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Home / Blog / [REPLAY WEBINAR] Launching a mobile application: feedback from the University of Mons

[REPLAY WEBINAR] Launching a mobile application: feedback from the University of Mons

By: Ready Education 20 juin 2023 11:42:58
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Angélique Turquet, Head of Communication at the University of Mons, shared with us how the launch of their mobile application went. 

Planning, teams, technical requirements, features... We covered all of these topics in this webinar! 

Manon Plagnol, Projects and Customer Experience Manager at AppScho, who has overseen the launch of dozens of mobile applications, was also there to provide tips and tricks in order to ensure the success of the project. 

💡 Find out more about the main takeaways from this discussion in this blog post. 


🤝 The AppScho project process

Good to know: the AppScho project process is standardised and common to all our partner institutions. This means:

  • Facilitate discussions with the establishment's teams
  • Structure the launch of applications to speed things up

Here are the main stages involved in a mobile app launch process: 


1- Signature: definition of goals, contacts and verification of the project's technical feasibility. 

2- Project launch meeting: meeting between the stakeholders and definition of the planning.  


3- Alpha period: definition of features, connection to the various services and customisation of the application. 

4- Beta period: testing of the app by beta testers and correction of minor bugs. 


The app is put online on the stores and the launch is publicised.


🎓 Why has the University of Mons chosen to launch a mobile application?

  • Student demand was high
  • The University was aware that a mobile app was an almost indispensable tool at the present time


👷‍♂️ Who are the project's stakeholders and what role do they play?

At the beginning of the project : 

    • Institutional authorities: the request came from the rector and the administrator, which facilitated the next steps.
    • Various departments involved: Student Affairs Department, Academic Affairs Department.
    • Student representatives. 

During the operational phase: 

  • Mainly the IT Department
  • With a dedicated project team consisting of a technical manager and Angélique Turquet for project management and communication. 

👉 The advice from the Université of Mons: a mobile application project is the result of a collaborative relationship between the communication and technology departments.


⚙️ Technical requirements

Good to know: our mobile applications connect to the ERP, planning tool, other IS tools and Moodle, but also to the website's news and events feeds, publications on social networks and other internal alert and information feeds from our client establishments.

Whatever the tools and however many there are, AppScho centralises all the school's services in a single channel.

The choice made by the University of Mons was to set up a middleware where the University sends the data that AppScho then gathers. AppScho does not store any data.

💡 Manon's advice: validating technical feasibility is a prerequisite for launching a mobile application. A call is organised before signature between AppScho's technical director and the establishment's IT department to ensure this.


📱 Features chosen by the University of Mons

The University of Mons has chosen to offer a very complete application for its V1. It has two parts: 

  • A public section for external users (future students, visitors, etc.), with practical information, content profiling according to audience type, social network news feeds, campus map.
  • An authenticated section reserved for students and staff: with timetables, grades, and notifications.

Good to know: we offer nearly 30 features from which establishments can choose according to their needs.


🎨 Application customisation

Good to know: all our applications are white-labelled, i.e. they are branded in the name and colours of the institution.

This is why customisation was quick and easy for UMons, which already had branding guidelines which were  simply applied to the mobile application.

👉 The advice from the University of Mons: the institution had the great idea of letting students choose the name of the mobile application by submitting three or four proposals via a survey. It's a great way to get them on board with the project!


📅 University of Mons launch schedule

The mobile app was launched in just 5 months, including several weeks of summer closure.

👉 The advice from the Université de Mons: as long as the institution makes the necessary resources available, an application project runs very smoothly. You just have to be ready to be able to mobilise the teams.

💡 Manon's advice: setting up weekly check-ins between AppScho and the school is a great way of reviewing all the issues and making sure the project is progressing efficiently.


🚀 How did the launch of the UMons App go?

The institution built up expectations with a teaser campaign on social networks and on their intranet, a campaign that was also communicated by students testing the app. 

The rector also sent an email to the entire UMons community to inform them of the app's availability, present its features and share a user guide. 

It was a strategy that paid off, with downloads already taking place even before the app was officially launched! And on the very first day, UMons App had 1,800 downloads, the following day 3,000 and to date almost 3,700 downloads in total. 

👉 The advice from the University of Mons: prepare your communications so that you're ready for the big day!


✍️ The advice of the University of Mons

1- You need to consider the mobile app as a project in its own right and be aware that you need to mobilise people internally to have a successful project. 

2- The ideal option is to have a communication and technical team working hand in hand. 

Manon's advice: your communications department can't be involved in the project? Don't panic, AppScho has everything you need to communicate about the app launch! Guides, communication plans and launch kits are provided.


🙋 Questions from the audience

  • Is the student intranet going to disappear? No, the tools are complementary. 
  • Is there an English version of the app? Yes, all our mobile apps are available in French, English and Spanish. Institutions can define a default language. For content managed from the back office, there is the option of more languages and translations. AppScho does not perform automatic translations to avoid being responsible for translation errors. 
  • What are the different personal notification options? Our applications send different types of notification: 

> Messaging: this is a back-office tool that allows content to be distributed to a pre-defined list of users. 

> Automatically generated schedule notifications.

> Personalised alerts for each student.  

  • Do I have to enter information twice? No, AppScho simply 'plugs in' to existing systems (ERP, communication flows, etc.) and pushes existing information onto the applications. There's no need to re-enter it in an additional tool.


Did this article inspire you to find out more about our mobile apps? Contact our teams for more info.