The University of Texas at San Antonio effectively manages data and growth with Own
By tracking student enrollment and engagement in Salesforce, the CRM Systems team at UTSA plays an important role in recruiting new students.
When Doug Baker, Assistant Director of CRM Systems, joined UTSA, he noticed their Salesforce data objects were growing about 10 percent per month , but the team couldn’t identify what was causing this. “By the time we actually had a chance to research what the issue was, we were at about 86% capacity of our total amount of storage in Salesforce,” says Doug.
Doug and team ran an Optimizer report inside of Salesforce, which pinpointed what was causing the issue: the majority of the storage was being taken up from an object called Individual Email Result, or IER. While there is a set limit to the number of emails you can send per day in Salesforce, you can keep the email record, including the IER data, for as long as necessary.
“We have a connector that runs between Salesforce into Marketing Cloud and vice versa. So, anytime an email gets sent from Marketing Cloud, it stamps an IER record onto that student's contact record. This object allows us to then go back and see all of the emails for this Salesforce contact that we've sent over time.”
While this was valuable information for the team, it was also eating up the majority of their storage.
“Having this object helped us see email bloat or what emails were opened, but there was so much of it. Once we realized what was taking up 60 percent of our storage, we knew we needed to look for some way to either back up or archive the data from that object.”
Doug and team evaluated six different vendors and even set up a site where they could store all the data on internal servers at UTSA. They ultimately landed on Own for several reasons:
"In the Higher Education Advisory Council, which is a Salesforce team that meets monthly, 10 of the members said, ‘Oh yeah — we all use Own. That’s the one."
They signed an agreement with Own, but by the time they implemented Archive, they were at 110 percent of their total allotted storage amount!
Once the problem was identified, they needed to fix it. They created a rule that any IER older than six months that hadn’t been touched would be automatically archived. With Archive, they can see the whole picture of a student's history by referencing the archived files and are no longer in danger of exceeding their storage limits.
In fact, it only took the UTSA team 14 days to shrink their total storage size by almost 40 percent!
“It was definitely one of those fingers-crossed moments. We just thought, ‘Okay, please let Archive do what it says it does on paper.’ When it delivered the results we were hoping for, it was simply amazing,” says Doug.
Getting Archive up and running was fairly straightforward for the team, with knowledge base articles readily available online. Doug and team were able to self-serve first, then go to the Own team with any questions.
For Anthony Bright, CRM Applications Administer, Own’s online user guides were a blessing.
“That can easily be one of those nightmare scenarios when you buy software. If you can’t self-serve or figure out how it works, you have to wait for support to get back to you. If your entire system’s backup or archives are dependent on getting that information, you’d lose valuable time waiting around.”
Setting up the archive rule was a bit more complicated, but they were able to turn it on over the phone with Own.
“We hopped on a call with Own and had the policy set up that day,” says Anthony. The level of support the team received- and continue to receive from Own- lets them know they’ve made the right investment.
UTSA was required by their security team to have a backup process in place. Because Salesforce is their system of record containing important student information, they couldn’t risk having a single point of failure.
At the time they received their security audit, the best data backup process they had in place was the Salesforce weekly export.
When they looked into how they would restore from an exported backup, they realized they couldn’t.
“We researched just doing it internally by downloading a CSV file out of Salesforce and uploading it into a cloud server, and we immediately discovered we could pull it out, but we couldn’t put it back in. That was a dealbreaker.”
As the team was researching a tool for archiving data, they found that Own could do backup and recovery as well.
“Our leadership team was looking to us to solve this security audit request. Then we reached 100 percent of our storage capacity and knew we really needed to get something signed with Own as soon as possible.”
University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is part of a system of schools and the only Hispanic-serving university specializing in cyber, health, fundamental futures and social-economic development. With more than 34,000 students, it’s the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region.
UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property—for Texas, the nation and the world.