by Divina Paredes

CIO 100: Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Mar 24, 2016
Technology Industry

Te Wananga o Aotearoa THE ICT TEAM strategy at tertiary provider Te Wananga o Aotearoa (TWoA) has four priorities: To provide a world-class infrastructure across the motu (country), a modern and engaging digital experience for their tauira (students), to extend their reach through digital technologies; and empower a modern Wananga.

“We have delivered a comprehensive program of improvement across the organisation, addressing almost all elements of our technology stack,” says Garry Johnston, executive director, information technology at TWoA.

Established in 1983, TWoA is the second largest tertiary education provider in New Zealand, operating from more than 90 locations throughout the country. It offers courses in small business, computing, social work, teaching, Maori performing arts and Te Reo Maori.

In the past year alone, the ICT department’s programme of work included the deployment of a new CRM,; a digital and social marketing toolset called Marketo; and deployment and migration to Office 365 for collaboration, email and intranet.

The ICT team also deployed a new web platform leveraging Azure and Sitecore, delivered upgrades to the core Learning Management system, upgraded the PC f leet of Windows 10, as well as a host of lifecycle upgrades and updates to ensure that all of the core platforms are properly maintained.

“In addition to these activities, we have upgraded our core network and security perimeter,” says Johnston.

This year, Johnston says the ICT team will be building out further capabilities on the new platforms, including further enhancing the intranet, augmenting the digital enrolment and CRM capabilities, and will continue to enhance the digital learning support tools.

The ICT team also deployed video conferencing technology from Zoom to enhance collaboration across their sites.

“We have had a number of tauira that weren’t able to come to class due to unforeseen reasons so they Zoom in and don’t fall behind,” explains Johnston.

“It illustrates a commitment from TWoA to all of Aotearoa that no matter where in the motu our tauira and kaimahi are and regardless of the size of their site, they all have equal access to this world-class technology.”

Johnston says TWoA will continue to deploy a number of cloud technologies in the near future.

“We expect to introduce a number of personalisations into our technology as we progress throughout this year, ensuring that for our learners, we provide the best possible experience, built for them.”

“Across our 32,000 or so learners, there is a huge variation, however through the work of our marketing function, we are working to meet the digital needs of four main persona groups of students, and enhance the experience as our students progress through their learning journey.”

Johnston explains TWoA networks and systems are built to support BYOD as nearly all of their services are internet centric.

“We encourage staff and students to bring technology that they wish to, that supports their work and learning.”

While it is difficult to quantify how many students and staff choose to bring their devices, he says they typically see around 10,000 to 12,000 devices per day on their network at peak times.