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3 Reasons to Replace Harris Connect IS Platform with Salesforce CRM

By May 18, 2015

Cross-posted from

By: Virginia Berkenkotter, Delivery Manager at ACF Solutions

As you probably know by now, the Harris Connect IS Platform, a long-time staple of university marketing and alumni departments everywhere, is going out of service come February 2016. You need to replace its functionality — community engagement, event and email management — and fast. But, before you pull the trigger on a lateral replacement, consider a Salesforce-based solution to support your alumni engagement activities. Here’s why:

  • Better tools: Salesforce offers best-of-breed community, email marketing, advancement and events management tools that will not only replace your HC functionality, but significantly upgrade your tool set. The tools available through Salesforce and its ecosystem offer many features and advantages unmatched by HC and other stand-alone offerings, which at their core are powered by Salesforce CRM – the world’s leading platform for managing constituent relationships.
  • Better data: What bolsters your efforts to improve alumni engagement scores — and sets a Salesforce-based solution apart from other HC replacements — is having Salesforce’s powerful CRM at its core. Data drives success. Salesforce CRM pulls your various data sources into one single location to provide you a more complete picture of your alumni. A single alumnus record includes biographical and demographic data pulled from the university’s system of record and advancement system along with any new or updated data generated by native Salesforce marketing, community and event tools. As a result, this powerful data set gives you a complete picture of each alum and allows you to create targeted, relevant and unique communications, delivering the right message to the right alumna/ae at the right time.
  • Campus-wide expansion: As the lines between alumni and advancement blur, Salesforce CRM allows your institution to expand alumni engagement into fundraising, creating transparencies and collaboration between the two groups. And, because Salesforce CRM supports multiple constituent groups such as students, staff, parents, corporate and foundation partners, and more, it provides you the opportunity to gain a broader institutional view of the full-student lifecycle, establishing an earlier foundation for alumni engagement.

Salesforce CRM delivers increased efficiencies through powerful workflow capabilities, increased visibility via customizable reports and dashboards, and increased user adoption because the platform is mobile and social. On many campuses, Salesforce CRM is setting the new standard for alumni relations, as well as the foundation for a truly connected campus.

To learn more about this Salesforce-based solution, join us for a free webinar, AlumniEngage: Leveraging Salesforce to Bolster Alumni Engagement, on May 21 at 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT.

Register for Webinar

About the Author Virginia BerkenkotterVirginia Berkenkotter is Delivery Manager at ACF Solutions. Since joining ACF, Virginia led a complex campus-wide Alumni focused engagement at the University of Colorado and managed multiple implementations at Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management. Virginia’s ACF clients also include Columbia University, Columbia School of Business, and University of Colorado-Leeds School of Business.

Virginia has over 18 years of higher education experience in full life cycle development, business analysis, process design and project management. Prior to working with ACF Solutions, Virginia was a project manager and PMO director, responsible for the successful delivery of Salesforce solutions as well as large-scale ERP implementations. Virginia began her career as a consultant at PWC where she served as a functional consultant implementing PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. Virginia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas and is a certified Salesforce Administrator.