Canterbury Christ Church Univesity
A long term Contensis client moved from on premise to the cloud and improved lead generation.
About Canterbury Christ Church University
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2022, Canterbury Christchurch University is a modern university that has been working with Contensis for over 15 years.
We chatted with one of our fabulous users, Lead Developer, Luke Westhead. In this Q&A we found out why they moved to the cloud, what it’s like working with the Zengenti professional services team and what they have planned for the future.
Moving to the cloud
As a long-standing Contensis client, Canterbury has seen multiple versions of Contensis and hundreds of new features rolled out in their 16 years of working with us.
“I’ve worked at the University for a really long time. I started at Canterbury 14 years ago, in 2009, and we’ve been working with Contensis that whole time, going back 10 or 12 versions.
"So personally, Contensis has changed a lot since I first started working with it,” says Luke Westhead, Lead Developer at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Most significantly, in that time Canterbury has moved from our retired Classic Contensis on-premise system to Contensis Cloud, our current SaaS offering.
“Moving to the cloud network has definitely improved operations for our team. It’s easier to maintain and much quicker as well,” says Luke.
“We don’t have to get our IT teams involved if something goes wrong and send out 50 million emails to different people. We just log a call with Zengenti or raise a support ticket with the help desk, and they get it sorted straight away.”
What are the benefits of using a SaaS platform over on-premise?
“Upgrades are much quicker in the cloud. We can upgrade to the latest Contensis version in an hour, compared to half a day, plus the time to write a notice to notify that maintenance is taking place.
“With Contensis Cloud, it’s much better because you can still use the CMS; just your changes won’t work for an hour.”
Luke continues, “We’d recommend using the Contensis Cloud SaaS platform over an on-premise system because it is easier to maintain and quicker.”
Working with the Zengenti professional services team
The Zengenti professional services team provides extra support and development resource for our client's projects. The PS team, as they’re known to us, offer expertise including; design and build services, UX research and consultancy, and training.
Sitting within the PS team is our Customer Experience Squad or CXS, which specialises in ongoing customer project support once initial builds have taken place within the PS team.
“We have a regular stand-up call with Steve Bebb and Stephen Gale every Thursday. And if we need anything, if I’m struggling with something, or if we need extra resources, we’ll contact CXS.
"We’ve got a good relationship with them; they’re always very helpful. I can’t fault them,” says Luke.
Events booking with Contensis
The Canterbury team is working on a large project implementing a new events booking system. The project is an add-on to the main university website, making it easier for prospective students to attend events like public lectures, open days and academic weekends, for example.
This project has been a recent addition which has required additional resources for the Canterbury team.
“With the new events system, we’ve had additional work to help us get it done, which has been useful. Especially if I can’t get my head around something or I want to know best practices, it’s great to know I can be in touch with the company who made the CMS, and it gives peace of mind that Stephen is there to ask,” says Luke.
“It’s a good way to save money also; if you don’t have enough work for someone full-time, you can dip in and out of the professional services team at Zengenti to get support when needed.”
A lead generation tool for the University
The events booking platform will be the place that showcases and advertises everything Canterbury has coming up at the university and will be critical for the lead generation of new students.
By getting prospects to events they’ll get more people through the door, which increases sign-ups to the mailing list and is another chance to capture their details and nurture them to a conversion.
This is seen as a significant step forwards to meeting their goal of getting X number of students to choose Canterbury Christ Church as their first choice university.
What’s it like to be a client at Zengenti?
"We have 1,800 staff members at Canterbury, and of that, 40 people access the CMS.
“One of my favourite things about Contensis is that training is easy because the CMS is very intuitive and the back-end content model imitates the front-end web page.”
"We have lots of users with various levels of experience, so having an easy-to-understand CMS makes onboarding new users slick and easy," says Luke.
"With Contensis Cloud, everything is so stripped back there's no gumph in the UI. What I mean by no gumph is, working in Content Types and Entries in Contensis, it's a very clean and uncluttered UI that is easy to work with; there's no need to add anything to the UI to do what you need to do.
"Whereas there is a lot of gumph in WordPress, a lot of the interface features unnecessary stuff."
Why have you continued to use Contensis for so long?
"When we did the last major work on the website in 2020, we had the option to go elsewhere and use a different platform. Why would we? We love Contensis; it gives us everything we need."
"It was a step up for us moving to the cloud, but we thought this was great once you got used to it. We can let our staff loose in the CMS, within reason, with the help of roles and permissions and other useful governance features."
Get in touch
If you want to change your CMS this year and need extra development resources to get it done in Contensis, contact our professional services team.