Florida State University protects its Salesforce platform implementation with Own
Florida State University (FSU) treats disaster recovery seriously, including the ability to back up and recover metadata. With its substantial investment in Salesforce, the university has low tolerance for risk and data loss.
For Dan Powell, Director of Community Engagement Technologies at FSU, not having a backup and recovery solution for potential data loss just wasn’t an option.
Dan’s team was responsible for forming a new Salesforce Center of Excellence (COE) and needed access to enterprise solutions to support teams across the university.
In order to meet departmental-wide RPO/RTO requirements, recover data and metadata, and improve the ability to scale during development cycles, the COE turned to Own.
Prior to Own, Dan and team used Saleforce’s weekly export option. They were able to easily export, but the option to restore was time-consuming and costly, and it didn’t provide adequate RPO and RTO for timely data recovery.
This option put too much data — and development work — at risk.
Dan set out to find a platform to fit their needs, including the ability to restore data back into their Salesforce org as well as archive records they no longer need.
What made Own stand out from the other vendors? They give his team the ability to back up data — and metadata — and then easily restore it.
Also, as a Sales and Service Cloud customer, they needed a product that was easy to implement. Own’s partnership with Salesforce made it easier to get approval to purchase during the procurement process.
As part of the university’s annual hurricane preparedness data recovery exercise, the COE estimated they could be back up and running in under eight hours using Own. Compared to their previous solution, recovering from an on-premise database, the time saved went from days to hours!
And to ensure they haven’t missed changes in the data or metadata, which represents significant development time and investment, Dan’s team runs recovery points nightly. They review and compare these reports daily, which was key to freeing up his team’s time so that he could build out their COE at FSU.
Working with limited resources, Own contributes to the high productivity of the COE, giving the team time to focus on higher-priority needs.
The rapid success of the Community Engagement Technologies teams’ solutions means more demand for CRM applications. The university demand far exceeds the team’s capacity. To ease this demand for the team and build Salesforce skillsets across the university, they are enlisting developers from across the university to join the single org environment and build their own applications.
To make this happen, the team tightened their development stack and leveraged Salesforce sandboxes for their community of developers. They knew they could quickly spin up a sandbox that reflected the production environment but they needed real data in these sandboxes to make them meaningful and valuable for the developer. And, while they needed the data to be real, they needed the data to be anonymous, so as to not break any FERPA or other regulations.
It was critical for the team to speed up the process of setting up an efficient development environment, including metadata, that maps to production and supports an architectural review so they can move it up the stack.
To let these teams outside of the core Salesforce team build on their own tenants, a solution was needed to make the process manageable.
With Enhanced Sandbox Seeding, the team is able to speed up development, testing and training by allowing developers to seed sandboxes with data that mirrors their real environment.
Automated seeding processes enable developers to have ample types of developer sandboxes, creating an environment for innovation and excellence. And with reusable seeding templates, they can spin up sandboxes quickly for specific use cases with only the exact data they need.
Additionally, Enhanced Sandbox Seeding gives the team the ability to anonymize records in a sandbox, which is helpful when they need to show an application or functionality seeded with real data to someone that should not have access. Student privacy with FERPA and HIPAA remains fully protected.
Each department can now act as its own business and move faster without relying on central IT.
Dan made sure that this important work would not be lost so the COE can continue to excel. Own is easy to use, making it easy for the COE to support other departments.
“My team is evolving from being just a delivery team to one that’s building and supporting university-wide applications. We’re becoming a true center of excellence with the help of Own.”
-Dan Powell, Director of Community Engagement Technologies, FSU
Dan and his team had two weeks to build a contact-tracing application. Without a single Salesforce architect or Salesforce-certified team member, they knew this was going to be a difficult request.
“We were working with HIPAA data, and we knew we had to back it up. So we called Own to help.”
The COE built an application to support contact tracing in the two weeks allotted. They were able to stand up the complete application, including workflows, integrations with a system of records, folding in other supporting applications, and ensuring they were compliant with HIPAA.
“The training was fast, and it was easy to stand up environments. And the way that the team at Own worked together to make this a seamless process was really important for us, because it showed they're an all-hands-on-deck team.”
Florida State University (FSU) is a public, fully accredited, coeducational research institution and one of twelve units within the Florida State University System directed by the Florida Board of Governors. As one of the nation's elite research universities, Florida State University preserves, expands, and disseminates knowledge in the sciences, technology, arts, humanities, and professions while embracing a philosophy of learning firmly rooted in the traditions of the liberal arts and critical thinking. Founded in 1851, Florida State University is home to 14,251 employees and 41,867 students from every Florida county, 50 states, and over 130 countries.