Customer Case Study: Junior State of America

Since 1934, the non-profit Junior Statesmen Foundation (JSF) and the Junior State of America (JSA) have helped over 500,000 student leaders to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be active, informed and responsible citizens, voters and statesmen. JSA is committed to developing a diverse cross section of young leaders throughout the United States.

During the school year, the student-run Junior State of America operates on high school campuses nationwide as an extra- curricular activity. JSA allows students to experience, first-hand, the drama and power of politics as well as the challenges and responsibilities of leadership. JSA chapters serve as the center of political awareness in their schools and JSA conventions bring thousands of students together to share their opinions and learn from each other.

The Situation

Several years ago, JSA was running a specialized association management system software package designed to support a regional branch structure for a non-profit association. The problem was that JSA is not an association but rather a student run organization with thousands of individual student, alumni and donor m embers. The membership requires accurate and timely management, information dissemination, tracking and reporting. In addition, JSA sponsors many geographic ally disperse events throughout the year. These events require registration and organization which c an only be effectively handled with the appropriate IT systems in place.

JSA’s technology backbone is managed by CIO, Art Morgan.The non-profit organization requires a reliable IT infrastructure to support thousands of students, alumni and donors across America. According to Art, “The JSA infrastructure must integrate our operational data with our financial data in order to allow the organization to run smoothly and efficiently.” This efficiency is critical because JSA has a small IT team.

Challenge

When Junior State of America contacted Sesame Soft ware, they were facing difficult challenges managing the integration and access for their organizational data with a tool that did not fit their business model. Their challenges with the CRM tool they were using were:

  • Specialized association management package that did not match the operational model.
  • Aging software from an unresponsive vendor.
  • Need for a branded, integrated portal tool to allow reliable, streamline support thousands of users nationwide.
  • Provide a public-facing ecommerce site to recruit new students for education and events.
  • Integration with Salesforce.com so they can manage all this easily.
  • Send completed orders to QuickBooks for invoicing.
  • Receive payments in QuickBooks, post payment status and history to Salesforce.com.

Solution

The JSA IT team selected Sesame Software’s Relational Junction Suite because it is a cost effective, easy-to-use yet feature-rich data integration and portal solution.

  • Custom ecommerce web site using Relational Junction Customer Portal and Relational Junction database as a back end.
  • JSA branded portal to support JSA image.
  • Simple for students, alumni and donors to use.
  • Bi-directional Salesforce.com data replication to a relational database effectively allows integration of Salesforce CRM data with QuickBooks financial data.
  • Integration with QuickBooks for processing of all orders and payments.
  • Conversion of six years of relevant data from the legacy system by Sesame’s professional services team.
  • Manageable by the small IT staff.
  • Well-suited to JSA’s distributed operational structure.
  • Includes quick, comprehensive setup and always available ongoing support to respond to questions quickly.
“Our IT infrastructure must integrate the operational data in our CRM system with our financial data to allow JSA to run smoothly and efficiently – Relational Junction does that.”
Art Morgan,  Chief Information Officer Junior Statesmen Foundation

Fast Data Integration & Branded Portal

JSA reviewed new CRM systems including Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and NetSuite. They were using MAS 90 accounting software but they planned to move to QuickBooks. Their success factor goal was to integrate their CRM system with their financial system. When JSA settled on a plan to implement Salesforce.com and QuickBooks, they needed a way to simply and easily integrate the data in these two systems. The product research JSA performed on integration software vendors resulted in the discovery that few integration vendors can easily do the integration they required.

JSA found Sesame Software’s Relational Junction Suite, immediately arranged a demonstration and the Sesame team got JSA up and running quickly, meeting their data integration needs. JSA also set up a branded, Sesame Software Portal. The portal allows simple registration for JSA events nationwide.

Results

  • Capture of new customers and orders in public website.
  • Consistent view of customer data in web site and in Salesforce.com
  • No loss of critical data from legacy system. Years of data now in Salesforce.
  • Great working relationship with the Sesame team.
  • Complete customer and order detail in QuickBooks Enterprise, improving our billing and receivables.

Relational Junction Suite Solved JSA’ s Data
Integration and Access Requirements

Sesame Soft ware’s Relational Junction Suite and Portal have helped JSA’s business into key ways. In the words of JSA’s CIO, Art Morgan, “The Portal is vital to our business in terms of being able to manage the sheer volume of transactions we get, with a small IT staff.” The portal allows JSA to handle 20,000 event registrations annually without the time consuming manual data entry they suffered in the past. The JSA Portal is self-service and simple. Second, the Salesforce.com and QuickBooks data integration allows JSA to move the thousands of transactions from their CRM system into their financial system with only a small accounting staff comprising the CFO, accounting manager and two staff members.