Thursday, 11 November 2010
Labyrinth initially became involved in replacing the school’s existing website with one that had a purpose built and easy to use content management system (CMS). Although the website’s role was purely for marketing, i.e. showing the public face of the school, the Contegro CMS was so flexible and easy to use, that the team at Pinehurst decided to investigate whether its use could be extended to their intranet!
The school already had CDA’s student management system (Synergetic) in place, and although a very good system in providing defined tasks, it did not provide an overall intranet solution. Andre Wardenaar, Pinehurst’s IT Manager, felt that developing a school wide intranet, available not just to the school administrators, but also to parents, teachers, even the pupils themselves would lead to significant information sharing and efficiency improvements in many of the school’s administrative functions. The problem to be solved was to keep everything as simple as possible to get the buy in and adoption by all constituents. This intranet required a portal and a CMS to run on. Contegro was the obvious choice!
Contegro provided the “glue” for Synergetic and for future 3rd party applications to work together to provide Pinehurst with an extensive Intranet solution now, and for many years to come.
With Synergetic’s features tailored to the Education Market, and Contegro’s ability to easily create and manage content along with a range of website features, Pinehurst now have an extensive Intranet solution. This encompasses a single sign-on between both applications, accessing the school’s management system and more generalised information areas all in one place. Each user could see information for their eyes only. For example, parents could view their accounts and their child’s absenteeism reports located in Synergetic, whilst viewing general notices, events calendars, tuck shop menus etc. within the Contegro based intranet.
So, what benefits has this collaboration brought Pinehurst and why are they recommending others to make use of what they now have?
Alison Glover, Pinehurst’s Administrator is the person that works the most on the combined solution, and her list of key benefits include:
So where to from here?
Andre tells us the next thing in the pipeline is to create an online shop within the intranet to allow parents to purchase lost, damaged or simply outgrown items of uniform simply and easily.
“No doubt, between Alison and myself, we’ll also think of some new ideas for going forward,” he says with a smile on his face!