Macquarie University has extended its hosted customer relationship management system to more users, following moves to consolidate and centralise IT systems over the past two years.
The university in 2011 began developing its ‘Tracker’ CRM in response to a range of requirements from nine different business units.
Tracker was built on SugarCRM software and hosted onshore by reseller InsightfulCRM, in accordance with the university’s “cloud-first, service-first” strategy.
It has been consumed by the university on a per-user basis until this year, when the university committed to a $2 million, four-year unlimited use agreement.
Macquarie University chief information officer Marc Bailey said Tracker had about 400 users and was used to manage a total of 47,357 enquiries last year, with a peak load of 7965 enquiries in March 2012.
Bailey told iTnews this week that establishing Tracker as the university’s first central CRM was an ongoing exercise, involving a “trade-off” between the benefits of centralisation and specialised systems.
“There was no co-ordinated CRM effort in the university [prior to Tracker],” he said. “This replaces any number of spreadsheets, paper forms, people’s heads.”
Tracker currently handles undergraduate students’ special consideration requests and complaints, job placements with industry partners, and international agents, and will be expanded to research and postgraduate student enquiries this year.
Bailey said the university was working to integrate Tracker with student administration system StudentOne, and would also look to link it to Macquarie University’s finance platform, to build a more holistic view of students’ relationships with the university.
Macquarie University has more than 44,000 students, academic staff and commercial partners. It had an IT budget of $40 million and a capital expenditure portfolio of 40 IT projects planned for 2012.