Custom Web App / Web Design & Development / Digital Marketing
The Cyprus Institute of Marketing (CIM) has been operating both in Nicosia since 1978 and in Limassol since 1984. The Institute was originally set up in order to promote the science of marketing in Cyprus – a field that was then unknown. During the past 44 years, CIM has evolved into a complete Business School, offering courses in Business, Management, Marketing, Accounting & Finance, and Shipping.
Ever since 2003 the CIM has been investing in the digitization of administration processes and also in lecturer-student collaboration, becoming one of the first institutes in Cyprus with a full web-based administration system. CIM chose Lightblack to help with this journey and ever since we have been apply the institute’s great ideas.
The initial objectives were:
- Create an attractive professional presentational website to promote the institute and its programs
- Design and implement a web-based tool to help the institute’s administration daily operations
- Design and implement a student-teacher-administration collaboration platform for both academic and admission matters
- Integrate the website and the administration platform to provide a simple electronic admission/registration process
- Design and implement an electronic library database with online books reservation functionality
- Design and implement a mobile app for the students to gain quick and easy access to both academic and admission data and receive instant notifications
- Hosting installation and maintenance with the maximum percentage of availability
The project had 2 main challenges that would judge whether it would be a success or a failure:
- Getting all the different implementation elements/systems to work and communicate between them seamlessly without and issues or delays
- The system should be simple enough to be used by the less experienced users. It should also accommodate the most powerful ones.
With the use of the powerful WordPress platform, we have implemented the CIM website which we are proud of. Following the branding guides, the institute’s recommendations and our design insightfulness, the end result is an amazing looking, simple to navigate and content-balanced website.
We developed the administration platform from scratch with the help of the world-leading PHP framework Symfony and a bootstrap theme. It includes all the features to allow the administration enroll students and monitor daily processes keeping all the data in digital form.
The same framework developed the intranet as an add-on to the administration platform as it uses most of its data. With a user-friendly user interface and a responsive design, it provided access to both students and professors from any device with internet access. A powerful notification system was also included to inform all users about different important actions. The platform furthermore included RESTful API endpoints to allow different system communicate with it.
To enhance the user experience, a mobile app was introduced for both Android and iOS devices. The app was developed using the powerful React Native framework and was designed to communicate with a middleware developed in NodeJS which is responsible for transferring data from and to the intranet platform via APIs.
We knew that getting people convert from the good old pen and paper to trust a newly developed system was not an easy task and it usually takes a lot of time. But in this case it didn’t. Both the management and the administration of CIM knew that this system would help them with their overloaded daily schedule freeing some of their valuable time to deal with more important matters, that is why they were determined to make it work. On the other hand, students and faculty, being forward thinkers, embraced the intranet helping it become an essential tool of their academic journey.
Ever since we have been developing new features each year and the administration/intranet platform has become an invaluable asset to the institute. Along with the website, it provides the student with a full digital experience that fits with the CIM standards.