From Students to Alumni: Implementing CRM to Build Lifelong Relationships at HEC Montréal (A, B, and C)

Case number : 9 65 2019 001A-C
Case published in the International Journal of Case Studies in Management, Vol. 17, No. 4
Date :  2019-12-06
Teaching notes included :  Yes

This case recounts the implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system in what is considered a non-traditional use case for this category of enterprise system. In the early 2010s, HEC Montréal, a leading Canadian business school in Montreal, Quebec, had to devise new strategies to respond to profound changes taking place in the labour market as well as within the higher education sector. To that end, the school embarked on a project to implement a CRM system to build and maintain strong bonds with its prospective, current, and past students. This three-part case study covers (1) the inception of the CRM project as one of strategic relevance to HEC Montréal, (2) the decisions that had to be made with regard to the implementation strategy – namely whether to adopt a plan-driven or an agile approach and whether to deploy the CRM on-premises or through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider – and (3) the unfolding of the first phases of the implementation.

Teaching objectives

Part A: Understand how CRM can help an organization achieve its strategic objectives. Identify contextual elements that drive IT implementation to execute a management strategy in the context of higher education. Understand how CRM, a type of digital technology, can help organizations improve their customer relationships.

Part B: Identify risk factors in a CRM implementation. Analyze project management approaches and deployment models as tactics to mitigate risk factors in a CRM implementation. Develop an awareness of the implications of project management approaches (plan-driven and agile) and deployment models (on-premises and SaaS) to IT projects.

Part C: Understand that IT implementations for strategic purposes are complex projects in which technology may not be the most challenging factor.

Primary domain :  Information technology
Secondary domain :  Not available
Sectors :  Education and training
Type :  Traditional case (Descriptive or analytical case)
Event location :  Montreal, QC, Canada
Year of start of the event :  2012
Year the event ended :  2014
Business size :  Large enterprise
Concepts et théories en lien avec le cas
  • Strategic relevance of IT
  • Dimensions of IT implementation planning
  • IT implementation