Barry University Creates a Resilient Campus Experience With Boomi, Workday, and Salesforce

November 17, 2020
Barry University Creates a Resilient Campus Experience With Boomi, Workday, and Salesforce

Over the past five years, Barry University has increasingly leveraged enterprise technology in a cloud-first digital transformation initiative to streamline student and staff experiences and support the highest academic standards in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.

In one key initiative, Barry University’s IT team turned its focus to improving new student recruitment and admissions processes at the Catholic institution of higher education, founded by the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1940 and based in Miami, Florida.

Achieving that goal would require IT to modernize the technology stack and bridge the gap between disparate systems at the university, which has nearly 8,000 students from about 80 countries.

To optimize recruitment, Barry University looked to cloud applications to aggregate more data on prospective students — and convert more prospects into formal applicants. To accelerate decision making in admissions, the university wanted to give admissions officials easy access to relevant information such as transcripts and financial data.

As outlined in our success story, the institution rolled out its first-ever customer relationship management (CRM) application with Salesforce Sales Cloud, and later replaced its 25-year-old enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with Workday Financial Management.

Barry University then turned to Boomi to orchestrate processes by connecting its standalone systems, including Workday Financial Management, Salesforce Sales Cloud, and its legacy student information system (SIS). To date the university has completed over 180 integrations with Boomi, and has the foundation to replace its legacy student information system (SIS) with Workday Student.

Watch the video below for a brief synopsis of the benefits Barry University has realized from the Boomi AtomSphere Platform:

Boomi Solves the University’s "Data Nightmare"

Before Boomi, disconnected processes across Barry University’s IT systems caused friction, delays, and inaccuracies. Staff dealt with manual, error-prone processes, and the IT team was challenged to manage a diverse environment of both outdated on-premises legacy systems and modern cloud applications.

“We had many data sets that were represented in different ways,” says Dr. Hernan Londono, associate vice president of IT and CTO. "It was a data nightmare."

To connect Workday Financial Management with satellite systems, Barry University first tried the Workday Studio integration tool. Limitations in Workday Studio slowed the university's progress, but Boomi’s low-code, cloud-native technology worked like a charm. With the Boomi AtomSphere Platform, Barry University solved its data nightmare and realized remarkable results in digitizing recruitment and admissions processes.

In recruitment, Barry University has seen a 48 percent gain in conversion of prospects into formal applicants as Boomi automates cumbersome recruitment processes with multiple integrations that better engage prospects across more digital touchpoints.

For more information on how Boomi is helping higher education institutions around the world, check out our infographic: "Building a Resilient Campus Experience."

Barry Speeds Admissions 6X, Eliminates Brown Folders

In admissions, the university has reduced decision-making time on applications from 30 days to five days, while reducing errors and giving decision makers comprehensive information for faster admissions decisions.

“With Boomi, everything is automated and our admissions team can make decisions on applicants 6X faster,” says Grace Ralfelt, solutions architect at Barry University.

Barry University has eliminated the manual process of sharing applicant records in brown folders that went from unit to unit during the admissions process. Instead, Boomi is orchestrating processes by integrating Salesforce Sales Cloud with the legacy SIS, a homegrown student portal, and data sources for transcripts and test scores.

“Because we’ve digitized these processes, the brown folder no longer exists,” Ralfelt says. “This has been a huge advantage since so many people have been working remotely during COVID-19. Compared to five years, ago, working remotely is not a big issue.”

Boomi has helped make Barry University’s online student portal a single source of truth for new students as they go through enrollment and onboarding. For example, new students can see things in the portal such as enrollment fees they need to pay and placement tests they need to take to complete enrollment.

Boomi integrates the portal with the College Board’s ACCUPLACER software application, which enables students to sign up for and complete required testing. Boomi then transfers test results from ACCUPLACER into other key systems, like the student portal, SIS, and Salesforce.

The university is also advancing towards a 360-degree view of prospects and students as integrations expand to onboarding processes across Salesforce, Workday, and other systems.

