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

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