted its charter. Click the following link to learn more about the Committee's role and responsibilities.

CRM Governance Committee Charter

Monday, November 17, 2014

Successful GSEP Implementation and Go-Live

Special CONGRATULATIONS to the Graduate School of Education and Psychology for a successful implementation and go-live. After an 8-month implementation, GSEP officially went live with Salesforce CRM on Monday, November 17, 2014, joining both Seaver College and the Graziadio School of Business and Management on the Pepperdine CRM platform for recruitment.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Focusing on Current Students to Increase Alumni Participation

Dear Pepperdine Colleagues,

As we continue our strategic and collaborative efforts in deploying Salesforce CRM across Pepperdine, this Education Advisory Board daily briefing emphasizes the need to focus on current students as a key to increasing alumni participation. It compliments what we are aiming to accomplish in our Engaging Waves Initiative.

Five Keys to Elevating Donor Participation Rates

Enjoy the read.


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer
Pepperdine University

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Salesforce Community at Cornell -- a Webinar


As someone who has struggled for years with ways to simplify student access to information, services, and systems, I'm encouraged by the successes other schools have shared related to their use of Salesforce Communities.

Of course there are a lot of cautions and caveats that need to be considered when looking at an implementation of Salesforce Communities.  The Salesforce platform is not one to trifle with and any work toward an implementation must be carefully planned (and well funded).

That said, we have some real challenges here at the School of Law with respect to how we communicate with our constituencies, how we manage and deliver the information our people need, and how we deliver services...many of them web-based.  Collecting/delivering/managing relevant information and delivering (personalized) services through a cloud-based solution is only part of the challenge.  Perhaps the bigger challenge is creating an easy to use, easy to maintain system that is POPULAR.  In my view bringing a solution that is popular and relevant in an incredibly challenging marketplace is the key to success.

Check out this webinar.  I spoke with Rebecca Joffrey after her talk at the AZ Salesforce event this summer and was very impressed.


Cornell Redefines the Student Experience with Communities
Thursday October 23, 2014 at 11:00am PDT/ 2:00pm EDT

An important part of a university’s student success strategy is the ability to create simple, intuitive online experiences. Cornell will share how they use Salesforce Communities to on-board new students and make it easier to navigate the resources of the university. Their engagement platforms—which are social on the front end and “big data” on the back end—are a critical addition to any CRM strategy and the building blocks for outstanding customer service. 

Who Should Attend:

Marketing, Strategic Enrollment, Student Services, Student Affairs, Recruitment, IT, and Alumni Relations leaders

Monday, October 6, 2014

Graziadio Now Live in TargetX / Salesforce CRM

A milestone reached through hard work and teamwork - On October 6, 2014, Graziadio School of Business and Management successfully went live with Pepperdine University's Salesforce CRM platform. Graziadio joins Seaver Admissions in using TargetX / Salesforce CRM as the campus-wide system of engagement to recruit Pepperdine's prospective students.

Special recognition to the Graziadio CRM Task Force (Alisa Lopez, Shimeka Bruton, Kim Weiss, Jane Tado, Bobby Patsios, Juan Mena and Michael Avery). Their individual and collective efforts made this launch successful.

Congrats to Graziadio!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Members of Pepperdine's CRM Governance Oversight Committee

Dear Pepperdine CRM Community,

I am pleased to announce the members for our new CRM Governance Oversight Committee. In no specific order, they are -

Committee Members:
Juan Mena (Graziadio School of Business and Management)
Marian Guiruis (Graduate School of Education and Psychology)
Shannon Phillips (School of Law)
Melinda van Hemert (School of Public Policy)
Michael Truschke (Seaver College)
Tracy Rolston (Advancement & Alumni Affairs)
Matthew Midura (Public Affairs and Integrated Marketing Communications)
Bryan Reeder (Registrar's Office)
Brian Thomason (Finance Office)
Jonathan See (Information Technology)

Ex-Officio Members:
Novita Rogers (CRM Administration Team)
Lesbiz Tovar (CRM Administration Team)
Sean Fife (CRM Administration Team)

The new governance committee will convene soon to lead and direct the best use of CRM across the institution. The committee will also develop and maintain a CRM roadmap for Pepperdine, as well as establish policies and procedures and approve / prioritize new CRM projects, etc.

Please join me in thanking each of these members for their willingness to serve on this important committee. I look forward to working closely with them.


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer
Pepperdine University

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TargetX / Salesforce CRM Implementation Update for Graziadio and GSEP

Dear Pepperdine CRM Colleagues,

I would like to provide you with a quick update on the current TargetX / Salesforce CRM implementation for Graziadio and GSEP.

