A new range of mobile apps helps the University support its students on campus

Background

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is one of Scotland’s largest modern universities with four campuses across the west and south-west of Scotland: Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.  UWS have also recently opened a new campus in London. They offer a wide range of academic, social and sporting facilities and deliver a range of taught courses, Undergraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and Research degrees. Consequently, IT has a large part to play in the successful delivery of their services.

PDMS have been delivering IT solutions for over 20 years and have experienced significant growth in recent years due to the growth of their Scottish operation. In order to continue this growth, PDMS have to be able to attract the next generation of software and business leaders.

When PDMS and UWS were introduced to each other, they quickly realised that by working in partnership they would be able to benefit each other in many different ways.

Partnership in Action

As soon as the partnership was agreed, both groups wasted little time in utilising each other’s services. UWS created a yearlong plan for a series of mobile apps that PDMS would design and build to improve the services offered to students and staff. Similarly, PDMS informed UWS about the different roles and opportunities they could offer UWS students or graduates.

The mobile apps UWS wanted to create ranged from a canteen app that could show students and staff what was on the menu for the day all the way to an app to show students where the nearest available PC was. Due to the diverse nature of the UWS student population, PDMS had to build these apps to work on multiple devices. Similarly, they had to be built with enough flexibility where UWS staff could make changes quickly and easily. These requirements and more are currently being met by PDMS’ experienced team of enterprise software experts as we work together to complete the mobile app roadmap agreed

As soon as PDMS made it clear that they had positions available, UWS arranged for interviews to take place and very quickly PDMS had two UWS students working in their development team alongside their studies. This provided PDMS with the added resource and the UWS students with valuable experience of working in the IT industry. In a matter of months, one of the UWS students accepted a full time position at PDMS and has fully integrated with the team.

Mobile apps

The range of new apps, developed by PDMS in partnership with UWS, will help make life easier for students on campus. They include:

  • Expenses app - moving from a paper based to a digital process
  • Canteen app –promoting the campus canteens with useful information on daily menus and allergy information
  • Induction appproviding a useful overview of key information about the University
  • PC availability app – helping students to see how many PC’s are available and where

UWS are also looking to launch a platform which will host all of their apps – providing a quick and easy way for their students to access all their apps with just one download.

Added Benefits

Due to the close working relationship we have developed with UWS, we have both experienced lots of additional benefits. For example, recent UWS graduate Jordan MacPhee has been working as a Business Analyst at UWS for a few months and is quickly learning about what it’s like to work in the IT industry. PDMS have been able to help Jordan in his professional development by taking him to PDMS head office in the Isle of Man and giving him access to our highly experienced team. This has been instrumental in his development.

Similarly, PDMS Sales Manager Aimee Buchanan has been taking on more responsibility and needed to receive some project management training. UWS regularly deliver large training sessions to their large staff base and were able to include Aimee in some of the project management training. This provided Aimee with the training she needed and has helped her progress in her role at PDMS.