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October 2014, Volume 2, Number 5

Cloud CRM system creates on-premises data integration needs

For InsideTrack Inc., which works with colleges to improve student enrollment and graduation rates through a combination of data analysis and one-on-one coaching, the cloud has become a platform to build on. But it isn't a world unto itself, prompting CIO Derald Sue to seek out new ways of integrating cloud and on-premises data. Work in the cloud started several years ago at InsideTrack. Sue said the San Francisco company had previously upgraded from Excel and Access to a Java-based collaborative application for monitoring academic progress at client institutions and managing sales and business development. Updating the homegrown customer relationship management system required considerable effort, though, and the process threatened to become a development bottleneck. "We were capable of doing releases once a year at best," Sue said. To get out of that rut, InsideTrack switched again, this time to a hosted Salesforce.com application running in the cloud. Turning infrastructure management over to Salesforce freed up more time for...

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