Through the hard work and efforts of Graziadio and GSEP colleagues, we are very close to getting the TargetX / Salesforce CRM system to production-ready. There are several more pieces that need to be in place and the project team is making great progress towards completing them.

The initial Go-Live date of September 22 has been adjusted to allow for additional time to complete these remaining items and to afford Graziadio and GSEP more time to fully test the system. Graziadio has elected to delay go-live to October 6 and GSEP to mid-November (specific date TBD).

Collectively, we believe that the slight delay is needed and necessary to ensure a good functioning system that will meet our business needs. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

I want to recognize the hard work of my Graziadio and GSEP colleagues; their partnership and efforts are truly appreciated in moving this campus-wide initiative forward.


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer
Pepperdine University

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

roundCause Events Webinar | Weekly on Tuesdays

Dear Pepperdine CRM Colleagues,

Recently on August 14, roundCorner (rC) visited with us at the Malibu
Campus to demo its roundCause donor management solution. After the demo,
some of you expressed interest in viewing rC¹s Events module. rC has a
weekly standing online Events webinar on Tuesdays at 10-11 am PDT. If you
are interested in attending one of these webinars, please click the link
below to register for the following week¹s session.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

ECAR Research | Maximize Institutional Relationships with CRMs

Dear Pepperdine CRM Colleagues,

This recently-published Educause research bulletin on CRM is a good read. It highlights what we are focusing on in implementing and maintaining a campus-wide CRM platform … all for the purpose of enhancing our touch points with Pepperdine constituents throughout their life cycle. Enjoy.


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer
Pepperdine University

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Art of Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement is used often in the same sentence with CRM. But are the two synonymous?

With CRM, it is very easy to use the tool and engage the customer. We can easily communicate and promote business offerings to the customer. But are we communicating and promoting things that are of value to the customer? Customer Engagement is not just about maintaining communication with the customer. It's more about using the right channels to send timely and value-based communication to the customer. To do this well, we need to gain a better understanding of the customer. We need to build a real relationship with the customer.

CRM is a powerful tool as it is able to track transactions like communication interactions and purchasing history. The relationship part of CRM is not formed by merely tracking these transactions. It's capturing other pieces of customer information such as education, family information, special interests, and lifestyle, including likes, dislikes, and preferences. This information is captured over time and can be used to personalize communication that is both timely and of interest / value to the customer. Communication can be few but impactful if they are value-based.

Customer Engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, but determined by the customer. This is an art form that we can easily apply in higher education.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Salesforce HE Summit Takeaways

On June 5-6, Salesforce Foundation and Arizona State University hosted the 2nd annual Higher Education Summit in Tempe, AZ. Over 600 higher ed users (more than double prior year's turnout) attended. Pepperdine University was well represented with a total of 19 employees in attendance. Here are some of their takeaways.

David Dickens (SOL)

"Meeting with so many professionals launching the Salesforce platform for their institutions provided the best opportunity yet to get answers to important questions and to learn new questions we hadn't thought to ask!"

Shimeka Bruton (Graziadio)

"I enjoyed the Salesforce conference. I found Dr. Mark Milliron’s presentation very inspirational, and I thought ASU’s panel discussion about their Salesforce implementation experience was very informative."

Matt Ebeling (Seaver)

"It opened my eyes to the valuable network of other university administrators out there who are either (A) already using Salesforce with success or (B) who are, like us, in the throes of implementation.  I think these relationships and their own Salesforce experiences, if taken advantage of, will be an invaluable resource for our decision making processes. Also, after seeing first-hand how multiple Salesforce-compatible apps could instantly and dramatically improve our CRM efficiencies in Alumni Affairs, I left feeling very encouraged and energized for what I hope is the near future of CRM at Pepperdine."

Sheryl Covey (SPP)

"CRM can become an essential tool for managing student retention and satisfaction through learning support, course placement, and advising models with the right implementation partner and internal champions. CRM can equip, empower, and engage our students."

Phil Bohl (SOL)

"I am so glad I attended the Salesforce Higher Education conference.  In addition to making some valuable contacts, I learned a great deal more about how Salesforce can be an incredibly powerful foundation for a communications hub for current students as well as employees (a key need at SOL) in addition to being a powerful tool for recruiting and alumni."

