Acora College

The digital platform for Australian residential colleges. A rich suite of online applications, made in Australia, customised to your needs, and locally supported.

Powered by the Acora Digital Experience Platform.

Powered by Acora button
Laptop and smartphone screens displaying the St John's College Website, alumni portal and student engagement app
You are here: Home / 

Platform Overview

Acora College is a full service online system that meets the student acquisition, engagement and retention needs of Residential Colleges in Australia. Out of the box your College is equipped with a qualified toolkit, ready to roll out immediately, that meets the needs of a modern College.

Choose one option, configure them all or anywhere in between.

The Solution

DDSN Interactive is an established Australian digital agency that has developed a highly functional digital platform customised for residential colleges, Acora College.

The difference between what DDSN and other overseas providers have to offer is that the product is modular and will be tailored to the custom needs of your Australian College.

The platform includes Acora College with options for a custom website design, student engagement mobile app with meals management amongst other features. Acora College can also include an alumni portal, admissions portal, email marketing with lead nurturing and a shop for college products connected to your chosen payment gateway. Acora Education can also include integrations to a CRM tailored for residential college management or O365 for example.

The Acora colleges platform can also include functions for running your college including staff intranet, helpdesk, student association microsites or jobs portals.


DDSN Proudly Supports University Colleges Australia

University Colleges Australia logo and tagline: Better Leaders, Better Collegiate Life

Expression of Interest

Let us know you're interested in the DDSN Acora College Platform to arrange a demonstration.

EoI

DDSN's College Clients

Trinity College
University of Melbourne

Logo of DDSN Client - Trinity College, University of Melbourne

St John's College
Universtity of Queensland

Logo of DDSN Client - New College, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

New College
UNSW

Logo of DDSN Client - New College, University of New South Wales - UNSW

 

Key Benefits

Technical Benefits

  • Marketing website, admissions portal, alumni portal, student engagement and meals management app - powered by one platform
  • Email marketing automation, landing pages, social media, e-commerce - all included
  • Additionally include college management - intranet, staff communication, helpdesk one platform
  • Open integration APIs, for no additional cost
  • The richest suite of functions and modules
  • Advanced analytics
  • High performance, bulletproof security, externally audited - Hosted in an Australian private cloud

Business Benefits

  • Acquire, Manage and Engage students and alumni all in one platform
  • Crowd sourced development - new features developed by others rolled out to all at next update
  • Shared infrastructure, shared costs
  • Focus on the needs of Colleges
  • DDSN as your partner: Beautiful and accessible visual design, qualified UX, technical excellence, and dedicated digital support
  • Highly cost effective, technically advanced custom development
  • More value than other platforms offering only one of the options that Acora Colleges does.

The Acora College Package

Websites

Support your website, any number of microsites and campaign landing pages.

Student App

Student engagement through a tailored mobile app.

Application Portal

 You college is unique, so is your application portal needs.

Alumni Portal

Stay connected and harness philanthropy from your alumni network.

Service

DDSN staff - a professional Australian team support your college needs.

A suite of technologies optimised for Australian residential colleges

We would be delighted to show through you a working installation of the Acora Colleges platform. Demonstrations can be provided face-to-face or over the Internet. Please contact us to arrange an appropriate time.

Express interest in Demonstration

Alternatively, call us on 03 9533 8800 to learn more.

Acora College Platform Features

Multi-site

Manage multiple websites, each under different domain names, all from the one online administration interface. Unlimited content, unlimited staff and student users, unlimited sites.

Powerful form handling

Point-and-click configuration of complex forms with field dependencies, email notifications with rich layouts, powerful workflow and data management customisation, and integration with all CMS platform capabilities.

Distributed content management

Easy content management for large and small teams. Distribute publishing responsibilities using a robust, multi-site aware role and function based permissions framework coupled with extensible author / editor / publisher workflows.

Mobile responsive

Responsive design throughout the system ensures visitors to your website have the best experience on all devices - computer desktops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

Powerful user accounts & CRM features

Groups and roles based user management tools track detailed user data and provide easy to configure identity management. Features include user logins, automatic or managed account registrations, private content, and integration with all CMS capabilities: forms, marketing automation, personalised content and more.

E-commerce

Conduct commercial transactions including online payments securely from within your College website in real time with your students, parents, alumni and philanthropists.

Email direct marketing

Build beautiful email newsletters and business messages with point-and-click ease, manage subscriptions, automate communications, and connect email directly to your user base. Unlimited subscribers, lists, and emails.

Extensive customisation capability

Quickly and cheaply develop specialised web apps and business-specific functions, or integrate your favourite web UI modules without impacting on backward compatibility and forward upgrade support via an extensive, extensible customisation layer.

High performance

Deliver complex content at blitzing speeds through dynamic caching and optimised web server performance. 


