Computing Services has some exciting new technology, which is helping to revolutionise the way in which departments at the University handle and interact with data.
Recently IAAPS (Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems) approached the department as they wanted a new system to handle their data. The deadline for the project was extremely tight, a two week turn around in fact. We spoke to Project Manager, Kevin Roberts to discover what system was suggested and how the project turned out.
A dynamic way of working
The team suggested using Microsoft Dynamics, which is part of the Office 365 package. IAAPS wanted to use the system to be able to record the details of leads they were getting from their conference, in order to interact with them later, either from a marketing prospective or to analyse results and produce reports. Kevin Roberts told us, ‘you may have been thinking of this as a CRM database and traditionally it has been used in marketing but you can customise the system to do whatever you like’. Kevin explained that you can use the system for marketing leads, for example targeting specific groups with news and information relevant to them. However, you can also the system to share data with your colleagues. Kevin continued, ‘we keep the back end of the product as the standard configuration, so that we know how to maintain it from a technical perspective. If departments want something bespoke, we can put an app on the front end that we can customise’.
The way in which Dynamics works, means that for IAAPS it improved their working processes and saved time. The system that was created by Rob Peledie, our ‘Dynamics techie’, meant that people at the conference could type their data straight into the database and it would automatically be stored. This negated the need for different Excel spreadsheets and meant that anyone with access could filter the data to their requirements at a later date.
In addition, using Dynamics 365, IAAPS will be able to track the entire lifecycle of the leads from the data. For example, anyone with access can discover how many leads where obtained at the conference and view analytics that tell them how the lead was targeted using different marketing collateral, manage the lead or approach interested leads for collaboration further down the road. Having one centralised system to store all this data means that the analytics are often more accurate than those collated in multiple spreadsheets.
On this occasion IAAPS gained 93 leads from the conference with 204 in total on the system. As Kevin explained, ‘this is just one example of how Dynamics can be used, the possibilities are endless’. The team are now working on the next steps which includes further IAAPS functionality and bringing in key account information for the Corporate Engagement Team. If this sounds interesting, please talk to the team about your requirements and we will see how we can help.