Attenda Limited, the Business Critical IT company, today announced that it secured a contract with UCAS to augment the existing UCAS infrastructure and service delivery teams and ensure a successful Confirmation and Clearing period in August.
UCAS matches students to universities, culminating with the yearly Confirmation and Clearing (C&C) admissions process in August. During this period, UCAS.com becomes one of the most accessed and high profile websites in the UK, processing over 2.5 million applications for 650,000 prospective students, to more than 340 UK Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).
"We know the admissions process can be extremely stressful for students. Their future plans depend upon this move into higher education, so we take our responsibility as the facilitator of this process very seriously," says Steve Jeffree, Chief Operating Officer at UCAS.
Attenda was awarded a contract in April 2013 to augment the existing UCAS infrastructure and service delivery teams and ensure a successful C&C period. UCAS had publically suffered stability challenges in previous years, principally in relation to managing the profound peak in system demand during the C&C period. UCAS was looking for a trusted partner with experience of delivering business critical IT services across a complex infrastructure estate. The projects scope was to ensure a successful 2013 C&C period through the provision of a set of services Technical skills augmentation; review and enhance working practices; Infrastructure Programme Governance (within the Critical Systems Stabilisation Programme); and 24x7x365 shift and on call working patterns.
During the earlier stages of the engagement, Attenda produced a Management report outlining perceived areas of risk along with a recommendation for the team structure necessary to support a successful C&C period. This management report formed the basis of any remedial action and resource planning as the teams moved into the critical period. The engagement team peaked at 50+ practitioners including infrastructure managers, project managers, technical specialists e.g. AWS consultants, business process consultants, service design consultants, programme governance, monitoring specialists, developers and many more.
The 2013 C&C process was a huge success, with highlights from the day including:
• Over 400,000 applicants successfully placed and received confirmation via letter, email or through the new Track service, hosted in the cloud. This is the highest number of placed applicants recorded for the A level results day;
• The Contact Centre handled over 19,000 calls support by critical systems and infrastructure;
• The Clearing vacancy service received almost 400,000 keyword searches throughout the day;
• The cloud-based Track performed well, easily handling the peak demand of 180 hits per second, and over 1.1 million log-ins.
Jeffree continues,"Both students and HEIs expect a high level of service with their admissions process. It was essential to find a partner that was prepared to roll up their sleeves and truly buy into the importance of a successful 2013 C&C period."
"Attenda stepped up from day one, as a fully committed and cohesive team. Perhaps more importantly, Attenda felt and behaved like genuine, committed colleagues as part of the overall UCAS team. The dedication and professionalism of the Attenda team played a vital part in the success of our 2013 Confirmation and Clearing" adds Jeffree.
Attenda (attenda.net) continues to work with UCAS to ensure stability of its systems and provide key resources as other components of the admission system are developed.