QUT's digital transformation takes mobile focus

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QUT's digital transformation takes mobile focus
Chris Bridge.

Program hits major milestone.

Queensland University of Technology is preparing for the next phase of its digital transformation, after successfully implementing a new platform that has allowed it to dramatically simplify how staff and students access information.

In the next phase of its ongoing digital workplace program, to be rolled out over the next nine months, the university will focus on improving the mobile accessibility of its online services.

This next stage follows the delivery of CampusEAI’s myCampus to the university’s 50,000 students in May, after first going live to staff last year.

The platform provides users with a single web-based interface for the university's online services and information. It also either integrates with or provides a front end to a range of core corporate applications.

The digital transformation program has also implemented a new information architecture that has seen the uni reorganise content and cull 20,000 web pages of information across 20 sites down to 3000 pages on one site.

QUT director of information services Chris Bridge told iTnews the next releases would build on that work to improve mobile accessibility.

"These sorts of projects are journey projects, because how we create and consume projects is rapidly changing and moving all the time. And as we start to change our habits, we're having to rethink the type of content to allow it to be consumed quickly and easily in these new mobile device formats,” Bridge said.

"The student administrative area is something we'll look at doing in terms of getting the information they need in mobile formats. We'll also see learning content move more and more into formats that can be consumed on mobile devices.”

Digital transformation

Bridge said the digital workplace program was launched to help address some of the challenges around how information was being accessed and consumed by staff and students.

It mirrors numerous similar projects currently underway at other universities, such as the University of Tasmania, which is developing a new staff portal as the centrepiece of a broader cloud-first strategy.

"Like a number of other large organisations similar in size to QUT, information can be located in silos where [you find] the information you seek will depend on who has produced that information rather than how the information needs to be consumed by the end user,” Bridge said.

“We noticed a number of things, including the growth of mobile access year on year. We found up to five mobile devices can be carried by a single individual connecting to our network. This year we've measured around 50,000 unique wireless users connecting per month

"So information content has to be organised in a way that's very easy for it to be searched, found, and consumed quickly anywhere on any device at any time. It has to be relevant and ready to go.”

myCampus deployment

CampusEAI’s myCampus platform was chosen for the project, Bridge said, because it had the most extensive list of features, the implementation time was the shortest,and the procurement price was of the lowest bids on the table.

"[It's] all built on open source software. I'd call it a content management system plus… On top of that, our project has been able to introduce a whole lot more personalisation. It's a modern and highly functional role-based platform,” Bridge said.

"It supports co-production, so central support areas such as HR or finance can push out global organisation-wide information and then local areas can add supplementary content. Instead of duplicating content in their own local areas, they can co-produce.”

The CampusEAI environment has also been adapted to provide a web-based front end into a number of the university’s core business systems, like its Oracle E-Business finance system and StudentOne student management platform, Bridge said.

"The system is a launch pad to more than 200 of our corporate applications,” he said.

"Some of our applications are portlets, and they're built within the CampusEAI environment, and others are your typical core systems. They might be your campus HR system, finance system or some of your student management systems.”

The software, which is hosted on-premises, has also been integrated with the university's Office 365.

This allows staff and students to access their email, calendar, SharePoint services, access to files, synchronisation services and associated cloud services from a single interface.

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