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University of Auckland replatforms websites

University of Auckland replatforms websites

University seeks mobile advantage, will be core member of Adobe Experience Manager Users Group.

The University of Auckland is working with Adobe to re-platform and manage its web content management system.

Julian Wootton, web manager, The University of Auckland, says a prime strategy for the project was to meet users’ growing expectations for personalised content, that is increasingly accessed through mobile devices.

At the moment, all users – students, alumni and faculty – get a very general view when they go into the website, says Wootton. “We want to change that outlook.”

“We would like to segment our audience and deliver the content they need,” he says. “It will not be general information, it will be what they want.”

“If you are a student and you come in, you would get the information for what you are studying, or the faculty you are studying in. We will now have the ability to give specific information to them,” he says.

He says the team will also use some of the Adobe functionality to identify international students. “The system allows us to do that so we can then tailor the content.”

The priority for the university is to migrate its existing websites, including those from the different faculties, to the Adobe Experience Manager.

Catering to the growing number of users accessing the website through smartphones was also one of the business drivers for the migration.

“We have a mobile app but our website is not mobile friendly,” he says. “The Adobe solution was very strong in the mobile space so we want to create a mobile friendly design.”

This means when users access the website on a mobile device, it will be configured to that device, he says.

The university uses analytics to monitor trends and one of the findings is the ratio between desktop computers and mobile devices is changing on a monthly basis. “We are seeing the demand go up on mobile,” says Wootton. “We deployed a mobile app last year and we already have 15,000 students using it.”

What worked for them is having a “holistic environment” with the team composed of internal staff and outside vendors. The University has around 300 users who are now being trained to use Adobe’s content management system.

During the project planning, the team checked out what other universities in Australia, North America and Europe were using for their CMS. “It is very disparate,” he says of systems used across universities.

Wootton says the university is likewise involved in setting up a New Zealand Adobe Experience Manager user Users Group.

Adobe Experience Manager will be hosted in-house by the University, but there are options to migrate to the cloud.

“The way we are deploying Adobe Experience Manager internally means we can quite comfortably migrate to the cloud in the future if that’s something we decide to do,” says Wootton.

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