Customer Q & A: University of Miami

Customer Q & A: University of Miami

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.

This week’s guests are Debbie Duran and Florence Parodi of the University of Miami, as well as Kaleb Anderson from SI Partner Sierra-Cedar.

How did you find out about Jitterbit and Sierra Cedar and what were some of the reasons you chose it as your integration solution?

[Debbie] We use Jitterbit to integrate Salesforce (system of engagement) and PeopleSoft (system of student record). We looked at doing this internally, but realized we did not have the resources to develop this skills set in the time needed for go-live. Sierra-Cedar was onsite as part of our PeopleSoft project when we found out they also had Salesforce resources. We engaged with them as our consultants to help us get up to speed. Wherever possible, our leadership opts to invest in software to support our business rather than rebuilding existing technology. We aim to use technology to its fullest potential, and instead use our resources to manage change.

When we brought in Sierra-Cedar, we needed our integration completed within a few weeks. We looked at several solutions and assessed functionality and cost. Jitterbit was the clear leader for us in both of these areas.

[Kaleb] To add, we looked at Informatica Cloud, Jitterbit, and a few others. We could not justify the investment of a costly solution that didn’t meet our needs. The fact that Jitterbit was up front on the pricing for not-for-profits made it really attractive for the University of Miami. Jitterbit was also a solution that business analysts could continue to use and maintain.

[Florence] When we were making our decision of using Jitterbit as our integration partner, we were also presented with the option of being a beta Harmony customer. The option of using a cloud agent for integration rather than an on premise one was in line with the direction of IT. The cloud agent retrieves the data from a secure shared drive at our institution, and the cloud agent is doing the processing.

[Kaleb] It took us a couple of months to choose Jitterbit. For a period of time during the decision-making process, we were using Jitterbit’s AppExchange product, the free Salesforce Cloud Data Loader. That tool allowed us to verify that Jitterbit could serve the needs of the University, while at the same time considering the option of the not-yet GA Jitterbit Harmony. Moving data-loading operations built in Jitterbit Cloud Data Loader to Harmony was straightforward and allowed us to keep all of the design work that had been put into mapping and transformations. From the time we chose Jitterbit Harmony to the time we tied our operations together, we managed front to back integration in just a few days. When questions came up around migrating Jitterpaks to the new Harmony environment and writing more complex scripts that aren’t available in the free version, Jitterbit support really set itself apart from the competitors.

[Florence] That’s right, the tool has met and exceeded our needs. There have been projects where files have needed to be extracted and the response from Jitterbit has been extraordinary. We were never rushed through the calls. Jitterbit helped us with no limitations on time.

How do you currently use Jitterbit?

[Debbie] In 2012, our University of Miami IT (UMIT) leadership decided to put a Cloud-first initiative in place. We wanted to move away from an existing legacy mainframe system that we were using to support not only students but our internal financial functions, too. So we started to look into investing in ERP Solutions. We went with PeopleSoft for our student transactions, and Workday for HR and Finance.

As part of the transformation on campus, one of the major functions that was not robustly built in either platform was recruitment. We selected Salesforce as our CRM, for engagement across our 11 schools and colleges. Previously, recruitment and the student lifecycle were in the same system but with the split came a need for integration. Without it, we found that we would still communicate the wrong messages to prospective applicants after they’d already sent in their paperwork. We needed to stop the application communications and begin the yield communications once they had already applied to the University. There was a need to not only integrate, but to make sure it was successful before the kickoff of the new admission cycle in 2014.

From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped you?

[Florence] Using Jitterbit is a key part of the way we personalize our communication with the students. The integration keeps Salesforce updated with PeopleSoft data so that we do not send messages telling prospective students to apply after they have completed an application. As a university in this time and age, it is important to be as perceptive to our potential students as possible. We needed to get away from the times where prospective students would call the admissions office in a panic, thinking their application hadn’t gone through.

We also needed to move away from decentralized technology (we had CSVs, Excel spreadsheets, and Access databases), to providing an enterprise solution used for all our graduate and undergraduate recruitment which made use of the same data source. The one integration streamlines and monitors the process to make sure it’s accurate. The information is now staying in sync and can be seen in real-time, even when recruiters are off-site.

Jitterbit has helped make our message clear and accurate as they move through the application funnel, and has contributed to the on-going success of making our class.

Thanks Debbie, Florence & Kaleb!

Do you have a customer success story you would like to share?  Drop us a line at customersuccess [at] or @jitterbit on Twitter.