Primary ITO was, and still is, incredibly reliant on Trellis, their proprietary industry training register. Leigh-Anne Buxton, Executive GM Business and Quality, says, “The system is vital to us in terms of registering our learners, our connection with TEC (Tertiary Education Commission/Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua), and our funding. It’s actually the pulse of our organisation.”
However, Trellis’s ageing pulse was failing fast.
The heavily customised student management system (SMS) and training register was built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 (on-premises) and had a heavy integration footprint. Any attempts to modernise it had been deprioritised by previous management teams to keep costs down. The ongoing lack of investment meant the solution had fallen well behind in its ability to add value, to the point that Buxton described Trellis as “ineffective, inefficient, very administratively burdensome, and prone to human error.”
Lana Panchenko, Applications Development Manager for Primary ITO, says a new round of user licensing was the first real wake-up call.
“The good deal we had enjoyed with our licences had set unrealistic management expectations around cost. As a result, we faced a significant price increase without getting any more value. We knew that Microsoft’s education pricing model was still the best option for us, given our use of their other products. But moving to an online solution was critical so we could take advantage of the productivity gains and enhanced functionality of a cloud-based solution.”Lana Panchenko, Applications Development Manager for Primary ITO,
Panchenko said Trellis was so outdated that it had passed the point where it made sense to develop it further. “We were continuously falling behind the rest of the world. But we held back on making improvements and enhancements — otherwise, we’d only have to rewrite the code once we moved online. We wanted to do it once and do it right.”