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Is SugarCRM a right choice for the Education sector?

Educational Institutions are always under pressures such as increased competition, decreased funding, inviting top companies for hiring drives, students dropping out etc. On the other hand, Students are facing challenges due to, increased tuition fees, tough job markets and developing newer skills to name some. To overcome the challenges in this digital era, we need a system to analyze trends from various sources such as social media, surveys and other resources. This system, most importantly must help to improve the relationship between Institution and student and provide 360° view of the customers' (Students) data to improve the service and benefit mutually.

Institutes require to build such a system in an economically viable fashion and must be delivered in a short duration just by doing some configurations set up with minimal code changes and the system should have the capability to extend the service with existing legacy systems.

Yes, SugarCRM would be the best fit available in the market that would satisfy all the above needs and will help institutions to improve their admissions and manage students and alumni in a better way.

The modules or components available in SugarCRM out-of-the-box (OOTB) are meant to provide support to improve business during the major phases of Marketing, Sales Automation and Customer support.

SugarCRM provides key modules for various stages involved in the CRM life cycle.  In addition, it provides out-of-the-box features such as calls, meetings, activity management, role management, access control, process/work-flow management and in-built Rest API to integrate with other systems, import and export features, different types of reports and a simple tool to administer and manage configurations and much more.

Marketing : Campaigns, Leads, Email Marketing, Web-to-lead form

Sales : Accounts, Contacts, Contracts, Opportunities, Quotes, Forecast

Support : Knowledge Base, Bugs, Cases, Self-service Portal

Let's design a customization for a University,  

Marketing - Campaigns, Prospects, Applicants

In this phase, campaigns would be capturing various marketing activities and the expenditure. It could be Road shows, Email marketing campaigns etc.. Similarly prospective student information and Application information would be captured specific to the level of information. Applicants may appear for pre-qualification evaluations; this information would be captured in the Applicants module.

Admissions - Enrollments, Courses, Payments, Academics

Applicant will become student in this phase, similar to how lead turns customer in general CRM flow. So the data related to Students such as enrollments, courses, payments would be captured in this phase.  This phase will have a 360° view of student data. In addition, this would capture on-going academic data.

Alumni - Alumni, Events, Donations

Post to graduation students will continue as alumni to the institution, Events can be planned and communicated to alumni, donations are most important to institutions to their development towards skill oriented research and operational cost.

Integration, Workflow/Process, Document management

In a case study, SugarCRM was successfully installed and being used at the FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, NY USA and it has over 15 service integrations including an ERP system.

Shaya Phillips, IT associate vice president, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, says "Sugar's modular nature and ease of customization makes it ideal to integrate with other businesses and academic software"

Workflow or process management would help to automate the process, for example, fees notifications can be triggered if the due date is arriving.

Here, Students will have 360° views of various stages' data from Prospects to Donor. Staff, Student relationship with Institutions gets mutual support and benefits. In addition, integration tools are available to the extended solution by integrating different system with SugarCRM such as ERP, Billing System, Document systems etc.

Thus, SugarCRM accomplishes this vision with most of the features by 'OOTB configuration' and minimal custom code changes for extended modules and entities which would make customer (student) and University relationship extraordinary.

Comments

Very Informative. Thanks for sharing.

Helps to understand other dimension of SugarCRM.

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