Boomi Strengthens Resilience to Adapt to COVID-19

The automation, synchronization, and orchestration Boomi delivers helps to ensure a unified and resilient campus experience that can withstand any type of disruption, from a hurricane to a pandemic.

Londono is very familiar with preparing for disruptions caused by phenomena like hurricanes. The disaster-tolerant cloud strategy he established a few years ago gave the university the flexibility to adapt during a completely unexpected disruption — the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Boomi will help facilitate student re-entry post COVID-19, which demonstrates that our decision years ago on a cloud-native integration platform was the right one for any situation we may face, whether that be a hurricane or a pandemic,” Londono says.

The flexible cloud infrastructure that Barry IT implemented enabled the university to move to remote operations and learning in just one week once COVID-19 hit.

“Thanks to the agile environment we have with Boomi, we were able to convert all on-campus operations to remote and facilitate remote learning in about a week during COVID-19," Londono adds. "Boomi integration technology glues our people and processes together.”

Streamlining Communications, Critical During COVID-19 Re-Entry

Boomi is also helping Barry University officials communicate more efficiently and effectively with key constituents, such as existing and prospective students, during the COVID-19 crisis and into the future. Leveraging Boomi and integrations with Salesforce Sales Cloud, staffers are able to communicate with key constituents at the needed frequency and better navigate these challenging times.

“Before Boomi, communications used to be a headache,” Ralfelt says. “We had to manually find constituent data and lists."  

Now, she says, communication is easy. "Although people don’t see Boomi, it’s really what powers our ability to get this data very dynamically and communicate with our constituents.”

Leveraging the Boomi AtomSphere Platform to help power its cloud strategy, Barry University has:

  • Automated data transfer between disparate applications for students and faculty
  • Eliminated the costs of custom Workday Studio integrations using Boomi’s built-in connectors to standardize integrations
  • Modernized legacy systems and unlocked the value of data and its investments in cloud technologies

Why Boomi?

Boomi was the ideal solution to help Barry IT achieve its digital transformation goals, support the university’s mission, and resolve its biggest challenges, including new student recruitment and admissions. Barry IT chose Boomi for these reasons:

  • Cloud-native: Built from the ground up to be cloud-native, Boomi provides elasticity and scalability while eliminating the need for Barry University to purchase, implement, manage, and maintain hardware for hosting software.
  • Low-code development: Boomi’s intuitive, low-code interface meant that Barry IT wouldn’t need integration developers with special skills. Instead, the university’s computer science interns can quickly learn to use the Boomi AtomSphere Platform and deploy Boomi integrations.
  • Unified solution: Boomi simplifies and accelerates connectivity across applications, data, processes, and people. It enables businesses to connect legacy systems with new end points and simplify the flow of trusted data across internal and external stakeholders.
  • Out-of-the-box connectors: Since building a robust integration platform with Boomi, the university is now preparing to use Boomi in a major Workday Student implementation to replace its legacy SIS. Overall, Barry University has found the Boomi AtomSphere Platform far faster and simpler than other integration tools.

What’s Next?

When the university started its digital transformation journey five years ago, it was intimidating to some of the team members across IT and administrative departments. But Boomi has helped put those concerns to rest.

As Ralfelt says, “Five years later, they don't even think about it. In fact, every time our colleagues in IT and HR and other departments see new processes, they ask us how we can help them automate it.”

Londono adds that his team continues to work with colleagues to identify gaps and what needs to be added to the platform. “They will continue using it and we will continue innovating,” he says.

For more information on how Boomi is helping higher education institutions around the world, check out our infographic: "Building a Resilient Campus Experience."

About the Author

Lisa Martin is the principal of LuccaZara, Inc, a boutique marketing agency for tech companies in Silicon Valley. She's also a TV host, having interviewed over 400 executives from Michael Dell to personal financial expert Suze Orman on the many applications of technology innovation.