Website Features

Spectacular visual design

Bring along your existing website design, use one of our ready-to-go College templates, or optionally work with our designers to make your College's presentation shine. DDSN has been designing award winning websites and apps for government agencies, businesses, and national brands for 20+ years. 

Search engine optimisation

Make sure your websites are found in public searches by automatic application of SEO best practices built right into Acora. Track your visitors from inbound campaigns and cross site links to conversion and transactions.

Social media

Include social media feeds or easily configure dynamic sharing and bookmarking links to your visitors, track social media site outlinks, and automatically publish to social media sites.

Advanced search

Search pages, images, documents, metadata and more. Provide easy access to publications, tenders, expressions of interest, permits and reports to landowners and regional businesses.

 

Advanced integrated analytics

Advanced usage reporting for your websites and apps, securely hosted behind the DDSN.net firewall. Much more thatnGoogle Analytics: search engine keywords, heatmaps, user session recording, multi-site roll-up reporting, detailed conversion and campaign reports, and more.

Content Syndication

Author once and share - syndicated content can then appear on any of your sites, in an app, portal or intranet automatically.

News and updates

Drive visitors to your website and highlight the achievements of your college and students with easy to update, relevant content, easily categorised and presented in beautiful templates. Feed updates to your mobile app and other sites automatically.

Events calendars & bookings

Promote local events and important dates within your catchment region to website visitors and landowners via configurable events calendars. Collect bookings online.

Maps and spatial data

Easily integrate and build maps and location data into the pages of your website. Show students the fantastic location of your college and relationship to other local 

A suite of technologies optimised for Australian residential colleges

We would be delighted to show through you a working installation of the Acora Colleges platform. Demonstrations can be provided face-to-face or over the Internet. Please contact us to arrange an appropriate time.

Express interest in Demonstration

Alternatively, call us on 03 9533 8800 to learn more.

Mobile App Features

Mobile apps

Native mobile apps are part of every digital platform today. The Acora College App is an advanced app starting point that can be deployed quickly and cost effectively. Or you can work with DDSN to create purpose-designed app for any need.

News and events

Promote upcoming events or highlight the achievements of your students and college with easy to update, relevant content and easily categorised. 

Dynamic content

Publish content and maintain it without needing an app release. Creation of these app pages is completely customisable and may include for example a student handbook, staff contact details, academic support guide, well-being guide, schedule of fees and links to other student services.

Sports fixtures, jobs or opportunities

Configure feeds for information important to your students. This may include dining hall menus, sports fixtures, job or learning opportuntiies for example. Customise to suit the needs of your college.

Meals management

Manage dining hall meals in a way that works for your college - opt-in, opt-out or credit based systems. Students can request changes or their dietary requirements at any time with changes and information provided automatically to cafeteria staff by email.

Emergency advice

Provide students with information on what to do in an emergency.

Manage processes efficiently

Improve efficiency by automating common student process. These can include updating their details, lodging a maintenance request and filing an incident report.

Push notifications and in-app messages

Deliver messages to all, groups or individual students directly to their mobile devices. Automate student communications based on a schedule or engagement event.

Login & role specific content

Deliver different content to current, future, past students or staff in a secure environment. Only authorised people can access the app & personalised content can be delivered.


Application Portal Features

Custom application forms and workflow

Out of the box workflows are never quite right for any college. Your information and management needs are unique to you and your team. Acora College portal workflows are custom built for every installation. This is made possible by the powerful Acora forms managmeent platform.

Manage tours and enquiries

Easily manage enquiries and coordinate tours, Receive enquiries and bookings online via your portal.

Connection to Student Management Database

Connect to your preferred CRM or student management database. DDSN has extensive experience working with database APIs or choose our custom SuiteCRM configuration for student acquisition, nurturing and management connected to your application portal.


Alumni Portal Features

Alumni Directory

Keep your college community connected through a searchable listing of alumni who have joined the portal. Listing is opt-in and with customisable information shared - share nothing, only name and email or full contact details. The choice is your alumni's to make.

Alumni News and events

Promote upcoming events or highlight the achievements of your students and college with easy to update, relevant content and easily categorised. 

Alumni Mentor Connect

Through an automated process collect the infrormation of alumni willing to mentor or looking for a mentor to allow them to connect.

Jobs Board

Configure feeds for information important to your students. This may include dining hall menus, sports fixtures, job or learning opportuntiies for example. Customise to suit the needs of your college.

Donation Collection

Harness the philanthropic opportunity of your alumni network to support the college. Collect payments through an integrated payment gateway with automatic invoicing.

Testimonial Collection

Where better to get testimonials than from your alumni? Alumni connect has a function to collect and create testimonials ready for your approval to publish on your marketing website.


Marketing Features

Lead Generation

Capture leads from your website that you can nurture to become future students or residents.

