Dublin Business School is the largest independent provider of higher education in Ireland, taking in over 9,000 students every year across hundreds of courses, with each course being made up of multiple modules and many exams.

All of this activity creates a lot of data as well as a logistical headache, both for the school and the students. The big difference at DBS is that all of this will soon be handled by a new technology platform that is being provided by Unit 4.

I spoke to Andrew Conlan-Trant, the Executive Dean at the school about the deal. He told me that the School itself is over 40 years old and has coped so far by evolving its existing student information system. But with grand ambitions to grow the school, especially internationally, it was clear that they needed something much more scalable and robust. Unit 4, a specialist provider of Higher Education systems, was selected through a robust procurement process to implement their Student Management system in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

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The new system, which will be ready to go live by Q4 2019 will be one of the largest projects undertaken by the school. It will provide huge benefits to both staff and students, including self-serve functionality and the ability to make data-driven decisions. For example, if it is noticed that pass rates are declining on any particular course or module, then the school can intervene in an easy and timely way.

The students will benefit right from registration with the school. They will have self-service access to everything they need, from exam information to accommodation via browsers or their mobiles. The biggest benefit though will be to the school as a whole – the platform will provide the necessary capacity to scale by attracting and bringing in more international and technology students, thus allowing it to compete in a global market.

About the author

Andrew Burgess has been the lead architect within several major change projects, including strategic development, IT transformation and outsourcing, in a wide range of industries across four continents. He has developed and implemented sourcing strategies for global organisations, running sourcing programs and helping re-organise IT departments to maximise their value from sourcing. Andrew was recently awarded ‘Automation Champion of the Year’ by the GSA, the industry association and professional body for the global sourcing industry. He is widely considered to be a leading expert in the growing Legal Transformation and Outsourcing market and has recently written ‘The Rise of Legal Services Outsourcing’ in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE). Andrew’s latest book, ‘The Executive Guide to Artificial Intelligence‘ has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Andrew is a council member of the Global Sourcing Association and is Head of Consulting at HG Insights.