Melbourne Business School

Website critical for business delivered to strict specifications and tight deadline

About Melbourne Business School

Melbourne Business School (MBS) is one of the Asia Pacific region’s leading providers of Management Education and Executive Education. In 1963 MBS was the first business school in Australia to offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA). It is currently one of only two Australian business schools ranked in the Financial Times global top 100 for MBA programs.

"Empired provided support above and beyond expectations and enabled MBS to meet its project goals and deadlines."

Clinton Mancer
MBS Business Applications Manager

The situation

MBS is currently ranked 62 in the global business school rankings. Its goal is to become a top 25 school. MBS required a new website as the old MBS site was built on unsupported, end-of-life technology. MBS was already working with Microsoft software: Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and had in-house skills it could leverage. Because of this internal capability, the School chose SharePoint as the platform for its website.

The MBS website is a critical business tool so it needed to be well-designed and managed by experts to ensure maximum up-time. The website presents all program information and contact details and receives the majority of program enquiries, student registrations and donations, via payment gateway. MBS and the School of Business and Economics were due to launch a formal collaboration arrangement on the 2nd of May 2013. It was important that the new MBS website was ready to go live by this date.

MBS initially started the project with another vendor. However, due to the tight time-frames, the vendor could not meet the necessary requirements. MBS needed to find a technology partner that could address some of the core technical challenges of the project: a tight timeframe with a hard deadline. MBS selected Empired for its reputation as a respected SharePoint expert with an in-house graphic design team and a managed services offering with guaranteed service levels.

The solution

Empired Managed Services was chosen to deliver the operational website with new functionality and branding and worked closely with the MBS team to ensure the project stayed on track. Empired immediately appointed a Project Manager, put round-the-clock support in place, and assigned a team of four staff to the project full-time, including a number of the Managed Services interstate team which formed the collaborative Project Delivery team. Daily morning and afternoon meetings took place with all stakeholders to track progress and monitor project risk areas. Between these daily meetings, Empired and MBS used Microsoft Lync as the key collaboration tool giving the dispersed stakeholders the ability to communicate when required.

A critical business requirement for MBS was for the platform to be robust, scalable and supportable. Empired achieved this by applying best practice methods including reworking overcomplicated solutions, finishing partially completed functionality, delivering innovative functionality, resolving issues, creating controlled source code, creating detailed documentation and adding a layer of process and governance that supported the project delivery.

“Empired Managed Services have been able to keep the website online 100 percent of the time and when issues have arisen Empired have fixed them within required time frames."

Clinton Mancer
MBS Business Applications Manager

The results

Empired delivered the new, well-designed website on time and with all the required forms and functionalities, including integration with MBS’ Dynamics CRM system.

Clinton Mancer, MBS Business Applications Manager, said: "We were very happy with the work that Empired Managed Services did on this critical business project. The project delivery was complex and highly challenging not only for the Empired team but for MBS stakeholders."

“MBS built a good relationship and level of trust with Empired, who provided support above and beyond expectations and helped MBS meet its project goals. The team helped MBS deliver this project on time, but more importantly with all the features that were essential for the website launch. We continue to work with Empired Managed Services. So far, they have been able to keep the website online 100 per cent of the time and when issues have arisen Empired have fixed them within required timeframes.”

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