Robin Doty (Graziadio)

"Thank you, and Novita, for the very lovely dinner!! It was a great team builder too :) I enjoyed the conference and learned about some new apps to look into, as well as some ideas about how to enhance alumni and student engagement. I hope to make it to Dreamforce and I look forward to our Salesforce implementation :)"

Jonathan See (IT)

"Mark Milliron reminds us that our higher ed purpose and focus should be to help the student succeed and cross the graduation platform. As an institution, Pepperdine University schools, divisions, and departments must work hand-in-hand to make this happen."

Jane Tado (Graziadio)

"The keynote speakers were amazing!  I received a lot of inspiration for when we have launched with Salesforce/TargetX.  It appears the conference is in the early stages, so the workshops were a little generic.  Unfortunately, the insight from the speakers were a little limited since none had been in the system for a significant amount of time.  However, the key takeaway that I received from the workshops is the importance of strategic planning and organization."

Ashish Regmi (GSEP)

"There seems to be a collective understanding among all types of higher education institutions that CRM needs be an integral part of their business processes in today’s challenging environment. Salesforce is definitely a prominent player in this arena. The other institutions that have implemented Salesforce presented a recurring theme that implementing CRM is not an easy process and considerable amount of time needs to be spent on planning the implementation in order to get the desired results. I think Pepperdine has a lot of work ahead to make our implementation a success. I hope that we can reach that goal with the help of our collective efforts."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Engaging Waves Initiative - First Quarter Report

June 11, 2014

Dear Pepperdine CRM Community,

Since its official March 1, 2014 launch, our Engaging Waves Initiative has been progressing well. Though we are still at the early stages of implementation, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of our colleagues from Graziadio, GSEP, Seaver, SOL, SPP, Advancement, Public Affairs and Integrated Marketing Communications. Their respective efforts and collaborative spirit are contributing greatly to the overall success of the initiative.

In this blog post, I would like to provide a first quarter report to the Pepperdine CRM community. Forewarning: This report is a little lengthy as we’ve done quite a few things since implementation started. So, sit back and enjoy the read with a cup of coffee.

For the past three months, my CRM project team and I have been working closely with the Graziadio and GSEP teams to integrate their recruitment processes in Salesforce. While some time was spent on discussing common and unique business requirements, this process has allowed the two graduate schools and IT to examine our current ways of doing business and look at ways where we can streamline and improve. This process continues and I am pleased to share that our conversations and collaborative efforts have been hugely rewarding.

Go-Live Date for Graziadio and GSEP
In order to get the Institution’s Salesforce CRM platform much closer to production ready and to accommodate critical recruiting schedules, the Graziadio/GSEP/IT implementation group, with agreement from Seaver Admission, decided to move the go-live date to September 22. Prior to go-live, our business partner TargetX will be on site providing the necessary user training to our Graziadio and GSEP colleagues. TargetX, as well as IT, will also be available to provide user support during and after the September 22 go-live to ensure a smooth and positive adoption experience. Both Graziadio and GSEP’s current contract with Hobsons will remain in effect for 6 months to a year; allowing for sufficient overlap as we migrate to TargetX.

Shared Systems Administration Structure
In May, the implementation group discussed security and systems administration access. While it is very critical to maintain data and system integrity, it is equally critical to provide business units the necessary agility to conduct their business without any delays or bottlenecks. Instead of enforcing a strict system control, IT - upon consultation with the Office of Auditing Services on system controls - developed a shared systems administration structure (a hybrid approach) in which each school or major area designates one individual to serve as its local administrator. The local administrator will go through formal Salesforce training and be expected to remain proficient with future updates.

This local administrator will also work closely with IT to maintain the Salesforce CRM platform in the most effective, efficient and secure manner possible. This hybrid structure is designed in such a way that affords users the agility to conduct their school’s business while setting in place the proper collaboration and foundation for data and system integrity. The hybrid structure promotes co-ownership of Pepperdine's Salesforce Platform and allows for the schools to continue performing their business activities by leveraging IT as a backup resource.

Integration with PeopleSoft Student Administration System
IT’s CRM and Enterprise Information Systems teams continue to work closely to integrate Salesforce and PeopleSoft. For the Graziadio and GSEP implementations, the CRM team looks to export applicant information out of PeopleSoft for import into Salesforce. This includes contact, bio-demo and application related non-restricted information. In the near term, the data will flow one-way, which will help maintain data integrity for PeopleSoft until more thorough analysis can be done on potential impacts of a bi-directional feed and programming can be done to ensure data integrity in our PeopleSoft system of record.

By incorporating PeopleSoft applicant information daily, the marketing and recruitment teams can more easily communicate with prospects and applicants through automated reminder emails and targeted phone calls encouraging the applicant through the process.

