University of the Arts London (UAL)

University of the Arts London (UAL) are the largest university in Europe to specialise in art, design, communication, fashion, media and performing arts. UAL attend a number of recruitment events around the world throughout the year, to increase awareness of the university and the many courses they offer. UAL had the ambition of improving their student journey from enquiry through to application, which would have the secondary benefit of allowing them to use data for targeted marketing.

Already users of Salesforce, there were three key new initiatives UAL wanted to implement:

  1. UAL had an issue with the data storage volume in their Salesforce environment, which was running at approximately 140% of their allowance.
  2. They required some dynamic web enquiry forms (where certain fields are displayed depending on selections made in previous fields) to enable prospective students to enquire about the foundation, degree-level and short courses offered across the university in its 6 world-renowned Colleges.
  3. When UAL staff attended events they would capture prospective student data on physical enquiry cards. The goal was to find a better way to capture all this data and seamlessly push the data into Salesforce.

Cloudreach have been working to support UAL’s development of Salesforce CRM principles and applications for over three years. During that time the excellent technical knowledge within the Cloudreach team has ensured that our business processes are adequately mapped to Salesforce in a way that is focused on the needs of our core audience of prospective students, and the other audiences who engage with the University.

Steph Upton Head of Marketing, Student Marketing and Recruitment Department

The Challenge

  • There had previously been no data archiving in the Salesforce org, so every historical email dating back to 2012 was stored in the Salesforce environment. Email volumes numbered in the 1000s per month across the 6 constituent College case queues. UAL approached Cloudreach to help with analysing their data usage, identifying data that could be archived, architecting and designing an archiving solution.
  • UAL required a suite of web enquiry forms embedded on their website, with subtle differences and different objectives for each. For example, course specific enquiry forms were required to automatically tag the College and course when the case was captured in Salesforce. This would allow for automated case allocation to the appropriate teams.
  • In many of the locations where the recruitment events take place there is often intermittent web access, which means a solution with an offline functionality capability was very important to enable enquiry data to continue to be captured. Data had to be able to be captured on iPads, so a format that fitted those devices was required. 

The Solution

  • Cloudreach implemented an archiving solution that synchronises email data between Salesforce and Amazon S3.
    • The emails are still viewable through Salesforce but they do not consume data storage. The solution checks every hour and automatically archives any email that is older than 50 days. Once archived, the email is stored in Amazon S3 and is still fully retrievable at the touch of a button in Salesforce.
    • Simple configuration of the Salesforce interface also enabled archived emails to be easily viewed and related to the correct case. This allowed reporting and forecasting to still be conducted on the email enquiries even though the actual data was stored externally to the Salesforce environment.
    • Custom settings allowed UAL to self-manage the solution with the ability to alter the frequency of automated archiving checks, and the period of time before an email was deemed necessary to be archived. As business needs changed, the solution was flexible enough to be changed with them.
    • Monitoring was also implemented to warn when the email archiver was not running for whatever reason. This could easily be amended to send an email alert out to any email address.
  • We created six different parameterizable forms using visualforce pages.
    • By using Salesforce Sites we were able to expose those pages and embed them in the website. We were able to make those forms dynamic by using javascript and jQuery.
    • Importantly for the University, the web forms were created to display UAL branding and embed seamlessly on the UAL website.
    • Upon completion of the web enquiry forms, all data was automatically captured in Salesforce as cases and assigned to the appropriate College enquiry handling teams for a response.
  • We created a form that allows UAL to capture enquiry data even when in offline mode enabling details to be captured even at times when there is no connection.
    • The offline recruitment event form was created using technologies such as javascript and backbone.js. By utilising the power of Cloudreach Connect, we could handle the integration of the form with Heroku and UALs Salesforce environment.
    • Under-the-bonnet coding handled the offline functionality so that once an internet connection was regained, previously locally stored enquiry data was seamlessly pushed into Salesforce.

Working Together

At Cloudreach we do not focus solely on Salesforce, but provide AWS consultancy services and also web application development. The solution utilised 2 best of breed platforms to implement a process which met the needs of the customer.

With the addition of Cloudreach Connect, our own unique IP which handled the integration of the offline web form, we were able to deploy the project quickly and successfully.

We were asked to work under a custom UAL methodology and were able to adapt very quickly working under project managers and business analysts to implement a dynamic solution that met the requirements of all the different UAL Colleges and business units.

The Outcome

  • UAL were able to reduce their data storage level from 140% down to 90% which enabled further auditing of the Salesforce environment to be undertaken safe in the knowledge that the limit was in a manageable state, and automatic archiving had been implemented.
  • With further best practice and fine-tuning of the email archiving solution the amount of data storage used was reduced to a much more reasonable level, keeping the UAL Salesforce environment clean and within the allotted limits.
  • UAL are now receiving 1000s of web enquiries via their website monthly from prospective students, and meaningful and reportable enquiry data is being captured from the field selections on the web forms.
  • This has allowed them to improve the tracking of the prospective student journey and run targeted marketing campaigns to nurture a relationship with these students.
  • At events, students enter their details themselves on an iPad, and these details are immediately pushed into Salesforce in real-time.
  • With the successful implementation of the offline web form solution, huge time-savings and the elimination of lost data have been made. UAL now have an improved process of student recruitment data capture worldwide and this has allowed them to conduct highly targeted marketing at the beginning of a prospective student’s journey with the university.

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