The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is responsible for the national curriculum for Foundation – Year 12 students, the national assessment program, and national data collection on schools. Headquartered in Sydney, ACARA employs between 90-100 people with some located in offices in Melbourne and Perth as well as some staff working remotely from Adelaide, Brisbane, and regional areas.
With offices and staff throughout Australia, ACARA’s primary challenge was to find a better way for people to communicate face-to-face. The obstacles to achieving this were the existing video conferencing system as well as the distances people needed to travel just to have a meeting.
“We were looking for something which is robust. We were looking for something that was lower maintenance, efficient, durable, sustainable.”
- Robert Randall, CEO
The legacy video conferencing system was clunky and required its own dedicated internet connection because of the necessary bandwidth required to host the meeting. The bandwidth issue was especially problematic as the offices in Perth were unable to communicate with Sydney due to 10MB download speeds.
ACARA + BlueJeans
The decision to implement BlueJeans aligned with a broader digital strategy adopted by ACARA, a cloud-first user-based model that would increase accessibility and efficiency, while reducing hardware and ongoing maintenance costs. ACARA needed a robust, low maintenance, efficient, durable, and sustainable solution and after a partner organisation recommended they try BlueJeans, the decision was made.
“Once we started using it, people became comfortable and confident in it. It is now a critical part of our IT ecosystem at ACARA. We are now using the command centre, which has been quite useful in monitoring the traffic during each meeting and identifying any bandwidth issues.”
- Nimit Rawal, Senior Manager of Enterprise Architecture & Design
Once ACARA implemented BlueJeans, people became comfortable and confident with the platform. BlueJeans is now a critical part of ACARA’s IT ecosystem, and is even included in the induction packet for new employees, when each staff member receives a BlueJeans account.
From an end-user perspective, the one-click touch accessibility of BlueJeans was a major selling point. The integration with Outlook means that users can join meetings from any device, making the platform ACARA’s default meeting method with a link included in every calendar invite.
“As we continue to build networks, it maximises our chances to reach out to people in greater parts of the country. You’re not just getting out into the major cities; we're reaching regional areas too.”
- Robert Randall, CEO
Although it is a national organisation, staff often need to travel overseas for conferences and training. BlueJeans is used by staff while overseas to keep in touch with the local offices, with the cloud-based platform allowing for seamless international video communication. The benefits of its robust service is also utilised within Australia by board members in each state and territory. Board members from Perth often choose to attend the meetings via BlueJeans, rather than spend 8-10 hours on the return flight.