This integration between Salesforce and PeopleSoft is as critical as maintaining data and system integrity. The IT teams will continue to investigate ways to have a tight and secure integration between our PeopleSoft system of record and Salesforce system of engagement such that information may be updated in Salesforce and automatically (and securely) updated in PeopleSoft. We will keep the community posted on our efforts.

Constituent Engagement Through Common Database
Though our Salesforce Platform is designed to sit on one common database, each school and major area will be able to engage its own constituents based on the constituent’s affiliation and interest. This is handled through access flags, in general. To illustrate how these access flags work, here’s an example.

Say that I am a current Seaver College student and will be graduating soon. In my contact record, the Seaver access flag is checked because I am currently a Seaver student. My Pepperdine experience has been great and I want to continue with Pepperdine for my graduate education. I am interested in getting a law degree and have reached out to inquire about Pepperdine's law programs. Because of my inquiry, School of Law (SOL) checked the Law access flag in my contact record. In this example, both Seaver and SOL can now actively engage me because of my affiliation and interest while the Institution maintains only one contact record (versus two) of me that enables a 360-degree view of my Pepperdine experience and interest. In this particular example, other schools outside of Seaver and SOL will not be able to engage me until I express interest in them.

Unified Marketing App Evaluation
After several months, IT, in partnership with Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and various colleagues across the University, concluded our review of potential unified marketing apps for our Salesforce Platform. Specifically, we evaluated three potential solutions: TargetX's integrated marketing module, ExactTarget and Marketo. Through a brief survey that IMC will soon conduct, we will gather feedback from the reviewers and make a recommendation to the CRM user community. The strategic plan is to have all Pepperdine schools and other major areas use one unified marketing app across the Salesforce Platform.

During the evaluation, we also reviewed Radian6 as a social media listening tool. Based on my conversations with a few of you, there appears to be an across-the-board interest in its adoption. We will gather feedback on Radian6 as well in the IMC survey.

My project team has begun inquiring about pricing for the various solutions and once a unified marketing app is selected, IMC and IT will start laying out an FY15 implementation schedule to present to the user community.

Community Portal
As evidenced by IT’s annual TechQual+ survey, there is a sense of confusion among our users on where to find pertinent University information. Today, Pepperdine has Community, WaveNet and its main institutional website. In addition, Graziadio has GLEAN. And there may be others. Each of these portals and websites contains and provides certain useful information but it is not readily clear to the user what information is stored where.

As Salesforce CRM is being implemented across the University, the topic of a community portal is reintroduced. SOL has expressed a need for such a portal to engage its current students at a personal level while offering transactional capabilities. Other schools and major areas have expressed a similar need.

This is a business need that IMC and IT are presently discussing. A roadmap and strategy is currently being developed and it will be shared soon.

Donor Management Solution
Efforts to identify a donor management solution to sit on our Salesforce Platform continue. While there are only a few viable options in the Salesforce marketplace today, our colleagues in Advancement, Alumni Affairs and other major areas have reviewed Affinaquest and roundCause. Between the two donor management solutions, roundCause appears to have a broader feature set that may meet our business requirements. My Advancement colleagues and I will continue to investigate roundCause.

During the recent June 5-6 Salesforce Foundation Higher Education Summit in Tempe, Arizona, I joined Matt Ebeling, Michael Sprague, and Robin Doty in a roundCause presentation. The presentation was quite insightful. For next steps, I propose that we invite roundCause to come onto campus to do a more in-depth demo of its solution to senior vice president Keith Hinkle and his team.

The current plan is to identify a donor management solution by the end of FY14, develop an implementation strategy that includes data cleansing in FY15, and commence implementation in FY16.

CRM Governance
In early April, an ad-hoc group (representing all schools and major areas) convened to begin discussions on proper governance for the use of CRM at Pepperdine. While there are many topics to cover, we have so far touched on these three: (1) Formation of CRM Governance Oversight Committee; (2) Protocol for Approving New Projects, Enhancements and Bug Fixes; and (3) Protocol for Engaging Constituents in a Common Database.

The formation of a CRM Governance Oversight Committee is of great importance. This oversight committee will comprise of members from all five schools and key major areas. Once formed, the committee will own the University’s CRM vision and strategy, and guide the institution’s CRM program.

More information will be shared with the Pepperdine CRM community in the near future.

New CRM Administration and Support Team
The formation of the CRM administration and support team is underway. Novita Rogers was recently promoted to senior director and is now overseeing both Business Intelligence and CRM for the University. Once formed, the new team will report to Novita and serve as the central support for our CRM user community. Two position openings are presently posted and advertised on Pepperdine’s job website. We have received several applications and will be conducting interviews soon.

