Lincoln University had an urgent requirement to replace their aged and unsupported Content Management System (CMS) that was underpinning the back-end of their website. It was vital to meet a pressing three-month deadline for the project to be delivered, at a time when potential students needed information on which to base their university and course selections.
As New Zealand’s specialist land-based university, Lincoln has a student population of 4000 and the
website is a window to all aspects of the universities operation including academic faculties, enrolments, course information, scholarships and orientation. Students are a web savvy and well-connected audience, and the existing CMS platform fell well short on its ability to deliver and facilitate the creation of content.
Facing the immediate risk mitigation of an unsupported platform within a three-month window, Lincoln University required a flexible CMS platform, capable of integrating with its future IT roadmap.
Partner stability as important as product capability.
When Lincoln University went to the marketplace, their decision criteria was weighted towards a partner that could demonstrate stability and market maturity on top of respected CMS success. Online Services Manager Dorje McKinnon explains how they were looking for a synergy of an excellent product and a partner with the capabilityand leadership to help enable the IT business strategy of the university going forward. “We felt Intergen had all the key ingredients – a local partner with respected delivery capability of a mature CMS product, who gave us confidence through their professional and process driven approach. Their experience won them the project and they did live up to it. The project was delivered on time and on budget, largely due to Intergen’s attention to processes and a willingness to get involved at all times.”
The start of a total online engagement for the whole student lifecycle.
As a flexible and well structured CMS platform, EPiServer has delivered immediate benefits and it has set Lincoln University on a path to engage with the whole life cycle of a student: from prospecting to enrolment; to post graduate to alumni Microsoft Search Server through the integration with SharePoint provides the site search engine. SharePoint is used in conjunction with EPiServer to manage the structured content and shared information such as course details and staff profiles that may appear in several places on the site can be updated in one single action.
The result is a website that has allowed stakeholders and faculty staff to own and drive content and the University has moved to a much more distributed editor model with far more contributors.
Dorje McKinnon comments on how far the site has come. “The difference is about making the website about the individuals who are using it. Students are now viewing information that is current, relevant and easily accessible. We also see potential in using EPiServer features to deliver end-to-end task-specific activities to assist a student on an individual basis. For example, it has editor friendly form creation tools which will let us explore smart registration and smart applications.”
For many, the website is the first hook for students selecting a university. Lincoln is confident it is presenting a professional window to the university environment through timely and well-structured content.