IN FORCE NETWORK
FACILITATING COLLABORATION IN ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The IN Force Network is a world-class customer relationship management (CRM) tool, offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) at the request of its partners. The IN Force Network is a high-performing and collaborative economic development network built on the Salesforce platform.
HOW IT WORKS
Interactions with many of the 650 partners across the state—economic development, workforce development and business assistance organizations, as well as technical colleges—made it clear that there was great opportunity to reduce misalignment and duplication and to better serve the citizens and companies of Wisconsin. The IN Force Network was built to give Wisconsin a competitive advantage for business retention, expansion and attraction, as well as job placement. This tool enables forecasting Wisconsin’s business, workforce and educational needs collectively online, and it connects economic and workforce development partners in a way no other state has yet tried.
The IN Force Network integrates the Skills Wisconsin platform—used by all 11 workforce development boards and their partners throughout Wisconsin. IN Force Network participants have access to data logged, stored, used and updated by WEDC and the Skills Wisconsin network. Conversely, IN Force Network participants share data with WEDC and Skills Wisconsin, allowing for better collaboration, coordination and integration among all participating parties. This system also saves participants from having to make additional software purchases, since multiple services are contained within the platform. The IN Force Network also includes a proprietary business retention and expansion module, which allows organizations to enter their own business retention and expansion data and compare them to other organizations’ data throughout the state at an aggregate level.
The various Salesforce platforms (IN Force Network, WEDC and Skills Wisconsin) communicate with one another, but WEDC is sensitive to participating organizations’ privacy and security concerns. Data are stored securely, with customized privacy controls so organizations can safeguard data they do not wish to share or are legally prohibited from sharing, and are only made available to other member organizations in the aggregate. (Detailed, individualized data are still available to the organization that entered the data.)
Learn more about the IN Force Network, including costs and requirements below.
GET INVOLVED WITH IN FORCE
HOW TO JOIN THE NETWORK
Administration of Network
Our primary function as administrator is to make available discounted bulk rate electronic storage space in a CRM platform customized for economic development professional use and ensure the system remains operational.
WEDC is not the custodian of information stored by partners. Each licensed organization storing data on the Network is the custodian of its information. WEDC is not the custodian of the information entered, uploaded, or stored by partners. Unless the information is shared with WEDC by a partner, we will not have access to it.
WEDC is subject to Wisconsin’s public records law and may receive public records requests for information related to projects on the WEDC Salesforce system. In the event a request is received for records related to a pending project, WEDC, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 238.08, may withhold records from public disclosure when they are related to pending economic development projects, that in the opinion of WEDC, must remain confidential. Information shared with us on the IFN will be reviewed and treated with the same legal standards and level of care as information WEDC receives directly from a business, state agency, economic development entity, or any other source.
As a partner, it is important to understand that WEDC is not the custodian of any information in the network that has not been directly shared with us. It is the responsibility of the partners, as the custodian of the data, to comply with any rules, regulations, and laws that govern their own data.
Open records requests pertaining to partner data on the IN Force Network, will be referred to the owner of that data. Partners should consult their legal counsel on how their organization is to respond to a request for records.
Collaboration and Costs
Licenses for the IN Force Network are currently free and are indeterminately waived.
Each user is required to sign a Pledge of Cooperation and participate in training on the demand-driven model of economic and workforce development.
IN Force Network users are expected to use the network, and data it contains, to provide services to businesses, create business profiles, support business retention and layoff aversion efforts, identify skills training needs and help businesses find skilled workers. IN Force Network users also work collaboratively with other organizations to coordinate outreach to businesses, share information, communicate effectively and refer job seekers.
What does the IN Force Network (IFN) give me access to?
You will have access to a segment of the same system that WEDC uses to manage business relationships. You will be able to access data and edit contact information WEDC has entered into the system, and will also be able to collaborate on shared information supplied by other economic developers throughout the state. The IN Force Network is integrated with Skills Wisconsin—the Salesforce platform developed by the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association and the eleven workforce development boards throughout Wisconsin—in order to maximize interagency collaboration.
What can I do in the system?
Users of IN Force can create and run reports on completed, ongoing and future projects and can use the system to communicate and collaborate with other economic and workforce development partners throughout the state.
Will the data I enter into IN Force be private?
General business (accounts) and contact data will be seen by all users in the system, much like a large Rolodex. This information is otherwise publicly available. If you are working with a company on a project (called an opportunity), this information is always private unless you decide to share it with another partner or a WEDC employee through specific sharing settings that you alone have access to.
