Backup and Recovery

University of San Francisco Protects Mission Critical Data With OwnBackup

Mike Melone
Content Marketing Manager
January 15, 2021

The past year has accelerated digital transformation across all industries, and higher education is no exception. Now more than ever, colleges and universities need an agile platform to address the ever-changing needs of students, faculty and staff.

Recently, Luke Ifland, a Salesforce Business Systems Analyst at the University of San Francisco (USF), joined us to share why having a backup and recovery solution for Salesforce is so critical to the university’s operations. He also talked about how OwnBackup’s Enhanced Sandbox Seeding tool has helped his team collaborate and respond to changes more quickly. Highlights from the interview are below. 

Why is having an automated backup solution so important to your organization?

Luke: We have students, faculty, and staff who rely on high quality data 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team is way too busy to spend time manually backing up all of that data. And restoring data using the CSV files from manual backups would be a massive headache. The last thing we need in a moment of crisis is to have to sort through all of these individual spreadsheets. With OwnBackup, we can quickly set up backups and not have to worry if we're protected. And if, or rather when, the moment arises, we know that we have the tools to get up and running smoothly.


What ultimately made the team decide it was time to have a backup solution for Salesforce?

Luke: Essentially, once Salesforce became the central data solution for faculty advising, we decided to replace the native tools from Salesforce and implement these enterprise-level solutions. Of course you can get scheduled weekly backups from Salesforce delivered to you, but it doesn't really give you the tools to restore. And so at a certain point, you're going to have so much data that these native tools are not going to serve you if something actually happens.

It was also about giving our admins and developers the tools that they deserve to do their jobs every day.  But I think with Salesforce, or anything in the cloud, everyone's holding their breath hoping that nothing happens.


What are the top three reasons why you entrust your data to OwnBackup?

Luke: The first reason and probably the biggest is that it's just very easy to use. You can literally get your entire org and all of your sandboxes set up in just minutes with a few clicks. Secondly, an automated backup gives us the ultimate safety net. We have multiple developers and admins working in our orgs, and I know that if a deployment or a data load goes wrong, we always have OwnBackup to fall back on. 

And finally, you just have access to a whole suite of tools with OwnBackup that makes your Salesforce admin responsibilities a breeze. Of course there’s Sandbox Seeding, which is hugely useful, but we also love smart alerts, which let you know about any data or metadata changes that are outside of normal range that you can set. We also use smart comparisons to determine when data or metadata is changed and by whom. Without it, there'd be little that we could do to actually investigate and track down that sort of information.


How does OwnBackup's backup and recovery solution make your life easier?

Luke: OwnBackup definitely helps me sleep better at night! Not only do we have the mission critical data that our faculty and student advisors use to guide their students to success, but the data in and of itself is actually protected by federal law. And we take that really seriously. So with OwnBackup, we know that the data is protected using technology and best practices that reflect our own high standards. 


Switching gears now to sandbox seeding. Why are sandboxes critical to your development efforts?

Luke: We have a ton of sandboxes that we use to collaborate on development solutions between different teammates. It's a lot of cooks in the kitchen and a lot of projects happening simultaneously. Sandboxes allow us to get a solution right in a safe environment without any risk to the production org. They're a great tool to allow us to quickly and collaboratively respond to our client needs.


How has OwnBackup’s Enhanced Sandbox Seeding tool streamlined your processes?

Luke: Enhanced Sandbox Seeding has saved us time and given us new efficiencies. We use the Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA) along with customer communities. And then on top of that architecture, we've built several custom objects. So the data is pretty complex and it would take a prohibitive amount of time to manually seed all of that data into sandboxes. And without enough seed data, developers and admins wouldn't be able to test their solutions and respond to client needs. 

Sandbox seeding has eliminated the bottleneck of getting that critical data over to the sandboxes. The downstream impact is that we get solutions through development and testing much faster now.  And we just save so much more time.


For more stories of customers who trust OwnBackup to protect their Salesforce data, click here.

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