Customer Q & A: INTO University Partnerships
The ongoing Customer Q & A blog series highlights a wide range of Jitterbit customers to find out what business needs drove their integration requirements and why they made Jitterbit their integration solution of choice.
In this week’s hot seat is J’aime Moore, Assistant Director North America Systems at INTO University Partnerships.
How did you find out about Jitterbit and what were some of the reasons you chose it as your integration solution?
INTO University Partnerships is a global education partnering organization headquartered in the UK. We form long term, joint ventures with Universities in the US, UK and Asia to bring international students into these universities
We use salesforce.com and wanted to connect that with the common ERP system that universities use – Banner ERP. Early in 2013, we discovered the Jitterbit Data Loader to help us migrate data in and out of Salesforce. It was a great tool…and free. When we needed additional functionality, one of my colleagues recommended looking at Jitterbit’s commercial product.
We confirmed Jitterbit was the right choice by evaluating two other products. Oracle BPM and IBM Cast Iron. Oracle’s product was overkill for what we needed. Jitterbit made it much simpler to do the integrations than BPM did. Also, you definitely need to understand a lot more in regards to the Oracle world before going the BPM route. The IBM solution simply came in too complex and extremely pricey.
How do you currently use Jitterbit?
We use Jitterbit to help us connect Salesforce and Banner ERP. We use Salesforce to track our students and manage the study plans and course assignments effectively. Banner is a system basically used by the majority of universities in the US. But every Banner system is a little bit different to another.
We needed an integration platform to take the student data from their university application and feed it over to the Banner systems individually. We didn’t want to have to custom code it and rely on tools like C++ or PHP or any other heavy programming. With Jitterbit, we can build out a standard integration process going back and forth between Salesforce and Banner. It really hits the nail on the head.
The integration process requires Salesforce to Salesforce, Salesforce to SQL, and Salesforce XML or CSV files. In a lot of cases we are able to just drop an XML or CSV (flat file) file so our university partners can pick them up in Banner and vice versa. Simply put, we take the student related university application data out of Salesforce, drop it off to an FTP. The university, picks up the flat file spec and puts it into Banner.
Once we send the file to the university, they process the file and then give a successful completion or successful confirmation, saying either “yes, the file was processed with no issues, no concerns” or they actually come back with an error file. We pick up either one of those files and we input that information into Salesforce.
At one point in time there would have been an exception report that would go out and generate a task to somebody and they would have to go through and click all the check boxes. Instead now we work with the business, we understand their needs, we understand their logic, we flow it all out and then we figure out how we can make this a Jitterbit process. This saves us manual work and is very efficient.
From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped you?
In some cases, where universities don’t have approvals to complete the integration on their side, we build it half way and the university is responsible for the data on their side. Some universities still have three or four individuals who would then manually key in the information from Salesforce to Banner – costing them in both time and expense. For those who are fully integrated, they are down to just one resource who manages exceptions or any issues that come up. That is a huge cost and time saver for us. More and more universities are starting to see this and are beginning explore how to adapt the integration technology to improve their processes, resulting in a higher adoption of Salesforce in Universities too.
Using Jitterbit, we eliminated over 150 programming hours and realized a return on investment of $100K in just the first year, and fully expect those numbers to grow as we connect more universities.
Do you have a Jitterbit success story you would like to share? Drop us a line at customersuccess [at] jitterbit.com or @jitterbit on Twitter.