Reduces data syncing from 3-4 hours to 15 minutes

Chisholm Institute is a prominent Government TAFE institute in Victoria and among the largest in Australia. The organization approached digital agency and Sitecore partner Reactive in late 2010 to re-envision, re-design and develop the Web site in order to drive enrollment and user engagement with Chisholm TAFE. The redevelopment came at an important time in tertiary education with a new state government policy signaling a move to a more competitive vocational and education sector. Not only was it a new dawn in tertiary education, but it was an important launch for Chisholm as it was a complete overhaul of its IA and positioning online. The objectives were to: 1. Inspire prospective students to enroll at Chisholm 2. Position Chisholm as a dynamic, reputable and responsive education and training provider 3. Support current students’ learning and help them achieve their job and career goals.

Challenge

The Chisholm redevelopment project presented many unique challenges, the largest of which was the need to heavily integrate Sitecore with Chisholm’s Course Information System (CIS). All course-related information is held in this system, and over 500,000 rows of data are synced on an ongoing basis.

Another issue Chisholm faced was the legacy website. The original Chisholm site contained many microsites which made it difficult to maintain consistent messaging and control admin access across the CMS. The priority was to consolidate the microsites and strip all extraneous pages into a more manageable experience and user friendly interface.

Solution

Chisholm is developed on Sitecore CMS. Chisholm selected Sitecore for a number of reasons, including:

  • Sitecore is extremely capable of managing large amounts of data that is supported with a rich API. This meant that integration with Chisholm’s Course Information System (CIS) was not only possible but could be completed in such a way that Chisholm got maximum value and return on their investment in the two systems.
  • Huge support for content personalization provided by Sitecore. This will enable Chisholm in the future to use rich content throughout the site and customize it according to the client’s wishes.

The process for redeveloping Chisholm’s Web site was collaborative with the team at Reactive involved with every detail. The focus was on establishing Chisholm as not only a skills provider but also as a career jumpstart partner. To do this, Chisholm wanted to empower and engage users with personalized content that placed emphasis on skill areas and courses based on user’s preferences and profiles.

A standout feature of the site is the ‘dock’, a footer that appears at the bottom of every page and enables users to shortlist courses that they are interested in, look for jobs and enter the student services page. It provides an interactive experience and the ability to keep recent searches all in one handy space.

An important part of the site is the search tool, which allows users to filter courses by various options such as qualifications, locations, keywords and the length of each course. This requires close integration between the Course Information System and the CMS, allowing us to present relevant career content on each course.

Result

The site’s traffic has increased significantly over the period since it went live in September 2011 and there has been an average of more than 15% growth in unique traffic since launch. Key conversion KPIs have been achieved and have been increased twice (since launching) as conversions have been much higher than expected.

In addition, the new site integration with CIS has created new flexibility which in turn has reduced data syncs from 3-4 hours daily to less than 15 minutes.

With the help of Reactive, Chisholm will launch the second phase soon which includes personalization to help the Institute make better use of user data.

Technical Description

Solution Special Ingredients:

  • Sitecore CMS
  • Integration with Chisholm’s Course Information System
  • Future integration with SharePoint
  • Integration with Microsoft Dynamics
  • Integration with social media sites: Facebook and Twitter