Building Bridges – Construction is underway!

by Mike Dyer

The roadmap is complete. The laborers are in place and the stakeholders are all in.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Michael Dyer. You can call me Mike. Everyone else does. I joined the William and Mary IT group back in January as a CRM Business Systems Analyst. My role will be working with the ACF Solutions, Salesforce, Target X teams and the W&M stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the Salesforce CRM. My focus will be on admission/student applications but not exclusively. My colleague, Dennis J. Morris, will be working primarily on marketing and advancement functions. We’ll have each other’s back during this implementation.

My experiences to date have all been in the private sector. Mostly in financial services for such companies as Citigroup, Fiserv, Instinet, Capital One. To name just a few. The world of academia is new to me and I am very excited about the challenges that lie ahead. As a business analyst, it’s my job to learn your job. So you can expect to hear from me in the not too distant future as we continue to ramp up for this project.

So where are we today? The implementation roadmap has been published. (For more specific information regarding the roadmap you can refer to the following page: CRM Implementation Roadmap). Requirements gathering is underway for those schools that are designated in phase 1, as well as Advancement. A number of demos have been presented to the project team and the stakeholders. Data samples are being put together. The CRM team is learning the ins and outs of the CRM. Licensing requirements are being ironed out and third party vendor arrangements are being made. Lastly, the TargetX team will be on campus in April for the official phase one admission project launch.

Building bridges takes time. So does implementing an enterprise CRM solution. Would you cross a bridge that was built in a day? I might but I would let you go first. Unfortunately, “Big Bang” implementations do not exist in the IT world. Over the next eighteen months, the CRM project team will be taking a methodical approach to ensure the CRM implementation goes smoothly and all the end users are comfortable with using the CRM.

Alright, I can now say I have blogged. My bucket list just got shorter. What shall I do next? A selfie, perhaps? Anyways, the CRM project team is here to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the CRM project. Please feel free to email the team at CRM@wm.edu. We will do our best to keep you updated on the project status.

A Beautiful Banana for a Belated Brunch

by Bernadette Kenney

I love alliteration and I love the letter B.   I am certain the beginning of my love for the letter B is directly related to my name and, well, it’s a nice above average letter.   My love for alliteration comes directly from the behavioral and, perhaps, genetic influence of my mother. An English teacher by training, she always instilled a love for language and expression in our daily lives. Alliteration was among one of her loves, too. I remember fondly a time when I was in junior high taking a required home economics cooking course (back in the day when girls, and only girls, were required to do this. — I know, right?). I was required to do a dessert project at home without supervision. After assessing available ingredients, I decided to bake a banana. I did so quite successfully and after taste approval from my mother, she provided the needed documentation explaining that I had capably completed my assignment.   This is what she wrote: “Bernadette baked a beautiful banana for a belated brunch.” I think of this every time I enjoy a banana, every time. When I see a picture of a banana, when I smell a banana, when I write the word banana, my mind repeats, “Bernadette baked a beautiful banana for a belated brunch.” If not for the alliteration of my most cherished letter, I might not hold bananas in such high regard. The unintended consequence of my mother’s silly moment has forever etched a positive banana experience for me.

So, you can imagine how excited I became when we settled on the CRM project name as Building Bridges. Notwithstanding the silly moments in that process (no bananas involved that I recall), my beloved B was ultimately used in an admirable alliteration of a most important university undertaking.  In line with the university’s strategic ideal to improve and expand the engagement of our constituents by breaking boundaries, the CRM initiative will broaden our reach and personalize the experience of everyone who has a connection to our universe. As we experience successes throughout the project, both small and large, it’s my hope that we automatically repeat to ourselves, “Building bridges, we’re building bridges.” As we learn from each other, as we take down our walls, as we reach out to those who matter to us, let’s identify the connections we make, the bonds we create, and the spans we cross.   Let us etch the positive. Boundaries, be damned; we are building bridges.