How Unite Group increased usage by 98% with Oracle WebCenter Sites

As the UK’s leading student accommodation provider, the Unite Group’s websites are a vital resource and service for the 42,000 students as well as potential investors and universities. By migrating to Oracle for their CMS and infrastructure with VASSIT’s help, they enhanced visitor experience and drastically increased the proportion of transactions made through the site.

The Unite Group’s two sites provide services to two key channels. The student site provides information, room viewing booking options to potential students, while also acting as a payment, contract and information portal for existing student customers. The corporate site provides information to potential investors and universities. The new solution needed to provide a consistent user experience between the two sites, and to ensure ease of use for all users and the site editors.

VASSIT’s solution was to integrate Unite’s Unite Booking System with Oracle Webcenter Sites 11g to manage the site’s complex content, deployed on Oracle Weblogic. User experience was put at the heart of the rebuild, enhancing both the design and the navigation. Powerful search tools were also implemented using the Lucene engine, to help students find relevant information easily.

The new sites are mobile-friendly, allowing students to use the portals on their smartphones and tablets. In addition, the new sites meet Double (AA) Web Accessibility Standards, and were built to improve the user experience for both able and disabled users. The results for Unite Group were immediate, with a 98% increase in use of the student portal in the first month, and transactions made using the student site increased to over 50%.