PSG College of Technology automates its alumni association activities with Zoho Sites
- ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The PSG College of Technology was established in 1951, and in 1960, the alumni association was established. For a long time, there was not much use of tech in the day-to-day functions of the alumni association. Meet-ups were planned via phone calls. But the whole system underwent a change when the team decided to move their functions to the cloud platform a few years back.
There were challenges to get this done, especially since the alumni association was a trust and not a profit-making initiative. The use of tech was not extensive. "We had a Google Group and used Gmail for our communication," explained Ratna Kumar, Co-Founder, Kaar Technologies and President, PSG Tech Alumni Association, Chennai Chapter. "We also extensively used Google Drive. That was the only tech we had."
There were other operational challenges that took away a huge chunk of its time. "The Chennai Chapter of the PSG Alumni Association has over 5,000 members," said Ananthalakshmi S, an IT Consultant on the association's IT Team. "Collecting subscription fees from them on time was a challenge for two reasons. Firstly, on an average, over 400 members were active at any given point of time, and the others had to be reminded with calls by the volunteers at the association. Secondly, frequent transaction failures made the process quite an arduous task."
Before Zoho came, the alumni association had physical meet-ups every month. These meet-ups consisted of lectures and knowledge-sharing sessions driven by the alumni. "After the pandemic broke out, the meets were replaced with Zoom calls and webinars," she said. "The website of the alumni was built on Wix, and the layout was very skeletal, meant solely for knowledge-sharing and providing information about the association."
"The design was not responsive or neat," explained Sunil Gavaskar, another member of the IT Team. "Since our work is done on a voluntary basis, we did not find time to fix the issues of the website and the look was quite amateurish. That is when Zoho came into the picture."
In 2020, the association started using Zoho CRM and Forms. The overall IT goal was to gradually move the processes of the Chennai chapter to the Zoho ecosystem one step at a time. They started with changing the registration process with Zoho Forms. It was then decided that the website needed a makeover too.
The association began using Zoho CRM to reach out to its alumni database. Zoho Checkout is being used for payments against the annual subscription. Zoho Campaigns is being used for mailers on its events, birthday wishes, onboarding emails, and newsletters.
Benefits & ROI
"With Zoho Sites, we were able to showcase all our activities in a well-designed layout," Sunil said. "We also had a link for our online subscriptions. The user experience was much smoother and glitch-free. We saw that Zoho Sites came with better templates. We worked around the designs to see what would be most impressive for the association. It saved us a lot of time. It was easy to integrate the website with the other Zoho apps."
"Our day-to-day operations have become smooth since all this automation has happened. Zoho customer service is on par with our expectations. I am not a Zoho expert, but I learnt its products as we implemented them with the help of the Support team of Zoho. Their help was remarkable whenever there were any roadblocks. I could ask for a call back to sort out any confusion."- Ananthalakshmi S, IT Team, PSG Tech Alumni Association, Chennai Chapter
The subscription-related issue has also been sorted out after moving to Sites. "In 2022-23, after moving our website to Zoho Sites, we launched our subscription with the help of Zoho Checkout," Ananthalakshmi said. "In the very first month, over 57% of our members had paid the subscription fees, which was quite a good number considering less than half of our members are active members. A lot of the manual efforts have been eliminated and driving subscriptions has become easier on our website."
The alumni association has many initiatives planned for the time to come, especially pertaining to mentorship, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing. "I am a firm believer in tech and want to bring more tech into our work," Ratna Kumar said. The Association intends to move its accounting work to Zoho Books in the coming months, which will make it easier to keep a tab on the finances of the chapters and the donations received. Plans are also on to leverage more out of Campaigns and go big on Facebook promotions.
"Our focus is on tech automation since it gives us more time to focus on the core principles of the chapter and building a positive environment for our alumni, connecting them and showcasing their achievements," Anantha confirms.
To learn more about PSG Tech Alumni Association, visit their website https://www.psgtaacc.org/