What's Next?
As the project team continues to focus on Graziadio and GSEP’s implementations through the September 22 go-live date, I will soon begin reaching out to the other schools and major areas to discuss their implementation schedules and any pre-implementation work that each group should start working on (e.g. documenting current business processes and data cleansing [if any]).

For information on the overall project timeline, please visit http://community.pepperdine.edu/crm/about/timeline/.

For optimal results and to provide Graziadio and GSEP with the support upon go-live, I am planning for the next implementation to commence no earlier than this November after the annual Salesforce Dreamforce conference. For those new to Salesforce, I encourage your Dreamforce attendance as you’ll be able to see the many features of Salesforce CRM and the opportunities the solution delivers. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage with other higher ed colleagues, exchanging ideas and learning from their Salesforce implementation and adoption.

I welcome any questions you may have. Thanks and please feel free to share this post with your fellow colleagues as appropriate.


Jonathan See
Chief Information Officer
Pepperdine University

Monday, April 14, 2014

Delivering Exceptional Student Service: Webinar from the Salesforce Foundation

Saw this and thought it worth sharing.


Educational institutions are being challenged to become more flexible, responsive, efficient, and focused on serving students' needs. Join us to learn how Wayne State University developed a Student Service Center where phone calls, emails, and walk-in visits from prospective and current students are aggregated at a central location, enhancing recruitment and retention by providing service that is responsive and accountable. Delivering superior customer service every day also requires strong business processes and continuous improvement practices to be effective. Wayne State will share how they leverage ERP data while listening to students, provide prompt responses and solve problems to improve the student experience. 

Who Should Attend: 

Student Services
Support Services
Student Affairs
Information Technology Professionals



Nicole Brandenburg,
Associate Director of Campaigns for Salesforce CRM, Wayne State University

Ann Elinski,
Assistant Director of the Student Service Center, Wayne State University

Adam Lincoln,
Lead Systems Integrator, Wayne State University

We Know SPoF Exists. So What Do We Do About It?

Common Application is the college application processing system used by over 500 colleges and universities, including our Seaver Admissions Office at Pepperdine University. Throughout the last half of 2013, Common App appeared in many news channels because of the seemingly-endless systematic issues the organization faced after launching a new system without first thoroughly testing it. These systematic issues, unfortunately, gave our prospective undergraduate students and their parents much anxiety and frustration.

While Common App's problems were not caused by Pepperdine or any of the 500+ members, appearance-wise from the prospective students and their parents' point of view, Pepperdine's application processing system failed.

Needless to say, this is hardly the first impression we want to give to any of our prospective students and their parents.

On April 11, Inside Higher Ed published an article titled "Fixing the Common App."

The postmortem-like article touches on a topic that all CIOs have in their list of things that keep them up at night and a situation which all organizations dread the most ... "A Single Point of Failure."

When Common App was experiencing its systematic issues, there was no other way - except of course paper submission - for the prospective student to submit an application to Seaver College. There was no redundancy and there was not an Option B. Nothing.

Business continuity is essential for any organization wishing to stay in business. Common App's systematic issues can sadly happen again and this type of application processing system failure can also easily happen to other Pepperdine schools. As we implement Salesforce CRM across the University, we need to address this single point of failure and put into place an Option B. We need to do the same for any other single points of failure that we become aware of.

Note that single points of failure are not limited to technology. Single points of failure can also happen when it comes to people and processes. As +Juan Mena shared in his March 31 blog post titled "People, Process, and Technology" (http://engagingwavesblog.pepperdine.edu/2014/03/people-process-and-technology.html), these three components must work in great synergy to achieve optimal results. When only one person handles a particular function, that is a single point of failure. When there isn't an alternative way to perform a business function, that too is a single point of failure.

As we implement Salesforce CRM across Pepperdine, let's make sure we identify and diligently address each SPoF. Not addressing it is not an option and will prove to be costly down the road.

Monday, March 31, 2014

People, Process, and Technology

"In order to successfully implement change, both line managers and IT specialists must give up their beliefs in the magical power of IT.  The hard reality of IT-enabled transformation is that change is everyone’s job."

Technological determinism has been defined as the idea that technological development determines social change. Within our organization, the same is true when we mistakenly believe that the introduction of a new technology will single-handedly enable process improvement and user adoption. Therefore, it is important that we not only focus on the new technology, but also the people and processes driving it.


