TargetX, a student-recruiting company serving higher education, is expanding into the advancement and student-retention areas with two new cloud-based CRM tools.
Similar to its recruitment system, which was launched in 2008, TargetX's new CRM modules are built on Salesforce.com's Force.com platform.
"Today we are launching a unique enterprise-wide CRM solution," said TargetX CEO Brian Niles at the company's Xpert Summit users conference in Las Vegas. "Built in the cloud so it is available anytime, anywhere. Built with TargetX's unparalleled communication tools so that colleges can create relationships with students, alumni, potential donors, and other key constituencies. And built so that data and services can be easily accessed and shared by all departments using the system."
TargetX's expansion comes at a critical time for higher education, Niles said, since there is increasing pressure to identify and recruit best-fit students, retain those students through graduation, and maintain beneficial relationships through their many years as alumni and potential donors.
"Understanding the nature of best fit is critical," he explained, "because it impacts every facet of an institution. The way we look at it, a best-fit student makes your school their first choice, they love it there, they leave it better than they found it, they graduate from it, and then give back to it, financially and otherwise."
With this cradle-to-endowment view becoming more and more prevalent in higher education, colleges are looking for technology that can help them engage the prospective student and build on the relationship over decades. Traditional ERP (enterprise resource planning) and SIS (student information systems) are not able to do that, said Niles.
"ERP and SIS solutions do a good job with transactional processes, like sending out bills and keeping track of financial aid," he added. "But they're not designed to maintain communications and help build relationships. For that, you need a good CRM system. And what we're finding is that colleges want a CRM that extends across the campus. They're under pressure to be more efficient and effective in their dealings with their key constituencies, and as a result they're demanding enterprise solutions that can manage, integrate and automate the process of relationship building through the entire life cycle."