WEDC employees are encouraged and able to share WEDC projects with you as a licensed IN Force Network user. The data WEDC is able to share is exclusively WEDC data.
What is the cost of joining the IN Force Network?
Licenses for the IN Force Network are currently free and are indeterminately waived.
What if I already have business relationship data in another system?
The IN Force implementation team will work with you to get the data you have in another system into the IN Force Network.
Should the IN Force Network no longer be utilized after you enter data into it, WEDC will export your data out of the network into either an Excel or CSV format so you are able to enter it into a different system should you so choose.
Whom do I contact to learn more about joining the IN Force Network?
If you have questions about the IN Force Network or would like to join, please contact Sharon Berge at 608.210.6806.
Download the pledge here.
Below, we summarize the privacy protections inherent in the IN Force Network (IFN) for data entered by IFN and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) users. WEDC takes our partners’ privacy and confidentiality advice and concerns seriously, and we have taken the utmost care to prevent access to sensitive data that should be protected. Please also see facts regarding public records requests, including how they are handled by WEDC. In addition, please make sure you understand how public records laws affect your organization and how you should handle requests for data you enter in the network.
Accounts on IFN contain information about a business that can typically be found by doing an Internet search or looking in a phone book. This part of IFN is much like a large Rolodex, containing well over 100,000 Wisconsin businesses’ basic information all in one place, for you to utilize and reference.
- IFN users are only able to edit accounts they or their coworkers own.
- IFN users can read but not edit accounts owned by other IFN users and WEDC employees.
- WEDC employees can read but not edit accounts owned by IFN users.
Activities on IFN contain snippets of information about your interactions with a business, such as “Called to set up a meeting” or “Met with Lauren Miedema at WEDC to discuss IFN.” This is a place for partners to work together and stay aware of one another’s efforts to help Wisconsin businesses succeed and ensure we are not duplicating efforts. Current IFN users made the decision that since we are collaborating, activities should be open and observable to all licensed participants. Thus, unless you mark your activity “private,” it can be seen by all IFN users and WEDC staff; this supports the network’s intended goal of facilitating collaboration.
- IFN users and WEDC employees can see all activities created by both IFN users and WEDC employees.
- If the activity is marked “private,” users will not be able to see it, except for the person to whom the activity is assigned.
BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION (BRE) SURVEYS
BRE data is yours and yours alone. The only collective data is aggregate reports that everyone can run. This is the same approach contained in BRE survey tools such as Executive Pulse and Synchronist. IFN users are asking for more ways to opt in to voluntarily sharing this data; currently, that is not possible, as the system was set up according to the previously stated desires of statewide EDOs to keep this information private except in the aggregate.
- IFN users can only read BRE surveys they or their coworkers own.
- WEDC staff cannot read BRE surveys.
The investor relations area is for tracking the funding your organization receives from a variety of sources. Investor relations data is yours and yours alone.
- IFN users can only read investor relations records owned by themselves or their coworkers.
- WEDC employees cannot read investor relations records.
Opportunities are for projects, programs or events you are working on with an account (business). Opportunities are private, viewable only for you and your coworkers within the same organization, unless you decide to share them as shown below. Within opportunities, you can document everything happening with a project, program or event with which you are assisting a given account.
- IFN users can only read and edit opportunities they or their coworkers own.
- WEDC employees cannot see opportunities owned by IFN users.
- IFN users cannot see opportunities owned by WEDC employees.
- Activities and tasks flow into the account, but IFN users and WEDC employees other than the account owner will not see them under “Related Lists” on the account detail page.
- If you add IFN users or WEDC employees to the opportunity team on the opportunity, they are then able to see the opportunity.
- You can “un-share” opportunities at any point in time to make them private again.
Contacts are used for individual people. Like accounts on IFN, the contact area contains information about a person at a business that you can typically find by doing an Internet search or looking in a phone book. This, too, is part of that large Rolodex containing well over 100,000 Wisconsin businesses’ basic information, organized all in one place for you to utilize and reference.
- All contacts are editable by both IFN users and WEDC employees.
RESOURCES FOR EXISTING MEMBERS
If you are interested in joining the IN Force Network, please contact Sharon Berge at 608.210.6806.
Please contact Nick Stoliker at 608.210.6861 if you do not receive an email containing password reset information within 10 minutes.