Regent University Realizes Fast Lead Follow-Up
Easy to deploy and use, real-time data, better prospect experiences
Regent University had a goal to grow the university's enrollment. That meant that the admissions office and IT had to prepare for an increased marketing effort and infrastructure for interacting with a greater number of prospects.
"We knew our admissions staff was going to be responding to more inbound inquiries from prospective students, so we needed to enable our admissions counselors to work more efficiently," explains John Reddy, director of web development. "We are among the fastest growing universities in the country, and we want to keep that momentum going."
To accelerate recruiting efforts, the university decided to deploy Ellucian CRM Recruit, which runs on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and is designed especially for higher education recruitment. Ellucian would allow admissions counselors to personalize their communication with prospective students and follow up on leads generated through the website and pay-per-click and pay-per-lead marketing campaigns.
But Ellucian didn't offer a fast way to import the leads from the Oracle database, rekeying the information manually would have required additional resources, and running a batch process to move the data once per hour would have hurt conversion rates. Converting a prospective student into an applicant is dependent on how fast the admissions counselors can respond to an inquiry. The university strives to reach out by phone within just a few minutes of receiving an inquiry, which means leads need to flow into the Ellucian system as fast as possible.
To ensure fast follow up, Regent therefore needed an integration solution that could connect Ellucian CRM Recruit to the Oracle database and execute data exchanges in real time. "We needed real-time data synchronization because it's best to contact prospective students right after they submit an inquiry," Reddy says. "That's the key moment when they are most interested in hearing what we have to offer; we can't let that opportunity slip by."
After conducting research of possible integration solutions, Regent University identified three possible candidates. These included Jitterbit, MuvData, and TIBCO Cloud™ Integration.
"We reviewed quotes from all three companies, but TIBCO Cloud Integration set itself apart by demonstrating how it is the easiest to implement and the most reliable in executing real-time data exchanges," says Reddy. "We created a test account and set up the data integration without any training."
Easy to Deploy and Use
Given that the IT team was in a time-crunch to deploy Ellucian CRM Recruit quickly to help maintain and accelerate recruitment efforts, ease-of-deployment and ease-of-use were critical factors. Because Microsoft Dynamics and the underlying Microsoft SQL database were new to the IT team, using TIBCO Cloud Integration to see the entities and Microsoft fields proved helpful in picking up the nuances of those technologies.
Real-Time Data Accessibility
The new workflow process—with TIBCO Cloud Integration transferring data from the Oracle database to Ellucian CRM Recruit in real time—is effective. Because the integration matched the established business process, the recruitment staff was able to use the new system without any interruption. And should a data-transfer error occur, TIBCO Cloud Integration immediately pinpoints the issue so Reddy and his team can resolve it before end-users are impacted.
Regent can also use TIBCO Cloud Integration for on-demand situations, such as running a mass update in Ellucian CRM Recruit. "Our entire team is very impressed with how well TIBCO Cloud Integration works," Reddy says. "It does everything we need in relation to transferring data in real time from the Oracle database into Ellucian CRM Recruit."
Better Prospect Experiences
"In addition to creating better experiences for prospects as they interact with our admissions counselors, we have also enhanced our internal efficiencies in the way we process prospect data,” Reddy says. When a prospective student submits a web form, the combined technologies also help provide outreach for recruitment events.
"Most importantly, we can continue our mission of immediately calling prospects back, which contributes to our overall effort of continuing to increase our enrollments."