Information Services

University earns £22.6m in 2021 with the help of the IRM

The University of Edinburgh’s innovative and dynamic relationship management system is helping to secure millions of pounds in business opportunities and revolutionise the way its departments and partners work.

 The Industry Relationship Management system (IRM) has helped the University earn a staggering £22.6 million in 2021 alone and secure a total of more than £100 million worth of successful opportunities since April 2018. 

This is ensuring the University leads the sector in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) use in Scotland, as well as earning widespread recognition and driving UoE to be the best university in the world. 

The IRM uses a customised version of the Salesforce platform to manage interactions and deliver collaboration between the University and its stakeholders and partners.  

This is achieved through provision of a “One University” approach to information sharing. This enables easier information gathering, exchange and reporting resulting in better visibility of a range of internal and external interactions. 

The recently establish Strategic Partnership Team within EI is supporting “strategic engagement” with market leading, global companies of scale in sectors aligned with University priority themes in a new approach to external engagement. 

The IRM system is central to this new “one University” approach and can visualise, record and report on all University “touchpoints” with prospective partners enabling a pan University picture.

Dr Brendan McGuckinSenior Project Manager at Edinburgh Innovations (EI)

By using common processes, knowledge and experiences can be shared with others, boosting the University’s abilities in best managing its business relationships. 

The IRM service’s common data model empowers University activity reporting, highlights interactions and avoids duplication of contact chasing efforts, meaning that for the University the IRM is now the principal depository of external engagement. 

It also meets the majority of internal and external reporting needs and will consequently be used to facilitate the hugely important projects for the University. These include the City and Region Deal (CRD), Data Driven Innovation (DDI) Industry Engagement and the Social Responsibility and Sustainability department’s reporting requirements. 

The DDI Programme is large and complex. We rely on the IRM to understand the status of the future opportunity pipeline and to ensure that the right skills are being brought to the right opportunities at the right time.

John ScottHead of Delivery for the Data-Driven Innovation Programme (DDI)

For the service’s individual users, the IRM provides a host of benefits, including abilities in: 

  • Automated reporting tailored to individual requirements to reduce the user's time searching for data. For example, individual emails can be automated and scheduled to be sent to users with reporting information. 

  • Tracking activities, such as meetings and emails via tools, including the Outlook Plug-in 

  • Tracking all Leads, Contacts and Accounts 

  • Managing all types of Opportunities. 

  • Demonstrating contributions to different opportunities  

  • Easy communication between colleagues involved in related projects and or relationships through the Chatter function. 

  • Visibility of activity in one place 

Excitingly, the IRM is continuing to grow and is in the process of welcoming and onboarding new departments, partners and projects from within and outside the University. 

The IRM is an essential tool, used by the Business Development teams across CSE, that is fundamental for success in Industrial Engagement.

James AsheDirector of Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, School of Informatics