Case Study: Salesforce for Office of Research

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Technology Management and Corporate Relations (TMCR) manages university intellectual property and facilitates efficient technology transfer through effective leveraging of internal and external resources. Needing a solution that enables close collaboration between the units, TMCR identified Salesforce as an ideal cloud solution for managing accounts, contacts, patents, cases, and more.

The Challenge        

At UC Davis, the Technology Management and Corporate Relations (TMCR) team functions as service units within the Office of Research. TMCR manages university intellectual property and facilitates efficient technology transfer through effective leveraging of internal and external resources. TMCR is comprised of 3 units: Office of Corporate Relations (OCR), InnovationAccess (IA), and Venture Catalyst (VC). Though there is close collaboration between our units, a shared data system was not available for sharing of information. Through due diligence and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the needs for the team, we identified Salesforce as an ideal cloud solution for TMCR.

The Solution

The TMCR implementation on Salesforce leveraged the combined environment plus the customizable platform to deliver on the following:

Facilitates shared information between the three units

Using the shared data model and a unified platform, the contacts, accounts, and other information is standardized and shared between units. Access via mobile and web interface means no software corner cases restricted team access. In addition, the access controls allowed data visibility and editing to be restricted to appropriate teams.

Data ingress and egress via the Salesforce API

Data is loaded from systems of record on campus and provided by UCOP using an authenticated API via a 3rd party website which provides easy relation between objects. TMCR is looking to automate this using standard programming practices on-premises integrating more tightly with Salesforce.

Tracks contacts through processes and workflows necessary for providing quality service

The platform's ability to be customized allowed various engagement activities to be performed and tracked, such as email marketing via Salesforce's tracking capabilities combined with a 3rd party interface, track meetings using Salesforce standard tasks with some internal customizations, and tracking license agreement processes through a free non-profit plugin.

Provides the opportunity to standardize business and technical processes

Using the platform and leveraging its capabilities forced business to streamline, allowing everyone to play by the same rulebook.

Allows for convenient reporting based on metrics or needed information

The Salesforce objects were customized in such a way as to allow reporting along various metrics. Each report is made by a person to provide information specific to their needs. The reporting and dashboard tools are flexible and provide a data preview to ensure the data coming through is what is expected.

Increases transparency for management of internal and external relationships

Sharing data in the platform and streamlining business process provides management with greater visibility: reports can be specifically crafted and shared with management to allow them view into the state of the business.


Results include increased sharing of information by 35+ team members coupled with more effective tracking and follow-up; the ability to look at past relationships with accounts and contacts; increased coordination across the team related to external constituents; and standardization of processes.

What’s Next?

User adoption is an area that continues to take effort. We would like to integrate Salesforce with additional systems, which will take time and resources since data from other systems needs to be cleaned or aligned in order to be compatible. Marketing through campaigns in Salesforce continues to be a challenge. We may review additional tools to simplify the ability to send and track mailings.

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