Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and cloud computing. Please read Part A & B of the CRM at HEC Montreal case study (Harvard Business materials) prior to preparing an analysis of the CR - Wridemy Bestessaypapers

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and cloud computing. Please read Part A & B of the CRM at HEC Montreal case study (Harvard Business materials) prior to preparing an analysis of the CR


The CRM Case Study has three parts (A, B and C).  Your written submission will be based on parts A & B.

The written submission should be ~4 pages in length (double spaced, 12 point – or ~1000 words).    Your response will require careful reading of the case, application of principles from our course and basic external research in the area of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and cloud computing.

Please read Part A & B of the CRM at HEC Montreal case study (Harvard Business materials) prior to preparing an analysis of the CRM implementation at HEC.  Use the following questions to guide your analysis:

To set the stage, consider the following from Part A (1-2 pages of the response):

· What pressures within higher education were affecting HEC Montreal?

· How was diversity manifesting itself at HEC (academic programs, services, etc.)

· Why is the CRM project of strategic importance to HEC? Describe three key benefits that HEC could hope to achieve by implementing CRM.  This question will require a bit of research on the basics of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Software and Cloud Computing to enhance your understanding of the case.

Address the following items from Part B (2-3 pages of the response)

· What are the main risk factors of the CRM project at HEC? Rank and explain what you consider are the top five.

· Determine what management approach and deployment model you would use to implement this product and help mitigate these risk factors. Explain why. Consider Traditional (Waterfall), Agile or perhaps a combination (hybrid) or other alternative in your response.

Grammatically correct and citations as appropriate.

© HEC Montréal 2019 All rights reserved for all countries. Any translation or alteration in any form whatsoever is prohibited. The International Journal of Case Studies in Management is published o SN 1911-2599. n-line (, IS

cational discussion and does not imply any juThis case is intended to be used as the framework for an edu dgement on the administrative situation presented. Deposited under number 9 65 2019 001B with the HEC Montréal Case Centre, 3000, chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal (Québec) H3T 2A7 Canada.

Volume 17 Issue 4

December 2019 HEC257

From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal – Part B

Case prepared by Gregory VIAL,1 Pierre-Majorique LÉGER,2 and Romain POURCHON3

To help develop a more comprehensive view of the lifecycle of students at HEC Montréal and to protect its position as a leading business school, HEC Montréal had decided to implement a CRM system. The objective was to do so for all ten student-facing services, comprising a total user base of about 220 employees. In the wake of an improvement in the school’s financial situation (in Quebec, the financing of institutions of higher education was heavily dependent on the availability of public funds), the project was finally approved, and IT services, headed by Richard Lacombe, was in charge of doing a preliminary assessment of the CRM needs of services that would be using the solution. Pierre-Yves Tremblay, a business process analyst, and An-Phong Do, an IT project manager, were tasked with doing that preliminary assessment.

Background information: IT services at HEC Montréal

The mission of HEC Montréal’s IT services was to manage the development and implementation of technology strategies that helped the school fulfill its mission. IT services was composed of six units dedicated to specific aspects of IT at HEC Montréal.4 The IS unit managed the development and maintenance of PeopleSoft, the main enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which had been heavily customized over the years to manage the school’s core functions, including human resources, accounting, and student records. That unit also oversaw the development and maintenance of all web applications used by the school. The User Support unit often acted as the first line of support for users of the school’s technology infrastructure. The Infrastructure and Exploitation unit managed the school’s technology infrastructure. That included the installation, configuration, management, and support of applications, as well as data centre operations, server management, data storage, databases, and network management. The IT Project Management unit, where Pierre-Yves and An-Phong worked, handled project management-related activities (e.g., requirements engineering and project implementation planning). The Audiovisual unit provided support for the technologies and infrastructure used for teaching (e.g., in classrooms) as well as various multimedia systems (e.g., videoconferencing). The Information Security unit created and managed activities related to HEC Montréal’s information security policies.

1 Gregory Vial is an assistant professor in HEC Montréal’s Department of Information Technologies. 2 Pierre-Majorique Léger is a professor in HEC Montréal’s Department of Information Technologies. 3 At the time of writing, Romain Pourchon was an M.Sc. student in Information Technologies at HEC Montréal. 4

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From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal – Part B

© HEC Montréal 2

While the services provided by IT services had always been exemplary, the growing number of students and staff members had forced it to make hard choices. Since the school was primarily funded by government subsidies, it had had to maintain its operations with decreasing funds during the economic downturn of the early 2010s, for example. Some IT projects, including the CRM project, had thus been put on hold due to budget constraints.

