Connect – A Custom, Modern, User-centric Platform for Standards Australia

Connect – A Custom, Modern, User-centric Platform for Standards Australia

Overview

With a plan to overhaul their legacy systems and provide an improved digital experience for stakeholders, Standards Australia engaged Antares to help develop a modern solution.

In collaboration with Standards Australia’s internal IT team, Antares designed, developed, and deployed “Connect” – a user-centric platform that provides a seamless digital experience for the organisation’s over 5000 committee members and various stakeholders.

About Standards Australia


Established in 1922, Standards Australia is the country’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards organisation.

As representatives of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), they are also specialists in the development and adoption of internationally-aligned standards in Australia.

Standards Australia brings together key parties and stakeholders to form a technical committee. These committees collaborate to develop standards, which are of value to Australia, its businesses, and its people.

The benefits of their work are clear; with stronger standards in place, Australia can enjoy greater economic efficiency and increased prominence on the international stage. Robust standards also help support our local communities by building a safer, more sustainable environment.

The Problem

Legacy Systems Were Unsustainable and Difficult for Stakeholders to Use

As part of their 2019-2020 Action Plan, Standards Australia was on a mission to transform outdated systems and provide a better digital experience for contributors.
There was consistent feedback that systems were not in line with stakeholder expectations, as they were dated, difficult to use, and fragmented. They also failed to meet accessibility compliance levels, and Standards Australia’s IT team had concerns about their ability to be upgraded and ensure a high level of security into the future.

“Our contributor system was limited in its ability to meet our contributors’ expectations,” says Roland Terry-Lloyd, Standards Australia’s business owner of the project. “It was also inconsistent with our newer tech stack, and didn’t meet accessibility compliance levels.


“Our goal was to have a platform that was modern and fit-for-purpose, but that could be extended to replace other legacy systems over time.”


Standards Australia knew that upgrades and changes were necessary. Following a formal review process, Standards Australia selected Antares for the project.

“We hadn’t worked with Antares before,” says Andrew Whelan, Standards Australia’s IT Program Manager. “But from the review process we felt they were a good cultural fit and could provide the level of stability and experience we were seeking in a tech partner.”

The Solution

Antares Develops “Connect” – a Modern, User-centric Platform

Antares developed several proposals demonstrating how they could meet Standards Australia’s requirements at each stage of the project, with wireframes to provide clarity around how the system would look and operate from a user perspective.

With everyone in agreement, Antares followed an agile project delivery method to develop and deploy Standards Australia’s new “Connect” portal. Connect was designed as a modern, UX-focused platform, it promised to support continual iterative improvements to deliver an increasingly seamless, efficient, and engaging contributor experience. This would all be achieved through the provision of relevant information, seamless navigation to other SA systems, and additional functional capabilities.


“We’ve run the project like a pipeline – with short bursts of changes and enhancements. It’s worked really well for us.”


Supriya Prakash, Senior Business Analyst for Standards Australia, says the project progressed efficiently and involved collaboration and consultation with external stakeholders every step of the way.

“As a project team, we work well together,” says Supriya Prakash. “Change management was always going to be a significant part of the project because we have so many stakeholders. We developed working groups with committee members and demonstrated how Connect would achieve the cleaner user experience our contributors had asked for. This consultation was valuable and something we will continue to do as we enhance the Connect platform further and use it to retire other legacy applications.”


“The knowledge base that the Antares team have built around us and our systems is extremely valuable.”


The Result

An Omni-Channel Experience for Standards Australia’s Stakeholders

Roland Terry-Lloyd says Connect has given Standards Australia the platform through which they can deliver new benefits for stakeholders, and they will continue to work with Antares to expand on its capabilities into the future.

“Connect has created an omni-channel experience for our stakeholders. It’s a one-stop-shop for everyone with different access levels and personas, including access for members of the public. It provides a consistent user experience with the same look and feel regardless of the legacy backend systems that we plan, over time, to integrate into the portal.”

Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) are a key Standards Australia stakeholder with approximately 260 members participating across 400 committees; its members utilise the Connect platform regularly.

James Thompson, Senior Advisor – Standards and Regulation at Ai Group, said of Connect:


“It provides Ai Group with an efficient and effective platform to engage with Standards Australia. It has been encouraging to see the continuous improvements made to Connect over the last two years and the many benefits the updates have provided our membership base. We look forward to participating in the ongoing evolution of the platform.”


Roland, Andrew and Supriya all agree that working with Antares’ UX (User Experience) designer was also a valuable part of the development process.

“It was the first time we had worked with a UX designer,” says Andrew Whelan. “And we paid very close attention to the UX — it’s been great having the Antares team’s expertise in that area.”

“The wireframes provided were very helpful,” says Roland Terry-Lloyd. “It is often hard to visualise the end solution, so seeing samples of the product pre-development, from a business point of view, allowed for informed decision making.”

While the not-for-profit’s initial focus was external contributors, the success of the system has resulted in increased interest from internal staff in being able to utilise it as well.

“We’re currently putting together the next round of requirements so we can expand Connect,” says Roland Terry-Lloyd. “We want our user experience to be as consistent as possible, and having business applications delivered through Connect, helps us achieve that.”


“Connect is enabling us to meet our corporate objective of extending the reach, relevance, and value of Standards Australia to Australia. It has helped provide more visibility on what we do and what we’re working on.

Connect is a key part of our ongoing digital transformation.”