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Bath University moves business network into the cloud

Salesforce.com CRM makes it faster to identify new commercial opportunities, and enables expansion

The University of Bath is targeting improvements in the efficiency of its business network system by moving it into the cloud with Salesforce.com.

The university's Innovation Centre operates a number of networks that connect academic research with commercial start-ups and entrepreneurs, including Assisted Living Action Network, SiliconSouthwest.co.uk, OpenMIC and LowCarbonSouthWest.co.uk.

Working with system integrator Fujitsu, the university has implemented Salesforce.com's CRM software to manage membership and event information for these networks more efficiently. It has also enabled the centre to expand the number of networks it runs.

Prior to the Salesforce.com, the Innovation Centre managed its networks and members using spreadsheets, which made it difficult to cross-reference network lists and meant that the university missed cross-selling and new business opportunities. Spreadsheet files were also stored offline on a public server, which posed a data security issue.

With the system being in the cloud, the centre's staff can access the system on mobile, as well as desktop, devices via Salesforce.com's iPhone app.

"Until now, simply maintaining this many networks has been a full-time job for my team. Salesforce.com has allowed us to not only manage our subscribers in a fraction of the time, but as a result, we have been able to expand our business, launching two new networks for our clients," said Simon Bond, director of the Innovation Centre.

Cardiff University recently had a similar deal with Fujitsu to roll out Salesforce.com's CRM system to improve the response times and service at its customer-facing departments, the Knowledge Transfer Centre and the Centre for Lifelong Learning.


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