Traditionally, using Integration for Higher Education has been a complicated subject reserved for the IT department. However, with new, easy to use, no-coding approaches, increasingly the line of business can handle their own integrations. In Higher Education, this approach is immediately desirable, because many institutions have overworked IT departments that do not know the best interests of a particular department.
Every organization must integrate their solutions and this shifting of the primary purchaser of integration solutions allows for a more tailored approach. Often an IT department is too small or focused on other strategic initiatives to take on integrating university systems. Whereas the line of business is focused on running their portion of the business, making them experts on how an integration should run. Common processes we’ve seen in Higher Education include admissions, enrollment, and managing the student body.
Ravi Agarwal, Director of Enterprise Applications at St. Norbert’s College, says they have “made their philosophy these three pillars of Banner[ERP], Salesforce, and Jitterbit”, because previously moving data between Banner and Salesforce was “chaotic”. They need to take care of “the 3 I’s: information, integration, & integrity” and “integration has allowed us to do things we could not do in the past, they were too time consuming; a lot of chaotic processes we created in the past were because we did not have a system like Jitterbit”.
Susanne Ours, Divisional Programmer at Taylor University, works in their Enrollment Management division. Previously, all their information resided in Banner, but as time moved on, their needs changed and Salesforce was purchased. Salesforce is now their recruiting tool, with everyone from Admissions counselors to Athletic recruiters using the system. However, “it became apparent that we needed an integration tool to help manage the numerous processes that needed to take place each day. I am not an IT person and am self-taught. So I just needed something simple to use with a robust scheduler.” Now “As we develop marketing plans or adjust how we do things, we are able to respond to those changes easily. We have complete control over how the data is extracted, manipulated and loaded”.
Doug Bennett, Director of Admissions Operations at Berklee College of Music ran into problems trying to manage student enrollment information between Salesforce, Colleague, and their legacy Postgres database. There were also concerns around SAS70 compliance when integrating these apps, something Jitterbit is compliant with. Through easy integration, student enrollment and management is now much faster and easier to administer because data resides where it is most usable by administrators.
Clearly integration is no longer just for the IT department, gains in efficiency and ease of use are there for any line of business to take advantage of. Whether that means admissions, enrollment, or managing the student body, institutions of Higher Education are making sure their data works for them.
If you’d like to learn more, please give us a call! We will also be attending the Higher Education Summit 2015 in Miami, put on by the Salesforce Foundation and University of Miami, both customers of ours. This will be an exciting day and a half long journey into how to become a connected campus, we hope to see you there!