JCU Success Story

James Cook University is ranked in the top 2 percent of universities worldwide and delivers ground-breaking, internationally recognised research that makes a difference to people in the Tropics and beyond.

The University has recognised the need to provide a world class digital student experience as a key element of its overall student success strategy. To this end, the University chose to partner with Bayshann in February 2018, to implement its Connexus Digital Engagement Platform.

Our key success criteria was to make a tangible difference to how the University and students interacted with each other across the entire student lifecycle from offer to graduation. It was however important to prioritise known pain points that were adversely affecting the student experience. The University’s research and feedback from students told us that the end to end admission and enrolment process was one area in particular that needed to be improved.

We decided at an early stage that agile delivery with prioritised benefits and student focused outcomes was the right approach. Given the University’s limited experience with an agile approach, Bayshann provided some coaching on how an agile approach would be used in the specific context of this initiative. An intensive week of coaching and application of agile to the initiative’s participants, which included the project team, broader stakeholders and executive decision makers, helped set the scene for how we would work together and make decisions.

A key element of the initiative was the appointment of Jonathan Churchill (Director ICT) as the Sponsor and Bree Slater (Associate Director, Student Systems and Business Services) as the Product Owner. Jonathan, Bree and Sendur Kathir (CEO of Bayshann) formed the executive group to oversee all aspects of the initiative.

jcu connexus


The first sprint was delivered in 12 weeks, which included an end to end digitally enabled process for admission and enrolment. The digital student interfaces are delivered as native iOS and Android apps as well as a responsive web application. This allows students to choose their preferred device and mode of access. The initial release also makes available to students a range of other services which we felt was necessary for a viable product. We have a number of additional sprints planned, ranging in duration from 3 weeks to 8 weeks that will deliver the remaining benefits in the second half of 2018. Our intention is to get regular delivery of benefits to students as soon as possible.

The first release of the JCU app has been well received by students, and we are delighted that significant improvements have been made to long-standing pain points. Jonathan Churchill said ‘it’s fantastic to be live with our Student App. We have a significantly better capability and student onboarding experience for JCU students enrolling right now, and we couldn’t have achieved this without Bayshann. Even with the few challenges we worked through together, we now have highly significant student centric functionality, delivered much faster than the vast majority of University initiatives.’

From a Bayshann perspective, Sendur Kathir said ‘the hallmark of success has been a great technology platform and even better people to work with. Jonathan, Bree and the entire team from both JCU and Bayshann, have really embraced a partnership approach, which is critical in any environment, but especially when working in an agile way. We have a range of digital product innovations planned that I am confident will further enhance the student experience.’

About James Cook University

One of the world's leading institutions focusing on the tropics, James Cook University is ranked in the top 2 percent of the world's tertiary institutions. James Cook University is dedicated to creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide, through graduates and discoveries that make a difference. The University conducts nationally significant and internationally recognised research in areas such as marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, and tropical medicine.

About Bayshann

Bayshann provides advisory services and digital solutions to the higher education and research sector. Our Connexus platform makes extensive use of the latest digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, analytics and mobility. Combined with our purpose built education business processes and integration capabilities, we have a unique platform to deliver innovative solutions.