Salesforce Center of Excellence (CoE)

Please find the readable version of the "Governance Delivers Benefits and Value" here.

Governance Delivers Benefits and Value

A Center of Excellence (CoE) facilitates a group approach to achieving efficient governance and delivering key advantages including:

  • Clear and common understanding of the state of projects and the value they offer
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • Aligning technology with strategic organizational goals
  • Ensuring business solutions are delivered at the speed of the business.


Kent State’s Salesforce Center of Excellence includes leadership representation from all divisions utilizing the CRM.


  • Brittany Armann, Institutional Advancement
  • Laura Brown, Institutional Advancement
  • Barb Boltz, Student Affairs
  • Lin Danes, University Relations
  • Dave Garcia, Academic Affairs
  • Sameer Jaleel, Information Services
  • Megan Krippel, System Integration
  • Jennifer McDonough, Academic Affairs
  • Altai Otgonyin, Information Services
  • Tim Pagliari, System Integration
  • Coleen Santee, Information Services
  • Holly Slocum, Information Services
  • Charity Snyder, Academic Affairs


The accelerator led by Salesforce was completed in November. This exercise included a planning meeting followed by a series of three meetings with the following agenda:

  • Key Business Objective (challenges, priorities, and interests)
  • Introduction to Governance
  • Vision / V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Measures) Overview
  • Discuss and agree on your governance challenges
  • Select the appropriate Operating Model
  • Process Workshops & Discussion on the Challenges identified:
  1. Communication Strategy
  2. Technical Change Control
  3. Testing Strategy
  4. Data Architecture & Data Quality Mgmt
  5. Integration Strategy
  6. Security Architecture
  7. Success Metrics
  • Create a 30-60-90 day implementation plan


The 7 Areas of Focus, In Detail


Communication Strategy

The intent of the Communication Strategy is to drive consistency and avoid confusion. This topic was chosen to help us improve awareness and increase buy-in from all stakeholders. Coleen Santee is leading this effort and will be expanding communications. The existing monthly newsletter is a component of the overall strategy.


Technical Change Control

While change management procedures are already in place, this area was chosen to put stronger checkpoints around changes affecting our environments. The intended outcome is to have a consistent change process that includes a feedback loop to inform users of the changes and why they are occurring, a consistent path to production, and documentation for each release. Holly Slocum and Altai Otgonyin will be leading this effort.


Testing Strategy

Defining a comprehensive testing strategy and ensuring that it is executed during every release to production is vital for a successful CRM implementation. Several components of the Salesforce platform benefit from the creation of test scripts and eventually implementing automation on them, so that they can be automatically fired off when change occurs both internally and externally. Led by Sameer Jaleel, identifying high risk areas for change and ensuring that they have test coverage will be the initial focus under this strategy.


Data Architecture & Data Quality

Data is a fundamental resource for the University and having a comprehensive understanding that includes data first generated in the CRM is crucial.

The Core Data Team will address how the Data Standards Committee incorporates data born in, or integrated with, the CRM with data from the ERP. They will also work on delivering an updated Data Standards document that will outline how the CRM data meshes with the data from the rest of the University Systems.


Integration Strategy

An integration strategy is needed to define a playbook that provides guidelines and rules about how data is to be integrated with the CRM, and the rest of the University systems.

We made progress using the Talend suite and will continue to make that the hub where data from many systems flows through.

The Core Data Team will build upon the previously created data integration decisions and finalize a categorized brochure of data points and how they are managed across the different systems.


Security Architecture

The team is tasked to come up with a set of defined policies and procedures that play a role in securing access to data and processes that exist in the CRM.

This is a high priority task, as we will be entrusted with sensitive information provided by the many users of Salesforce, ranging from applicants all the way through to donors.

At the conclusion of this effort, led by Holly Slocum, Jennifer McDonough, Megan Krippel, and Barb Boltz, there will be a list of policies that all parties will adhere to, that applies to our security needs.


Success Metrics

This area focuses on the identification of appropriate Key Performance Indicators that will help measure whether the CRM adoption is adequately meeting Kent State’s business and strategic goals. As time progresses and the organization matures through its adoption, these KPIs will evolve via an effective strategy. The group undertaking this strategy includes Dave Garcia, Jennifer McDonough, Barb Boltz, Laura Brown, Megan Krippel, and Coleen Santee.


Types of Operation Models:

Consolidated: Brings together a coalition of business groups to define business priorities and centralizes configuration and development within one organization.

Federated: Brings together a coalition of business groups to set strategic priorities and share best practices, with centralized application development.

Confederated: Brings together a coalition of business groups to share best practices, with de-centralized platform support, configuration and application development.

The team decided the Federated CoE Model appropriately fit our needs.


POSTED: Friday, December 8, 2017 - 1:17pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 2:02pm