By: Chris Dellen On: March 11, 2014 In: Interactive Intelligence Comments: 0

It is exciting to me when technology profoundly impacts an organization! Today, I want to share with you one of our most recent success stories.






Marian University’s vision is to provide an education that profoundly transforms lives, society, and the world. In 2013, Marian University became home to Indiana’s newest medical school. In that same year, the university celebrated 77 years of providing quality education to their students.

The Challenge

As a rapidly expanding institution of higher education, Marian University’s CIO, Pete Williams, identified a monumental challenge. On any given day, countless calls are being routed between prospective students and university coaches; professors and parents; advancement team members and alumni; and so forth. From Pete’s perspective, Marian University operates like “one giant contact center”. The problem was they did not have the communication platform in place to support their contact center like environment.

Furthermore, the university’s 15 year old PBX (with no built-in disaster recovery) was starting to show its age. Its limited features were negatively impacting their efficiency and student experience. Pete had been actively researching new phone systems to help tighten the university’s business processes when the PBX crashed. With the regular day-to-day demands, a new medical school opening soon and the progressive strategy to streamline processes, Pete’s “lean” IT staff needed to overhaul the phone system and upgrade it to a comprehensive communication platform…and fast!

The Solution

After thoroughly researching their options, Pete and his team chose a CPI engineered Interactive Intelligence system to unify their voice, fax, chat, and process automation (all under a single platform). This strategic move fulfilled Pete’s vision of revamping the university’s workflow and meeting its complex communication demands. Pete said, “The Future-State CIO model heavily influenced our decision to go with CPI and Interactive Intelligence. The model focuses on driving business change by changing the workflow. We believe by changing the workflow, we can revolutionize the way Marian University delivers world-class education.” Integrating the unified Interactive Intelligence system with a third-party CRM has given the university sophisticated capabilities. Now that they are able to collect, analyze, and disseminate all of this data, Pete and his team are able to continually improve the university’s business processes. For a university, this is a revolutionary approach that is already paying dividends.

After learning what CPI has done for large companies like Lucas Oil Stadium,
I was confident they could meet our needs here at Marian University.
CPI has exceeded our expectations!” 
– Pete Williams, CIO

The Results

With their new system and strategy in place, Marian University’s recruitment office has seen a major influx in campus visits and admission applications. Pete shares, “We know for a fact, that we would not be able to handle the workload of the heightened awareness and interest in Marian University had it not been for the workflow and process improvement of this project.” Here is how the new system works. Similar to any university, each admission counselor covers a very large geographic area. Before the new system, it was extremely challenging to keep up with each prospective student and their individual needs.

Now Pete and his team are able to track and analyze the communication history between prospective students and the admissions office or any other staff or faculty member (i.e. a coach, professor or the university’s president). The IT team takes this history of who and when a university representative communicated with and runs the data through predictive analytics. From this data, tasks are automatically generated and assigned to key staff members. This new approach significantly diminishes the likelihood of a prospective student falling through the cracks or even being called multiple times due to one university representative not realizing another had already followed-up with a prospect. The new system is offering countless insights that are helping the university become increasingly more strategic in their recruiting.

Additionally, student retention is also on the rise. With the ability to track metrics such as a student’s academic standing and extracurricular activities, the IT team is able to apply predictive analytics to each individual case. In the future, specific alerts will automatically be assigned and routed to guidance counselors in order for them to offer early intervention for at-risk students.

In spite of all the new telecommunication changes at Marian University, the transition to the new system has gone smoothly. Scott Shea, Director of Infrastructure Services at Marian University, shares “CPI has provided exceptional training for our staff members. Their 12-part video series enabled our faculty and staff to be self-sufficient as they learned to use the new platform. Furthermore, any time we run across an issue, CPI is always quick to respond. That means a lot to us.”

If you have a vision similar to Pete’s, we invite you to contact us to learn more about this business phone system and communication platform and how it can revolutionize your business. 

“Phil Stone, our Interactive Intelligence administrator, along with the entire CPI team has played a significant role in helping Marian University succeed! Not only in how we recruit and retain students, but in helping us drive the communications of Indiana’s newest medical school.”
– Pete Williams (CIO)