The people component is the most challenging given the sensitivity of users to change. CRM systems, which support the automation and integration of customer processes, often imply changes in the way users do their day-to-day jobs. It then becomes imperative that users understand why change is happening, and how the change will influence their day-to-day responsibilities. Otherwise, the user will be adverse to those changes and less likely to adopt a new technology.


If employees don’t know the context in which they work, they will be prone to making decisions that aren't in the best interest of the entire process.  It's important that users understand the process from the inside out and the significance of their individual contributions. For instance, I recently had some back and forth support calls with Time Warner Cable regarding issues with my service. Each time I had a different customer service representative, and each time they knew the exact details of my previous conversation. If the employees (people) did not follow through with logging the details of each call, it would have created inefficiencies in the process, wherein I would have had to repeat all previously provided information.


Technology is the least complex of the three; any organization can implement a CRM solution. The competitive advantage is derived from the people and processes behind the technology. How we ultimately decide to leverage Salesforce to innovate our processes is what will differentiate us from our competitors.  As I mentioned previously, understanding the process from the inside out is important. Unless you have a clear understanding of your business process, it will remain unclear which specific tasks in the process can be improved through the use of technology.

I like the People, Process, and Technology perspective because it reminds us that technology alone is not the key to successful IT-enabled transformation. Rather, it is the people leveraging technology to innovate business processes. We must keep these three areas at the forefront of our minds anytime a new technology is adopted.  Most importantly, always remember, change is everyone's job.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Social Media. Is it the BEST idea?

Today I read an article in LinkedIn by NY Times best-selling author Joel Comm entitled "I AM LEAVING SOCIAL MEDIA".

This article is all about how Joel, an early advocate for the use of social media to promote business (even writing Twitter Power, the world's most popular book on the topic) decides to drop his use of social media entirely.

I found this attitude particularly interesting in light of our CRM implementation with a significant focus placed upon gleaning information from social media to improve and sharpen our communications with our various constituent groups.

His reasons are understandable; the social media space is owned by huge organizations that only exist to exploit their users' data, the signal to noise ratio is heavy on noise and is going the wrong direction, simple etiquette is now lost in these venues, information overshare is dangerous and too common, being a social media expert now means nothing, and finally, this entire market segment is now just a spam billboard.

He ends the article by saying, he's now changed his mind.  He can't quite.  He's addicted and it really isn't that bad anyway.

This makes me think that regardless of what people feel about social media, it will continue to be a force for some time for the same reason that Joel gives.  He just can't stop.  I am afraid that may not be the best reason but I think it's a real one.  I can personally go for months without logging into Facebook but I am still popping into LinkedIn several times a week.  I contribute to a departmental blog that we maintain for our user community here at SOL and I probably spend more time than I think on blog sites as well as Houzz and Pinterest looking for information on kitchen remodeling (the current topic of interest at the Bohl household).


All that said.  If we as an institution (or just as individuals) are going to play in this space (Social Media), we all need to make sure that we are not the spammers or any other less than excellent form of content.  On our departmental site, we endeavor to present helpful, relevant, and timely info to provide our user community with the best information we have available that will actually contribute value to their lives.

This isn't a new idea but I want to say that as consumers of data drawn from social media, let's make sure ... dang sure, that we're also responsible citizens in fostering the positive aspects of social media by using good manners and providing good content.


Monday, March 17, 2014

CRM Elevator Speech

How would you communicate the value and benefits of CRM at Pepperdine University, and how are you (and your colleagues) contributing to it? Oh, you have to do so in less than 30 seconds. This question makes you pause and think a bit, doesn't it?

Depending on your role at the University, our answers will likely differ. If you are a recruiter, your answer may include an emphasis on attracting excellent students and how you're using business process automation in CRM to quickly respond to and meet the prospect's needs.

If you are in student services, your answer may focus on using CRM case management and analytics to promptly address matters, enhance student experience, and increase student retention rates.

If you are an alumni affairs officer, your answer may be on increasing alumni engagement and how you're using social media to enhance the student/alumni networking opportunities.

There is no right or wrong answer because at Pepperdine, each faculty and staff has a direct or indirect touchpoint with the constituent. Each of us contributes something to the overall constituent experience.

The value and benefits of CRM at Pepperdine University are plentiful, some of which are listed in our Position Statement.

So ... My 30-second elevator speech will read something like this - "Whatever we do at Pepperdine, it's all for the end user experience. CRM enhances our ability to build relationships and loyalty with our constituents from beginning to forever. As a division, IT contributes to this effort by making sure our users can readily and safely access campus technologies and we use technologies to automate business processes so that other departments can focus less on manual tasks and more on better serving our constituents."