Overview of project requirements

In early 2014, Pierre-Yves and An-Phong met to discuss the results of their initial assessment of the CRM needs of the schools’ services. While excited to be involved in such a significant, large- scale project, they acknowledged that meeting the diverse requirements and managing expectations would not be easy.

The two men’s analysis of business processes and technologies in use by the registrar’s office, Recruiting services, Student services, Alumni services, the Executive MBA office, the Office of executive education, and the HEC Montréal Foundation revealed that each of those services managed a different component of the student lifecycle, and each service – sometimes, each unit within a service – used different technologies and managed student data in different ways. If there was one tool that seemed to be universally used across services, it was Excel, but more because of its accessibility than because of its user-friendliness. Once CRM had been implemented for every student-related service at the school, the fragmented view would hopefully be amalgamated to create a coherent picture of every student’s path at HEC Montréal: this path began when they first contacted the registrar’s office to inquire about a program, continued to the time they applied for a program, and carried on until they graduated and, as alumni, could be canvassed to help fund the school’s special projects. Pierre-Yves and An-Phong were inspired by CRM’s potential strategic value to the school but knew it could take several years to implement.

As they analyzed each service’s requirements, several key considerations emerged: • Recruiting services, headed by Michel Lemay, had clear data requirements for improving

its operations. These included knowing which education fairs were most useful in terms of acquiring leads and attracting top-quality applicants, helping prospective candidates find useful information on the school’s website (freeing staff from having to answer routine questions over the phone), and recording pre-application interactions with staff and advisors at the registrar’s office. Based on his industry experience as a CRM user, Lemay saw the lack of a system dedicated to building strong relationships with the school’s “customers” as a significant impediment to its development. This was especially problematic since students had many options to choose from, both in-person and online.

• For the Office of the Registrar, the potential benefits of CRM were two-fold. First, it would help structure how staff, who were not always proficient with Excel, recorded inquiries made by prospective students. Second, it would improve the accuracy of the data sent to Recruiting services for follow-up (e.g., eliminate errors in postal codes or email addresses).

• For Student services, CRM was perceived as both an opportunity and a threat. On the one hand, it could help consolidate student data. It would become apparent that a student requesting psychological support was also requesting financial aid, for example, allowing Student services to formulate joint strategies to optimize its interventions. On the other

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This document is authorized for use only by mesut yildiz in APM Fall 2022 taught by SUSAN STEVENS, Endicott College from Sep 2022 to Dec 2022.

From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal – Part B

© HEC Montréal 3

hand, Student services handled sensitive student data that staff might not wish to share for fear it could be accessed by employees outside their unit.

• For Alumni services, CRM appeared to offer a great way to engage with graduates and maintain contact with them. One of the key challenges faced by Alumni services was that students were much more mobile than they used to be; their home addresses changed frequently, and staff had no centralized way to update records. Alumni services used Raiser’s Edge, an application designed to manage philanthropic activities, but it worked in isolation from other services and required manual data entry (e.g., following an alumni event, contact information would be entered from business cards collected by Alumni services reps).

• For the HEC Montréal Foundation, the benefits would be similar to those sought by Alumni services. Alumni were one of the Foundation’s leading sources of donations; however, the donor engagement process was currently managed by an application designed exclusively for philanthropic activities (Raiser’s Edge).

• For staff working at the Executive MBA and Executive education offices, CRM also offered strong potential for improving operations management. In fact, the Executive education office was already using a CRM system configured according to its own requirements, but that system was extremely limited in terms of both features and accessibility. At the Executive MBA office, key processes were heavily reliant on the ability of a few people to build personalized relationships with prospective applicants. Although this was problematic given the risk that those individuals could leave HEC Montréal, it was important to ensure that any new system helped to strengthen those relationships, not depersonalize them, making sensitive data available to all services.

An-Phong and Pierre-Yves thus saw strong potential for CRM to help HEC Montréal strengthen its position as a leading business school. The two men would have to begin, however, by making important decisions that would impact the project’s ongoing development. A student’s lifecycle was clearly much more complex than it had been. It was not unusual, for example, for a student to complete a degree at HEC Montréal and start their professional life, returning years later to update their skills in one of its popular graduate micro-programs. Once reserved for students aiming to pursue a Ph.D., Master’s programs were now highly sought after by professionals. While, in the past, the trajectory of most students was fairly linear, this was no longer the case. Building and maintaining strong relationships and nurturing students’ sense of belonging would require a much more comprehensive understanding of their trajectory to maximize HEC Montréal’s chances of being their “go-to” choice for future educational needs. The CRM solution would have to support the twists and turns of ongoing relationships between lifelong learners, alumni, and HEC Montréal.

