Manukau Institute of Technology's success with ebs:ontrack

Posted by Tribal Group

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is rated a Category One educational provider by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). With six campuses across Auckland, MIT is recognised as a leader in technical and vocational education, delivering a range of academic qualifications to achieve significantly improved tertiary education outcomes in the region.

Serving approximately 15,000 students, MIT has been using Tribal’s ebs student management system since March 2012 to support them in delivering vocationally focused tertiary education, research and technology transfer that ensures Aucklands’s economy, graduates, employers and communities have the capability and skills to achieve their potential.


Tribal released a new ebs module known as ebs:ontrack, replacing the Silverlight driven Agent 4 module with an HTML 5 version. With the anticipated 12-month sundown period, the implementation of the next generation ebs:ontrack solution was critical. MIT needed an expert and a trusted advisor to assist them in the transition while providing support in data gathering, configuration and project management to ensure that they get the most out of the new features and functionality available in ebs:ontrack.

Being experts on our software existing relationship with MIT, Tribal was contracted not only to supply the software licences and services; but to also fully manage and implement the solution of ebs:ontrack and Data Miner.

The Solution:

With an ever-changing environment, Tribal has always adopted an iterative model to its software delivery. A Continuous Improvement Contract (CIC) exists with ebs customers where the focus is on reviewing system enhancements on a yearly basis; with each change assessed for priority and scheduled accordingly. This model was applied for the ebs:ontrack implementation with MIT.

The ebs:ontrack project began in July 2016 with a workshop and discovery phase designed to identify any issues and challenges facing the MIT academic staff in their use of the ebs Agent product along with their aspirations for its replacement. MIT identified a core group of existing ebs Agent users to represent the views of the wider academic body and provide a cross-section of knowledge, skills and requirements.

A specification document was developed and delivered during August 2016 and presented as a multi-phase delivery plan to the key stakeholder group. The build commenced in late August and was delivered in two phases for testing and feedback. The final build was delivered in late January 2017 at which point MIT began a process of internal workshops and communications to familiarise its staff to the product before commencing a wider rollout.


The new-generation solution gave MIT staff an improved way of accessing information and provided them a more streamlined workflow with improved navigation. It introduced the opportunity for more mobile access to ebs data, freeing MIT’s academic staff from desktop computers and allowing them to access information on other wireless devices.

A satisfaction survey was conducted to get a baseline perception of existing Agent 4 system users and repeated after the implementation of ebs:ontrack.  Of the seven comparative indicators, five showed a positive improvement following the implementation.  The remaining two indicators were focused on what information is available and how it is displayed.  In our experience this is a typical response to a new system and would improve once users become familiar with the system and have adopted new ways of working. 

The survey also gave MIT a mechanism to assess satisfaction with the calibre of the training materials and the information supplied throughout the project.

MIT saw the value in engaging Tribal’s Transformation and Change service to wrap project management expertise around the implementation. With Tribal’s support, MIT was able to articulate the benefits and capture the before and after to share with the wider business.

Prue Beams, Tribal’s Implementation Lead and T&C Consultant says,

“Our goal is to support our customers in getting the most out of their investment in our systems.  MIT have always been a forward-thinking customer, and it is great that they value our role as a trusted advisor and engaged us to lead them through this transition.”

The success of this project was clear for MIT. Chris Park, Academic Registrar of Manukau Institute of Technology said:

“Having the implementation managed in this manner released the internal team to be able to work on other priorities, and to step back in to the project as required.  It was especially useful to have Tribal’s expertise in project oversight. This allowed me, as the business owner of our student management systems, the assurance and confidence that the project was on track to meet target delivery timeframes and objectives."

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