Callista lands $8.5m Uni deal

Callista lands $8.5m Uni deal

Student administration system developer, Callista, has landed a lucrative contract with the University of Western Australia (UWA) to roll out its Student Management System (SMS).

As part of the $8.5 million project, Callista will provide UWA with licensing rights to the SMS software and software upgrades twice a year. The comprehensive implementation process, expected to take 12 to 18 months, will be led internally by the university.

The contract is yet another feather in the Geelong-based developer’s well-decorated cap. Recent SMS wins include the Northern Territory’s Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and the University of New England in NSW.

Callista Software Services’ public affairs director, Jon Mamonski, said the 12-month tender process was thorough and exhaustive.

“Because the SMS software has more than 17,000 function points, it takes universities at least 12 months to decide what functions they will need and whether they will best suit those needs,” he said.

There were three contenders for the tender – PeopleSoft, Technology One and Callista – and Callista’s solution once again proved to be the best fit, he said.

Callista continues to dominate the university education software playing field, winning every university student administration system tender put out in the past two years.

“We have sold SMS licenses to 12 universities, five of those unis have already gone live and the other seven are in various stages of the implementation process," Mamonski said.

Technology One’s student administration solution had been implemented at six Australian universities, while PeopleSoft’s solution was in use at 11 universities, he said. Callista’s closest competitors had not won a tender for a number of years.

Callista is now developing a new version of the SMS product designed for use in TAFE colleges across Australia. The developer has also come to an agreement with the University of Tasmania which is currently building on the SMS product’s source code to develop a research management system for students.

The Callista SMS product is the brainchild of a development team at Deakin University that built the system in the mid-1990s following the release of a worldwide tender by the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee for a new student administration system to be deployed at Australian universities. After successfully deploying the system at Deakin, the university created the company Callista to commercialise the product for other universities.

Database vendor Oracle has purchased the rest-of-the-world rights to the system for tens of millions of dollars and re-branded it an Oracle Student System.

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