Georgetown University


"Salesforce is enabling our school to create efficiencies, better manage resources, and both consolidate and share data in a way that best meets the needs of the school."

—David A. Thomas
Dean, McDonough School of Business

McDonough School of Business creates efficiency with Salesforce

For more than 50 years, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has educated some of the business world’s most respected leaders. In an extremely competitive market, where expectations are high, the McDonough School of Business strives to provide an impeccable level of student service and education. From the moment a student shows interest in the school to the moment they become alumni, Georgetown McDonough excels in establishing deep personal connections. 

As with many institutions, McDonough has experienced legacy data management applications and silos of information scattered across different departments and schools. “There was a huge lack of transparency and efficiency among the staff and how we worked with our outside stakeholders,” said John Carpenter, chief technology officer. “While the individual systems were designed to help us manage any number of processes, the effect of having so many systems that do not share data was degrading our ability to innovate and move on opportunities.” The school needed a single platform to integrate information, streamline business processes, and manage relationships. The solution: Salesforce.

Georgetown McDonough selected Salesforce to unify all departmental data and manage applicants, students, and alumni throughout their respective lifecycles. The initiative has allowed the school to replace and/or integrate approximately 10 legacy business processes with native Salesforce functionality. 

Cynthia Gener, Director of Applications Development at McDonough who is leading the school’s implementation, stated the benefit of Salesforce technology. “Across all of these internal initiatives the advantage of Salesforce's flexible architecture is that it allows Georgetown McDonough many options when incorporating a business process. Salesforce is becoming our ‘core system.’ That strategy is fundamental to our effort. The school can replace current systems in favor of a native Salesforce process, we can install any of hundreds of applications, or we can use Salesforce customization to move data from a system to be retained into Salesforce.”

“Salesforce is enabling our school to create efficiencies, better manage resources, and both consolidate and share data in a way that best meets the needs of the school,” said David A. Thomas, Dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. “We are proud to be among the higher education adopters of Salesforce and see it as an essential tool for managing our many valued relationships.”

Recruiting executives for McDonough’s premier executive degree programs is one of the key areas where the school maximizes Salesforce. At any given time, the executive recruiting team manages more than 1,000 applicants. 

“Salesforce provides us with a powerful data integration system that allows us to organize, manipulate, and better analyze the information we gather from our applicants. It also provides us with a more efficient communication and engagement platform throughout the entire student’s lifecycle from recruitment to alumni relations,” said Assistant Dean of Executive Admissions and Outreach, Elie Farhat. 

Capturing this data has allowed the team to gauge a prospect’s true level of engagement and follow up accordingly. Looking to the future, Kirsten Sands, Director of Executive Recruitment and Admissions, shared, “I am confident that the next cohort of executives we recruit will be the strongest we have seen at the business school in the program’s 20 year history because we have been more effective at targeting who we are working with, we've elevated our level of customer service, and we support every applicant’s unique interest to the program by effectively managing relationships through Salesforce.”

Another key area where Salesforce has improved efficiency is Alumni Relations, which now uses Salesforce for its alumni database and contact management system. While Georgetown McDonough continues to enhance usability externally to alumni, the internal departments using the platform have integrated various applications to support their objectives and daily routines.

Using the Salesforce1 Mobile App to be even more productive

The Salesforce1 Mobile App is playing a big role at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. The Dean’s Office staff have been the school’s foremost user of Salesforce1 Mobile App, given their extensive travel around the world. Looking at real-time analytics from reports and dashboards on the app has allowed the team to quickly identify areas of improvement and collaborate on new strategies — all on the go. With a global network of alumni, partners, and stakeholders, the mobility that the app has afforded the team has been incredibly beneficial. The school is also in the process of using the Salesforce1 Platform to create custom applications; particularly a “mobile check-in” app for events that will allow all departments to easily capture pertinent attendee registration data.

Moving to a single platform has changed the way the school does business. As Georgetown McDonough continues to grow and innovate, so does its use of Salesforce. “We are continuing to outgrow some of our legacy systems, which are inherent challenges in large institutions like universities,” Sands said. “We believe in the capabilities of Salesforce because it allows us to better prepare for the future by being able to transform, adapt, and innovate to the changing landscape of our industry while continuing to serve our current populations.”

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