Lawrence Levy saw an opportunity within higher education to improve upon the existing Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) technologies, “or better put,” says Lawrence, “a lack thereof.” Higher education is “plagued with antiquated technology systems, or in many cases, continues to operate without robust and scalable methods whatsoever. Too many higher education departments are running their daily business through spreadsheets,paper records, and email inboxes. It was this realization that was the inspiration for establishing Enrollment Rx, LLC,” he says.
Victor: Alright. So what exactly does the name ‘EnrollmentRx’ mean?
Lawrence: As the name denotes, our initial focus was on improving enrollment management for higher education. Of course, the name alludes to “the prescription for Enrollment Management woes”. While CRM for Enrollment Management remains one of our core competencies, we have expanded our CRM solutions into other departments within higher education, including Career Services, Alumni Relations, and even the end-to-end student life cycle with our Student Information System (SIS) called STUTRAX.
Victor: What is it? Who created it?
Lawrence: In short, Enrollment Rx is focused on higher education in the Cloud. Of course the term Cloud-Computing is the hot topic nowadays in technology, as traditional software products are being replaced by true multi-tenant solutions. Our company leverages the phenomenal platform called Force.com from salesforce.com, in order to deliver world-class CRM and SIS products to Higher Ed. We have developed a sophisticated “app” on salesforce.com, custom designed for educational institutions. This not only allows us to deploy our solutions more rapidly than traditional consulting firms, but also empowers us to upgrade the product regularly, and provide these enhancements to all of our higher education clients in a seamless and painless manner, at no additional charge. In short, we are the leaders in Salesforce.com for higher education.
Victor: What does it do and what are the benefits?
Lawrence: In a nutshell, Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) for higher education provides schools with the tools they need to manage their various connections and activities with the myriad of people interacting with the school. A constituent can be prospective students, enrolled students, alumni, employers, guidance counselors, and community members, just to name a few. Each one of these people is a relationship that must be managed by a particular department within each higher education institution. However, much of the activities involved in these relationships is currently tracked in excel spreadsheets, access databases, antiquated Student Information Systems, or even inside of staff members “heads”. This results in critical relationship-building activities that are not scalable and can be very difficult to salvage or transfer in the event that key employees ever leave the institution.
True CRM empowers schools to completely overhaul their relationship-building methods by providing software systems that track all activities, communications, and data on every relationship that the institution maintains with its various types of constituents. Furthermore, CRM provides robust reporting and analytics so that management can make informed decisions based on key-performance-indicators and other benchmark factors.
Victor: How is it unique from other similar products/services? What companies do you see as in the same market?
Lawrence: Perhaps the most unique factor about Enrollment Rx is that we develop our solutions on salesforce.com’s platform. When we first decided to launch the company, we considered several different technologies, but in the end, it was easy to select Salesforce. After all, our purpose is to deliver cutting-edge CRM products to Higher Ed, and we could not do better than to build everything on top of salesforce.com, the leader in CRM across every industry. Their stock symbol is CRM for goodness sake (NYSE: CRM). This allows us to leverage the amazing features inherent in the platform, while infusing our functionality for higher education, resulting in an unbeatable combination of CRM technology with extensive higher education specificity.
We do not believe that any other higher education CRM vendor can compete with this knock-out combination. Within the Salesforce ecosystem, we define ourselves further by our strong background in Higher Education, coupled with our pre-built “Higher Ed App”, which acts as an accelerator that catapults our clients into the cloud.
Victor: When was it developed? What is something interesting or relevant about its development history?
Lawrence: Enrollment Rx has been operating on salesforce.com’s platform for over 3 years. The product is constantly evolving, as new features and enhancements are inspired by our higher education clients. In many cases, we are able to develop entirely new functionality in a matter of days, and can push those enhancements out to all of our clients without any downtime or service interruption. I’m sure many people can appreciate the enormous difference that this kind of flexibility offers, versus traditional higher education enterprise products that can be very laborious and expensive to modify. In some cases, we have created new functionality while on the phone to an existing client, while they were explaining a wish-list concept. It is a lot of fun to hear their reaction when we ask them to refresh their browser to verify that the new functionality fits their requirements. They thought that they were calling to plant a seed for an enhancement that might come down the line 12 months later, when in actuality, we sometimes can build it into the product in real-time. Of course, not every enhancement can be developed in the course of a single phone conversation, but it is evidence that with cloud-computing, traditional software development can be accelerated by a factor of 5 times or more.
Victor: Where did it originate? Where can you get it now?
Salesforce.com was of course founded by Marc Benioff in 1999. Enrollment Rx (a.k.a Salesforce.com for Higher Education) can be contacted by going to our website at www.EnrollmentRx.com .
Victor: How much does it cost? What are the options?
Lawrence: With the advent of Cloud-Computing, enterprise software has come down significantly in total-cost-of-ownership. We pride ourselves on delivering solutions that fit our clients’ budgets. The product is truly democratic, in that it can serve the largest and most sophisticated institutions, but can also scale down to small institutions that have only a handful of users. I encourage potential clients to call us to discuss their requirements and explore the price for their specific solution. We typically deploy the solution in 1 to 3 months, as a combination of licensing fees and professional services fees.
Victor: What are some examples of it in action?
Lawrence: Our clients run the gamut of traditional non-profit schools, for-profit career schools, undergraduate, graduate, continuing education, and even private k-12 institutions.
Victor: Who is it particularly tailored for? Who is it not for?
Lawrence: Our solutions are designed specifically for Educational Institutions. We are 100% focused on higher education. We do not provide Salesforce.com solutions for any other vertical.
Victor: What are your thoughts on education these days?
Lawrence: It has never been more important for higher education to effectively manage their operations. Our Career Service product, Placement Rx, is particularly exciting for the Career Schools, as the emergence of “Gainful Employment” becomes an area to scrutinize.
Victor: What sort of formative experiences in your own education helped to inform your approach to creating EnrollmentRx?
Lawrence: My personal background includes a Masters Degree in E-Commerce with a strong understanding of enterprise software. The other members of the company have extensive higher education experience in operations and admissions.
Victor: How does EnrollmentRx address some of your concerns about education?
Lawrence: Efficiency, scalability, and transparency. Those are the keys for any business, and higher education is no exception.
Victor: What is your outlook on the future of education?
Lawrence: CRM for higher education is an exploding space. Schools are increasingly becoming aware of the need for strong CRM systems in their institutions, and are starting to plan accordingly. We are seeing tremendous interest from the market, and expect the next three to five years to be very productive for our company.
Victor: What else can you tell educators and other leaders in and around education about the value of EnrollmentRx?
Lawrence: Stop using spreadsheets, antiquated databases, and paper records to manage your constituent relationships. Explore the concept of CRM, and forever change the way your institution operates for the better.
Victor Rivero tells the story of 21st-century education transformation. He is the editor-in-chief of Edtech Digest, a magazine about education transformed through technology. He has written white papers, articles and features for schools, nonprofits and companies in the education marketplace. Write to: [email protected]