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Open Universities Australia shapes the future of learning by creating new ways to access education online

Business situation

The current realities of remote working and digital collaboration have made the world of online education more relevant and important than ever. Open Universities Australia (OUA) provides access to thousands of distance courses from universities across Australia. To offer more personalized services, OUA previously partnered with Avanade to implement Sitecore. The solution, which powers experiences across multiple channels and helps students easily explore and select programs, has led to significant growth in both applications and enrollment. When an upgrade to Sitecore 9 became available, OUA wanted to remain current to take advantage of new features – including an enhanced content management system (CMS) – that will help it launch new initiatives as part of its ongoing digital journey.

"The upgrade has set us up to build new innovative experiences for students that will improve the way in which they explore, choose and enroll into OUA’s study options."

Siebert Lubbe Chief Engineer, Open Universities Australia

Solution

Avanade began OUA’s Sitecore upgrade with a discovery phase. Our experts built an implementation strategy for completing the project and used an agile delivery method. While this type of upgrade usually results in a content freeze on the existing Sitecore platform for up to a month, with our approach, OUA was able to start adding new features to the site within two days. This was accomplished with no user down time and no lost data.

“With the support from Avanade, we were able to deliver and deploy an upgraded version of Sitecore with minimal internal impact and no impact to our customers,” says Siebert Lubbe, chief engineer at OUA.

Results

OUA’s new Sitecore 9 platform provides a solid foundation that will help the organization unlock the rest of its technical roadmap going forward. The upgrade was completed while preserving business continuity and it also boosted the speed of the public website by nearly 35%. At a time when online education is more in demand than ever, OUA continues to use technology to shape the future of learning.

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