Edinburgh-Napier

Edinburgh Napier University tells conference audience how it is using Dynamics 365 successfully to hit recruitment targets

Edinburgh Napier University’s customer showcase presentation at the University & Colleges Information Systems Association conference explained how Dynamics 365 is enabling it to successfully meet its recruitment targets. Previous attempts at using CRM had only been partially successful, even though the university believed in the Dynamics customer engagement approach. The solution from Crimson Consultants delivers higher education-specific functionality within the Dynamics 365 environment and this has been the catalyst for its successful adoption at all levels of the recruitment process.

Edinburgh Napier University started life as a technical college before reaching university status in 1992. It has ambitious recruitment targets that must be achieved in a competitive environment by using cost-effective, resource-light, personalized and, above all, effective processes. The admissions team recruits for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in both the United Kingdom and internationally and is accountable for its performance.

Although Edinburgh Napier was convinced CRM was key in achieving its recruitment objectives, the university’s previous CRM system did not provide robust inquiry management.

“We needed a more comprehensive solution which covered all the inquiry channels, plus event management and schools liaison,” said Ruth Swan, Senior Student Recruitment Officer. “In addition we wanted to integrate with data already held in our SITS (Strategic Information Technology Services) student management system and with the email marketing system we use. In short, we wanted the system to work the way we worked, but we didn’t have the time or budget to build a bespoke solution completely from scratch.”

“Crimson has brought us the best of both worlds – by being based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with which we were already familiar, and by delivering a wide range of prebuilt higher education functionality via its Accelerators. We retained the ability to achieve our own bespoke features by having a knowledgeable supplier like Crimson provide us with consultancy and guidance.”

The result is a CRM solution that captures all inquiries whether they arrive via webforms, emails, phone calls, or at events or school visits. It automatically answers and routes inquiries, saving valuable resources and providing a guaranteed service level performance. The Crimson CRM solution also manages applicant data via SITS integration and incorporates a specialist email communication tool to nurture both inquiries and applications. This enables the whole student journey to be managed, monitored, and reported on from a single point.

“Crimson’s extensive knowledge of and experience within the higher education sector has enabled us to leverage the Dynamics 365 platform to provide a ‘best-practice’ solution for the sector,” said John Drew, Sales & Marketing Director, Crimson Consultants.

Lessons to be shared with sector colleagues include making sure you know what you want from a solution before you start.

“You cannot achieve your bespoke system unless you know what you want it to do,” explained Ruth. “The effort and resource required to do this and see the project through should not be underestimated either as you need to develop new skill sets.

The benefit of working with a Dynamics 365 provider with HE experience such as Crimson was invaluable.”

“Crimson has leveraged the incredible range of customer engagement capability provided by Dynamics 365 by developing its own range of functional Accelerators, which sit within the Microsoft solution and deliver sector best practice to university staff at all levels. This ensures high user-adoption rates and provides a solid basis to which customer-specific customizations can be made,” said Lee Parton, Product Director, Crimson Consultants.

“Crimson has leveraged the incredible range of customer engagement capability provided by Dynamics 365 by developing its own range of functional Accelerators, which sit within the Microsoft solution and deliver sector best practice to university staff at all levels. This ensures high user-adoption rates and provides a solid basis to which customer-specific customizations can be made.”

Lee Parton: Product Director
Crimson Consultants

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