When the University of Florida began investigating options for its new university-wide constituent relationship management (CRM) system, it looked across campus to see what already might be in use. Since the Warrington College of Business Administration, the College of Pharmacy and UF Online are currently using a CRM (Salesforce) already, COMPASS had some good implementation models for reference.
UF eventually selected Enrollment Rx’s higher education CRM, which utilizes the Salesforce platform. Brian Karcinski, director of admissions and finance for the College of Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Programs, spearheaded COP’s CRM implementation and now serves as a member of the COMPASS-CRM team. As COMPASS prepares its first release of COMPASS-CRM for freshman prospecting and recruiting in September, Update spoke with Karcinski about this technology and his involvement in the program.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform. By leveraging a multitenancy architecture, Salesforce eliminates the timely and costly issues that come with managing traditional hardware and software. It is used by companies, such as Coca-Cola, Philips, American Express and GE. In recent years, Salesforce has targeted the non-profit and higher education sectors, which has resulted in an increase from 3,000 customers in 2009 to 29,000 in 2015.
How has the College of Pharmacy utilized this CRM platform and when did COP begin using it?
After receiving the directive to eliminate the silos that our online graduate programs operated in, I started to explore CRM systems. The College of Business had been using Salesforce so I met with them to see how they were using it. I quickly realized it was a product that could handle exactly what we were looking for which was to get a 360 degree view of the student life cycle. It was also a system that would be easy to scale for our future plans. When we implemented in fall 2014, we had ten online graduate programs with 500 students using Salesforce. Today we handle the enrollment management of 32 online graduate programs, continuing pharmacy education, and parts of our Pharm.D. program to track 5,000 students annually.
How did you become involved with the COMPASS-CRM effort and what is your role on the team?
Over the years I have worked with many of the stakeholders in the COMPASS program, and they have seen how our use of Salesforce has not only helped the College of Pharmacy but also helped reduce the workload on main offices. After the selection of Salesforce for university-wide usage, I was asked to dedicate part of my effort for the next three years in a consultant role. My job in Pharmacy is heavily focused on leveraging Salesforce to create efficiency in enrollment management so my role with COMPASS is to use my knowledge of the UF systems and rules to help guide how Salesforce can best integrate with the COMPASS mission.
What do you see as the benefits to UF to the COMPASS-CRM implementation? Are there any benefits for students?
There will be a great benefit to staff and students. By providing staff with a leading CRM they will be able to leverage an always current cloud platform to get a 360 degree view of the constituent. A recruiter using the Salesforce mobile app can locate applicants within a 10-mile radius of their current location and send them a text with a couple clicks. An admissions officer who just picked up an applicant’s phone call can easily see every interaction the applicant has had with UF on one screen. Improving the applicant and student experience is a key goal in the COMPASS project and CRM will play a large role in that.
What’s your favorite functionality?
A popular slogan with Salesforce is “Clicks Not Code.” While there is nothing you can’t build on the Salesforce platform with the right amount of money and time, a lot of its core functionality allows those without a coding background to easily replicate the automation and workflows that historically would take weeks of coding. This really empowers staff to understand how the platform works and what it is capable of which we have found leads to everyone always looking to automate and improve our processes.