What's your version of an elevator speech? Give it a try. Use the Comment section below to share your version. Again, there's no right or wrong answer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Understanding the true life-cycle of a customer

Pepperdine's CRM initiative is an important step toward improved customer experiences.

A contact in a database (and how they are managed across the enterprise) is something to be handled with care. This is both a challenge and a goal for Pepperdine's CRM initiative. Carefully managing the customer is more important than the tool utilized.

As we look to the remarkable use of technology and data collection capabilities, I had an observation on Pepperdine's evolution of our Constituent Relationship Management.

Consider for a moment our current status, call it CRM 1.0

The University has multiple tools already in place; such as Hobsons, Raiser's Edge, Cvent, Target X, Peoplesoft, among others; all systems of data collection and relationship management in some form. The University in some respects, is already conducting relationship management (CRM 1.0) for Pepperdine.

Pepperdine's CRM initiative is an important step that will move the University to a more unified model: CRM 2.0

Salesforce and associated tools in consideration; Radian 6, Chatter, Target X, Exact Target, Marketo or others will be CRM 2.0 for Pepperdine University. That is to say, this will be a fantastic move to unify the multiple lead capture systems across the enterprise into one master database with one sole unique identifier. The identifier will be critical in providing a full understanding of our brand aware audiences and how we can best communicate with them. What this phase will not do, is deliver a seamless customer experience from the information of that master database alone. In fact, the true seamless customer experience has touch points often outside of a CRM database. Therefore to assure a pleasing experience throughout the user journey is on us, the brand advocates.

When fully realized, CRM 2.0 will lay the foundation for our next step; CRM 3.0

For Pepperdine to move toward that seamless process, there will need to be data democracy, whereas key administrators of a true CRM system are utilizing the data as evangelists for the user experience. This end-to-end communication over the life-cycle of the entire relationship Pepeprdine has with a constituent will be the ultimate goal and produce the greatest long-term results. Not just for Pepperdine, but more importantly for the customer interested in engaging with the Pepperdine brand and what it stands for.

Roadmap Considerations: We can get there from here.

There are many tools and methodologies to achieve such results, one in particular I am a proponent of, is the creation of Service Blueprints for Pepperdine's primary User Personas. The Service Blueprint approach will lay the foundation for this end-to-end customer experience journey.

Finally, the success metrics which we look at must be clearly defined and may include; increased quality applicants, greater brand awareness and brand perception, improved end user experience, increased alumni relationship engagement, wider reach, higher valued donor relations, among others.

Pepperdine University is in a specific Higher Ed market niche with unique differentiators, and when communicated regularly and effectively to the constituents within the core target demographics, the University has the potential to fully extend the reach and depth of it's brand.

Delighting the constituent across all touch points will create the long-term positive relationship we seek.

John Ayers

Salesforce Foundation Higher Education Summit 2014 (Announcement)

On June 5 & 6, Salesforce Foundation and Arizona State University are co-hosting the 2nd annual Higher Education Summit in Tempe, AZ. Please click the link below for more information about the day and a half long event.

If you are interested in attending, Information Technology is pleased to cover each Pepperdine participant's registration fee ($55). This will be a great first opportunity and introduction to Salesforce CRM.

Questions? Contact Jonathan See at 310.506.6256 or via email at jonathan.see@pepperdine.edu.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pepperdine's Salesforce CRM Architecture

This is a simplified illustration of the Salesforce CRM architecture for Pepperdine's Engaging Waves Initiative.

Take these three steps to download the PowerPoint slide show:
1. CLICK HERE and you will be redirected to Google Drive.
2. In Google Drive, click File | Download to "download" the PowerPoint slide show to your computer desktop.
3. From your computer desktop, double click the *.pps file to play the slide show.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ultimately, What Counts is the Customer's Perspective

Have you ever experienced a time when you placed an order with a company through the company's website and when you call the 1-800 customer support number to follow up on your order, you learn that they do not have any record of your order? The agent puts you on hold for a while to search for your order, reconnects with you only to apologize that he could not assist because another department is responsible. He then forwards your call to the other department. The second agent politely answers your call and greets you. She then ask you the very same seven or so questions as did the first agent. It turns out the second agent could not assist either and had to transfer your call yet to another department. The run-around seems to continue endlessly.

Frustrating, isn't it? This actually happened to me a few years ago and till today, I still remember the experience very clearly as if it happened just yesterday.

