Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Students to get University direct to their mobile

This press release has just gone out about a new mobile service we're about to launch:

A unique new mobile application that will enable students to receive University information direct to their mobile phone is set to be launched next month by the University of Sheffield.

The pioneering new campusM™ application will allow students to access comprehensive information about upcoming events, view campus maps and have their own up-to-date timetable, with just one click of a button.

The application, developed by oMbiel, will also feature a friend locator to help them meet up with other students, and users will also be able to browse their library records and look up faculty, staff members or student contacts from the University directory. Students will also be able to use the application to receive the latest news and important alerts to help them get the most out of their University life.

The University of Sheffield will be the first of a group of universities in the UK to roll out campusM™ to its students, who will then be able to download the application for free from the University’s online portal.

For the launch, campusM™ will be available on the iPhone and iPod touch, but by the end of the year, the application will be compatible with other mobile phones, including those from BlackBerry®, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, Sanyo and Sony Ericsson.

Dr Christine Sexton, Director of the University of Sheffield’s Corporate Information and Computing Services, said: “With over 24,000 students and almost 6,000 staff, students are living increasingly mobile lives, needing information and services on the move at anytime. We had to find a way to make our services more accessible to meet the need of our students. campusM™ will ultimately save students time, keep them better informed and make communicating with staff and other students a lot easier.

“The campusM™ application offers an integrated suite of services that our students want, enabling them to stay informed with the ease and convenience that mobility brings. It gives students all the information they need in one central place, which is accessible anytime and anywhere and which will enhance the overall student experience and allow them to concentrate more of their time on their studies.”

Hugh Griffiths, CEO of oMbiel said: “Our selection by the University of Sheffield is validation that oMbiel is providing a leading industry application to make student services available at the tap of a finger, regardless of their location. It is a major milestone in our development of mobile applications for the Higher Education sector and it will significantly contribute to the rapid expansion of the technology in the UK.”

I'm dead pleased with this - it's been a great example of a quick implementation, outsourced to a company who worked extremely well with us.


Nick Skelton said...

We are doing something similar in-house at Bristol, as a JISC-funded Rapid Innovation Project.

Is your CampusM a webapp or a native iPhone App? Will it be available only to Sheffield students, or also members of the public (eg visitors to the campus)?

pj said...

if this had been developed as a webapp then we could deliver this to desktops, netbooks and other mobile devices without waiting for platform specific code

AMD said...

Does the CampusM application offer any benefits over an in-house set of WebApps/formatted content for the Iphone/ITouch and other mobile devices?

Rich said...

And what about the cost?

Chris Sexton said...

A number of questions, and I hope I've answered all of them in the latest post I've just written.

As for cost - it was relatively inexpensive and a lot quicker and cheaper than if we'd done it ourselves.