IT solution platform

IT platforms that are currently used by units across the university were considered, including Salesforce, Ideal Logic and a homegrown system to be built by Central IT.  In full consideration of the summaries of proposed solutions provided, the Project Sponsors determined that Salesforce would best meet the needs of the university for this project. This approach is fully endorsed by VPI&T Lois Brooks for security, robustness and alignment with university technology directions.

Salesforce Benefits and Key Features

  • Salesforce is an industry best-in-class enterprise level System of Engagement platform. It has the technical infrastructure, security capabilities and extensive feature set to increase university business process efficiency, reduce overall expenses and improve data quality. That said, it does not do any of this out of the box.  In order for our Salesforce implementation to take us to the next level, we have to own feature development and improvement. Once we invest in the development and refinement processes, we will be able to own our own digital infrastructure and not be at the financial and time whim of software companies that charge for each support ticket, customization and integration.
  • Key Salesforce features:
    • Robust and broad integration options
    • ‘Clicks-not-code’ configuration development
    • Extensive app store for extending feature set
    • Multiple workflow and trigger options
    • Many built-in features such as: campaigns, contracts, ticketing system, communities (portals), SSO, email/notification automation, mobile, reports and dashboards.

OSU Experience with Salesforce

OSU has a widespread, strategic use of Salesforce to manage college differentiation and key business processes. Both undergraduate and graduate admissions are done through Salesforce, and the entire graduate student administrative lifecycle is managed through the Graduate Education Toolkit, powered by Salesforce. OSU has recently adopted Marketing Cloud for recruitment activities, extending our use of Salesforce to support better outreach and metrics university-wide.

Salesforce can be leveraged through a ‘shared use’ profile, allowing segmented use within a single instance. This optimizes licensing, management and interoperability costs, while allowing differentiation of business functions and finely-tuned access controls for sensitive data. The following units are using or preparing to use the ‘shared’ Salesforce platform, as will this project:

Units on campus using the Shared Use Org:

  • Graduate School
  • College of Engineering
  • Student Health Services
  • Enrollment Management
  • eProcurement

Units on campus currently doing development in Shared Use Org:

  • International Programs
  • Academic Technology
  • College of Education
  • Honors College
  • Extension

Additionally, the following units have separate instances of Salesforce to manage student lifecycles:

  • Honors College
  • College of Business
  • Cascades Campus
  • College of Public Health and Human Sciences