Your organization may be structured based on key departments but ultimately, what counts is the customer's perspective of your organization as a whole. To the customer, your organizational structure is less important than the specific outcomes they want to achieve.

Customers are unconcerned about how a service is delivered and instead are only interested in having their needs met (promptly I might add). Your organization may have multiple departments but the customer is only dealing with one organization. It is therefore critical that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing in order to deliver optimal customer experience.

At Pepperdine University as we implement Salesforce CRM, let's step outside and put ourselves in the constituent's shoes for a moment. Acting as the constituent, now turn around and look back into our institution. What do you see? Knowing how we do what we do today, do you see any gaps that may potentially lead to a poor experience? These gaps may exist within a school or it may exist across the institution. What would you do to close these gaps so that our constituents experience the Pepperdine Waves experience that they so deserve?

Let's identify and align key customer-facing processes and the roles needed to support them. As processes are redesigned to be more constituent-centric, let's also ensure that the necessary organizational collaboration is in place to support the cross-departmental processes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

CRM Success Goes Beyond Simple Technology Installation

Success of a CRM initiative is not measured based on how well the CRM technology is installed. In fact, the CRM technology can be installed correctly from beginning to end, and it can still be considered a failure.

Across any organization, you will find at least one customer touchpoint in each business unit and each touchpoint is an opportunity for the organization to further develop and nurture the relationship with its customer. It is therefore imperative for the organization to operate as a single entity with a unified collaborative effort across all business units.

According to Gartner (G00247644), a sound CRM strategy requires that organizations align its structure and resources with customer intent. Installing a CRM solution does not automatically make the organization customer-centric. Organizational collaboration and change management have a direct impact on the success of the CRM initiative. A CRM solution is only as powerful as the process used and as effective as the collaborative illustrated behaviors of those who use it. Without enhancing effective processes and workflow management internally, a CRM solution will only reflect inefficiencies and lack of organizational collaboration.

At Pepperdine University, the Engaging Waves Initiative offers us a clean-white-slate opportunity to redesign our business processes so that as campus collaborators, we can provide the optimum Pepperdine experience to our constituents. Let's together take advantage of this opportunity.

Is your current business process providing optimum customer service? With a clean white slate, how would you redesign it?

Friday, February 21, 2014

TargetX-Recruitment Demo Recording

The February 20, 2014 TargetX-Recruitment demo and open session recordings are now available. Click on "Events" to access the video files.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Voice of Customer

In any CRM initiative, the customer experience is a very critical component and each touchpoint with a customer adds to the overall customer experience. The following is an excerpt from a Gartner article (G00277665):

With each encounter, customers draw positive, negative or indifferent conclusions, whether from their personal encounters with the organization's employees or with their usage of the organization's customer-facing technologies. The customer experience, often ignored or overlooked in CRM initiatives, can no longer be avoided if a company wishes to be competitive and maintain the quality of its brand. Managing these experiences has become imperative. As the customer experience improves, customers become more satisfied and loyal, which improves customer retention, increases sales and reduces marketing cost.

At Pepperdine University, we pride ourselves in the relationships that we build and maintain. Our CRM initiative, titled "Engaging Waves," needs to be designed with our constituents at the center of all we do across the constituent's life cycle. The article further shares that:

A poor experience will affect customer satisfaction and loyalty negatively. Worse yet, it could damage a brand. The growth of consumer usage of social and mobile channels, along with the rapidly growing practice of using external communities to get recommendations of companies, products and services, enables customers to magnify and possibly distort their dissatisfaction. The ability for an unhappy customer to amplify a negative experience online to the world has exponentially elevated the importance of a positive experience for every customer encounter.

It has become imperative for us to listen to and capture the voice of our customers so that we can tailor and coordinate our services to meet their needs. To build brand and loyalty with Pepperdine constituents, our relationships with them must start from the beginning and continue through the life cycle. As one institution, our efforts need to be very well coordinated and executed so as to deliver optimum results and customer experience.

Improved Campus Experience = Improved Satisfaction = Improved Institution and Student Success

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Understand the Purpose for the CRM Initiative

For every project and initiative, there's an underlying purpose. Understand our purpose for the CRM initiative by reading the Position Statement.

Join the Conversation

Join your Pepperdine colleagues in the important CRM conversation by subscribing to the ENTERPRISECRM listserv. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to https://listserv.pepperdine.edu.
  2. Click on ENTERPRISECRM from the list.
  3. Click "Subscribe or Unsubscribe" on the right hand side.
  4. Enter your full name and email address.
  5. Finally ... click the "Subscribe (ENTERPRISECRM)" button.