Disparate systems and dispersed data
Like most universities, Lincoln used a range of systems to manage the enrolment process. Students engaged with a number of systems for similar enrolment tasks, and these interactions generated a lot of paper records for both students and University staff.
Stuart Reilly, IT Director at Lincoln University, was charged with streamlining the enrolment process. “We had three different disparate systems. PeopleSoft is our main enrolment system and it manages the process of collecting a student’s details, including which courses they want to do, and how they choose and pay fees. Then we had a separate system for accommodation.
If a student on our website moved from enrolling to seeking accommodation, the first question asked is ‘what is your name?’ They then have to supply their personal details all over again.’’
Reilly says Lincoln’s paper-based interactions were typical of university enrolment systems. “Students downloaded a PDF form from the website, printed it out, filled it in and posted it to us.” This reliance on paper trails made things difficult for Lincoln’s recruitment team in particular. Prospective students’ details were collected at shows and schools, and recorded on spreadsheets. Reconciling them against the paper system was problematic. The University used Microsoft Dynamics CRM to assist the student recruitment process, but Reilly knew its full potential and capabilities had not been explored.
The MyLinc single portal solution
Lincoln’s vision was of a fully integrated online system that streamlined the entire enrolment process for students and staff alike. It would make student interactions with the University positive and pain-free, increase overall enrolments, and provide world-class data security protection.
Lincoln put the project out to market in mid-2014. While open to other options, the University’s preference was for a solution which included Microsoft Dynamics CRM, so they could maximise a return on their previous investment.
Reilly was tasked with finding a reliable partner and building the necessary relationship for the technical journey that would unite the University’s data sources and create the ideal student experience. He also had to manage outcomes and control costs. The University selected Fusion5’s solution design, impressed by the team’s ability to understand what Reilly and Lincoln were trying to achieve, their commitment to delivering the desired outcomes and their eagerness to work tightly with the University.
The MyLinc system was designed by Fusion5’s award-winning Dynamics CRM team, with their highly experienced SharePoint team providing the student-facing portal and document storage.
The system brought the University’s applications process into line with best current technologies, and moved the enrolment system from a paper-based to a digital environment.
The new user-friendly system automates behind-the-scenes procedures, cuts out duplication and opens communication channels between applicants and university staff. Potential students now receive tailored course advice and assistance during the application process.