Victoria University of Wellington has a student population of 21 000, is supported by close to 2000 full-time staff and operates from four campus locations within the city. Its law faculty achieved a QS world ranking of 23, the highest individual ranking obtained by any New Zealand university faculty.
Up till 2011 Victoria's web team had managed many of its public websites on the Luminis Content Management System (LCMS), with vendor support from the USA. Faculties and Schools mostly looked after their own content with support from the web team. However there were also scores of university websites in a variety of frameworks and CMSs, or as static HTML.
In late 2010, Victoria went to tender for a replacement CMS. The tender process included a full RFP, CMS demonstrations to web teams and department content editors, and a pilot migration project. The pilot involved a test migration of around 1000 pages of content and associated metadata from a website on the incumbent LCMS. Although working to a deadline, Squiz was able to test, tune and re-run the migration scripts to make the final migration as 'clean' as possible, the final result exceeding expectation. After an extremely thorough evaluation process lasting a number of months, Victoria awarded the CMS replacement contract to Squiz, and the university's web team and Squiz project team set to work.
A key priority for Victoria was to meet its timetable for migrating off the incumbent CMS, while ensuring editors in Faculties and Schools were fully trained to manage their content with the new system (the Easy Edit Suite interface for Squiz Matrix CMS).
The main tasks and challenges presented in this stage of the migration project included:
- System architecture design and installation in Victoria's virtualised environment.
- Migration of 40 websites with thousands of pages and associated images, files and metadata.
- CMS training for Victoria's highly experienced web team.
- Easy Edit Suite (EES) training for over 100 Faculty and School content editors.
- Resolving implementation issues such as finding the right balance between a robust generic site template and permitted site-specific customisations.
- Tuning the migration scripts.