Deciding on key dimensions of the implementation plan

Based on these requirements, IT services was tasked with devising an implementation strategy that would maximize the chances that the new system would be perceived by users as a useful addition to – and in some instances, a valid substitute for – those currently in use. The new system would have to meet three basic requirements. First, it would have to be sufficiently configurable to handle the wide diversity of processes carried out by the various services. Second, it would have to integrate data across services and break down functional silos related to student data. Third, it would have to be easily integrated with PeopleSoft: some information from PeopleSoft would have

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This document is authorized for use only by mesut yildiz in APM Fall 2022 taught by SUSAN STEVENS, Endicott College from Sep 2022 to Dec 2022.

From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal – Part B

© HEC Montréal 4

to be accessible from within the CRM system while information generated by the CRM system would have to be accessible from within PeopleSoft. As they considered these requirements and started to investigate available solutions, Pierre-Yves and An-Phong identified two critical components of the implementation strategy that would drive the execution of the project and the impact of the new system on HEC Montréal’s IT infrastructure and resources. These two components were the project management approach and the deployment model. Together, they provided an important starting point for launching this project at HEC Montréal.

Question I: Plan-driven versus agile

Pierre-Yves and An-Phong’s first challenge was to select a management approach for the CRM project.

They could, for instance, have opted for a traditional, plan-driven (waterfall) approach. One way to do that would have been for IT services to draw up a complete list of all requirements specified by the services and have that list signed by the stakeholders. Unless otherwise specified, that list would have been immutable, and stakeholders would have been guaranteed that all functionality promised in the document would be delivered. As its name suggests, a plan-driven approach aims to eliminate all uncertainty and risk by accounting for all possible contingencies and costs at the outset of the project.

A possible variant of this approach would have been to proceed step by step, dealing with the requirements for each service, while still adopting a plan-driven approach. For instance, IT services could have established all requirements for a specific service (e.g., Recruiting) and delivered a CRM system for that service before moving on to the requirements of another service (e.g., Alumni services).

A third variant would have been to adopt an agile approach, with the project carried out both incrementally and iteratively. In an agile approach, the project would first be divided into large chunks (e.g., one for each service), with each chunk further divided into a series of user stories describing how the system should behave from the users’ perspective. The project itself would be delivered in time-boxed intervals known as sprints of from two to three weeks. Prior to each sprint, users would decide which features of a user story should be implemented based on the availability of IT services staff. These features would be developed and delivered to users by the end of the sprint.

Question II: Cloud or on-premises

Another important decision related to the deployment model for the CRM. Whether IT services selected a linear, plan-driven approach or a more agile approach, it had to decide whether the CRM system would be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. A preliminary analysis of the CRM market revealed that there were both on-premises and cloud options available that would fit within the allocated budget.

Traditionally, HEC Montréal’s strategic information systems (SIS) (e.g., PeopleSoft) had always been hosted by its own data centre. Among other things, this had enabled the school to maintain tight control over sensitive student data. All six IT units had developed expertise in the installation,

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This document is authorized for use only by mesut yildiz in APM Fall 2022 taught by SUSAN STEVENS, Endicott College from Sep 2022 to Dec 2022.

From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal – Part B

© HEC Montréal 5

configuration, and management of enterprise systems and related data. In line with this tradition, it would have made sense for HEC Montréal to host and manage its CRM system in-house. The other option was to have the CRM system hosted in the cloud as software-as-a-service (SaaS). With SaaS, a company purchased licenses with a monthly or annual billing plan, purchasing additional licenses or cancelling them as necessary. In 2014, CRM solutions were available in different forms. Salesforce, the market leader, was available only as SaaS. Microsoft offered a CRM app for its Dynamics ERP solution with either cloud or on-premise deployment. Although highly functional, its SaaS solution was less so than its on-premise counterpart. When considering SaaS, An-Phong and Pierre-Yves discussed the potential pitfalls of having sensitive data hosted on an external provider. The maturity of the SaaS market in general, and the CRM market in particular (thousands of companies and universities used Salesforce) meant that this issue alone could not be a deal-breaker, however. 2019-12-05

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This document is authorized for use only by mesut yildiz in APM Fall 2022 taught by SUSAN STEVENS, Endicott College from Sep 2022 to Dec 2022.

  • Background information: IT services at HEC Montréal
  • Overview of project requirements
  • Deciding on key dimensions of the implementation plan
    • Question I: Plan-driven versus agile
    • Question II: Cloud or on-premises

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