Founded in 1978 in Virginia Beach, Regent University is one of the nation’s leading academic centers for Christian thought and action. Students, faculty and administrators all share a calling—founded on biblical principles—to make a significant difference in the world. Regent offers affordable, high-quality degree programs while also preparing men and women to excel both in mind and spirit. The university enrolls approximately 9,000 students each year, and in 2017 topped the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report.
THE CHALLENGE: RESPOND IMMEDIATELY TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENT INQUIRIES
Regent University had a goal to grow the university’s enrollment. That meant that the admissions office and the IT infrastructure had to prepare for an increased marketing effort and plan to interact 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 for Regent University. “We are among the fastest growing universities in the country, and we want to keep that momentum going.”
To accelerate their recruiting efforts, the university decided to deploy Ellucian CRM Recruit, which runs on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and is designed especially for higher-ed recruitment. Ellucian would allow admissions counselors to personalize their communication with prospective students and follow up on any leads generated through website inquiries and pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-lead (PPL) marketing programs run on third-party websites.
Whether Regent University can convert a prospective student to 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.
But Ellucian didn’t offer a fast way to import the leads from the Oracle database, which is where the university aggregated all its leads. Rekeying the information manually would have required extra resources, and running a batch process to move the data once per hour would have hurt their conversion rates.
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-in-time when they are most interested in hearing what we have to offer; we can’t let that opportunity slip by.”
THE SOLUTION: SCRIBE PROVIDES THE MISSING LINK
After conducting research of possible integration solutions, Regent University identified three possible candidates to connect the Oracle database to Ellucian CRM Recruit. These included Scribe, Jitterbit and MuvData.
“We reviewed quotes from all three companies, but Scribe set itself apart by demonstrating how Scribe Online 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.”
Given that the IT team was in a time-crunch to deploy Ellucian CRM Recruit quickly to help maintain and accelerate recruitment efforts, Scribe’s ease-of-deployment and ease-of-use were critical factors. And since Microsoft Dynamics and the underlying Microsoft SQL database were new to the IT team, using Scribe Online to see the entities and the Microsoft fields proved helpful in picking up the nuances of those technologies.
“The Scribe website offers instructional videos, which walked us through all the different integrations we could build,” Reddy says. “After watching the videos, it was pretty easy for us to know what to do.”
THE RESULTS: BETTER EXPERIENCES FOR PROSPECTS AND INCREASED ENROLLMENT
The new workflow process—with Scribe Online transferring data from the Oracle database into Ellucian CRM Recruit in real time—continues to work effectively. Because the integration was able to match the existing business process, the recruitment staff was able to use the new system without any interruption. And when any data-transfer errors occur, Scribe Online immediately pinpoints the issue so Reddy and his team can resolve it before end-users are impacted.
“Our entire team is very impressed with how well Scribe works,” Reddy says. “It does everything we need in relation to transferring data in real time from the Oracle database into Ellucian CRM Recruit.”
In addition to utilizing the Scribe integration that connects the Oracle and Ellucian CRM Recruit systems when a prospective student submits a website form, the combined technologies also help conduct outreach for recruitment events. Regent can also use Scribe for on-demand situations, such as running a mass update in Ellucian CRM Recruit.
Ultimately, Scribe Online has enabled the Regent University IT team to achieve the results required by the senior leadership team when choosing to deploy Ellucian CRM Recruit: “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. “Most importantly, we can continue our mission of immediately calling prospects back, which contributes to our overall effort of continuing to increase our enrollments.”