Michigan State University Accelerates IT Operational Efficiency with Own

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is considered a top global institution, that pushes the boundaries of discovery striving to make a better world by providing students with life-changing opportunities. With over 200 programs offered of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study and 50,000 students attending the university every year, Michigan State University has become one of the top 20 ranked schools in the country.

As a Salesforce customer for the last three years, Michigan State University has accumulated multiple Salesforce Orgs and sandboxes. Michigan State University stores an extensive amount of recruiting and admissions data within Salesforce, including student applications, admission decisions, activity tracking, marketing operations with Pardot, payment confirmation numbers, events management, and reporting information. Salesforce enables Michigan State University to focus their time and energy on bringing value to their students and faculty rather than worrying about how to safely store their data.

East Lansing, MI
Backup and Recovery
Sandbox Seeding
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MSU Recruiting and Admissions Runs on Salesforce

Michigan State University further-enhances their operations with an advanced strategy for Salesforce AppExchange applications. MSU seeks out applications that:

  • Support agile operations
  • Extend across multiple environments
  • Provide value for large data volumes
  • Give visibility into adoption components
  • Have an easy-to-use interface and configuration

Michigan State University Was Experiencing Salesforce Data Protection and Sandbox Seeding Challenges

As they continued to grow their Salesforce Org, Michigan State University focused on solving three data protection challenges. First, Michigan State University was backing up their Salesforce data with the Weekly Export, but found the processing time had become too lengthy. They also couldn’t back up metadata or maintain parent/child relationships during a data recovery. The second challenge MSU’s CRM management team had was to ensure they would be able to recover from a data loss and corruption incident. The team ended up deciding to seek out another faster, more comprehensive backup and recovery method than the Salesforce Weekly Export. Finally, Michigan State University was experiencing numerous challenges with a slow, manual sandbox replication processes. MSU develops a significant amount of custom code across their Salesforce platform, which makes speedy sandbox replication critical to their operations.

On a mission to protect their institutional data and speed up their development operations, Michigan State University sought out a comprehensive data backup and recovery solution.

Michigan State University Raises the Bar on Salesforce Data Protection and Sandbox Seeding

After a thorough proof of concept, Michigan State University felt confident in choosing Own as their backup and recovery vendor. After connecting Own to their Salesforce Org, MSU was running their first backup within minutes. The Own interface helps Michigan State University easily identify data loss or corruption using visual graphs as well as data and metadata compare. During day-to-day operations and transformative projects, MSU leverages Smart Alerts to ensure no unexpected data changes go unnoticed. Smart Alerts also alert MSU’s CRM team to data and metadata changes before their end users notice.

Before deployment to production or a sandbox, Michigan State University uses Own Compare to identify if any new validation rules exist to avoid deployment failures. Furthermore, Michigan State University now has the support of Own Sandbox Seeding to populate anonymized test data in minutes, speeding up development cycles significantly. Own Sandbox Seeding has reduced MSU’s replication times from almost a day to less than an hour.

Michigan State University’s CRM Team Saves the Day with Own

Own helped Michigan State University recover from an accidental data corruption shortly after their partnership began. An ID field on their Accounts had a varying numbers of leading zeroes.

"Own Sandbox Seeding has reduced Michigan State University’s replication times from almost a day to less than an hour."

These leading zeros were accidentally removed by Excel automation while the file was being prepared. The leading zeros on several account IDs were then removed during a data load. Using Own’s visual graphs, they were able to locate the date the change took place. Then, with Own Compare they looked at the day before and after the change to locate the corrupted data. Finally, they used Own to restore just the corrupted data.

Own has clearly proven to be more than just a backup tool for Michigan State University. For example, Michigan State University’s internal policy does not allow them to restore fields that aren’t tracked in their own Salesforce Field History Tracking. Therefore, they use Own’s daily backups and Compare capability to perform their history tracking. Audit logs, including fields, are already backed up with Own. In fact, Own offers MSU unlimited storage for all of their data, metadata, and attachments. Own helps MSU keep track of all the changes made to a field of an individual record.

With Own, Michigan State University continues to accelerate their growth and build resiliency with data protection peace of mind.

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We have had challenges with data loss and deletion as we scaled our processes. We even had a case where someone deleted an event 2 days before the event took place. We were able to identify, find, recover, and restore the data and all its child records in about 30 minutes. It also showed us a larger permission issue that we were able to go in and rectify. Own is scalable, reliable, and it has saved the day multiple times.
Haley Gould
CRM Manager at Michigan State University
Backup and Recovery
Sandbox Seeding