University of Sydney interweaves Web content

The University of Sydney has implemented a Web content management service to create format consistency, improve deployment and interconnect its 600-plus Web sites.

Previously, the university's faculties, departments and research centres were managed independently and had little design consistency. Content was not regularly updated and was often duplicated, while the creation and deployment of faculty handbooks was labourious.

The university chose Interwoven's ECM solution to improve its Web site structure, allowing its IT department to quickly deploy Web content while maintaining format consistency.

Marian Theobald, University of Sydney director of community engagement, said the application, which has consolidated the uni's 600 Web sites to 130, has given staff much greater control.

"The solution has given our staff a level of control and professionalism in presentation that was not available previously," Theobald said.

"This is reflected in the enthusiastic take-up of the system; people adopt new technology if they see it will make their lives easier."

She said the university is using the software to create templates for its student and faculty handbooks and publishing them online in PDF and through on-demand printing.

Charlie Forsyth, head of Web services at the university, said the program has made the university more marketable and has had a positive reception from students.

"The solution has enabled us to successfully unify and communicate our brand across our diverse Web presences and has helped to ensure our markets and students receive the most current and accurate information via any of our Web channels and print," Forsyth said.

"Students have a number of choices when deciding where to obtain their education [so], the university must provide its [community] with the best possible experience."

The university has 17 faculties and eight teaching campuses across Australia with more than 46,000 students and about 6000 staff. A recent survey of student satisfaction found 79 percent of students gave the university's main Web site high marks for ease of use.

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