Email Marketing

Beyond simple email marketing and tracked analytics, deliver scheduled and automatic personalised communications to subscribers and registered users, configure advanced feedback forms, and more.

Marketing and communications automation

Beyond simple email marketing and tracked analytics, deliver scheduled and automatic personalised communications to leads, students, alumni or staff. Configure advanced feedback forms, and more.


Integrated Business Modules

Forms for automated staff reporting

Provide forms for everything from WHS incident reporting through to onboarding and training confirmation

Intranet / extranet integration

Work with us and the platform's flexible integration options to automate and integrate your workflows with your intranet, extranet, or other online systems.

File and asset management

Integrated, searchable, metadata driven file and asset management capabilities include automatic image generation, document previews, online file editing, and dynamic file link management features.

Tender management

Schedule and publish tenders, expressions of interest, or community engagement responses online. Answer group questions, keep vendors anonymous, collect and manage tender responses. Allow automatic or moderated vendor registration.

Jobs & recruitment

Reach and attract the right people for your college with career opportunity listings, receive and manage applications online.

Other modules

Photo galleries, glossaries, RSS feeds, site maps, link checking, discussion forums, page commenting, blogs, file downloads, student services management, conference and workshop management, mobile app push notifications, live chat integration, help desk, timesheets and more.


Acora CMS Features

Easy to use

The CMS platform underpinning the Digital CMS platform provides powerful, off-the-shelf, web based website management tools that are simple to use, and driven by a deep application development platform.

Distributed workflow & permissions

A robust, multi-site aware role and function based permissions framework coupled with easily configured and extensible standard author / editor / publisher workflow offers distributed publishing capabilities to both small and large teams.

Single sign-on

Optional integration with common single sign-on methodologies including Office365 (coming soon), SAML, Active Directory, and custom SSO providers.

Integration & APIs

Work with us to connect open APIs provided by the CMS software and associated platform tools to your existing enterprise systems.

Open standards / shared code

Coupling open source platform components with a flexible and open CMS licence, all code and tools created for the Digital CMA platform are available to all CMAs in every upgrade. No user or functionality restrictions. Everything is shared.

Crowd sourced development

Supported by a highly agile continuous integration methodology, work with DDSN and other CMAs to pool resources for the low cost development of regularly upgraded systems and new tools, purpose built for CMAs.


Platform Services & Apps

Secure Australian hosting

Security-hardened, third party penetration tested, locally supported, constantly monitored, feature rich, rock solid application hosting platform with all core infrastructure located inside Australian jurisdiction. We're hosting for Australia's largest telco, a state police department, and government agencies.

Streaming Video Delivery Network

Easily upload videos for automatic encoding and conversion to streaming formats. Host public and private videos. Embed videos in your websites and apps.

Dev/staging/live

The Acora Colleges solution includes development, staging, and training server environments to support robust agile application development and publishing processes.

Continuous integration & managed upgrades

All your platform components are kept in tune and up to date. No hassles. No hidden costs or ad hoc upgrade project fees. You'll always have the latest technology.

Customer Relationship Management

The industry leading and feature rich open source application  SuiteCRM is available on the DDSN hosting platform for customers without an existing CRM. Installation is tailored for colleges including building, room management and application processing.

Your own custom systems

Consolidate your hosting and technical support for process and cost efficiency. Put your own web apps behind our firewall and draw on our technical support. We'll work with you to understand your systems and provide the flexibility and service levels you need. It won't necessarily cost extra.

DDSN Professional Services

Spectacular visual design

Bring along your existing website design, use one of our ready-to-go College templates, or optionally work with our designers to make your CMA's presentation shine. DDSN has been designing award winning websites and apps for government agencies, businesses, and national brands for 20+ years. 

Usability / user experience

User centred design underpins everything we do. Draw on DDSN's extensive user experience to really connect to your audiences. Ask us about on-going user testing, user-driven requirements gathering, and evidence based UX design.

Maintenance & engagement

A key part of the platform offering is direct access to DDSN's expert consultancy team at reduced pre-booked hourly rates. Pre-booked maintenance time can be used for any purpose - technical support, strategic consultancy, content development, visual design, or coding.

Cost effective custom development

Our expert small team has been creating advanced custom digital systems since the business began in 1997. We love a challenge. You'll be amazed at what we can deliver for such affordable prices.

Help desk & telephone support

Local, expert support at your fingertips. All jobs are tracked via a process driven help desk, and we're at the other end of the phone every day.

Unlimited Training

Delivered online or in person depending on your team's needs, we provide platform usage and digital skills training for every project. Workshop topics range from content authoring to admin and developer training.

DDSN Solutions

Everything in the DDSN Acora College platform is backed by DDSN's unique and innovative service offering.

Icon representing a website on a desktop and a mobile device

Websites and Custom Apps

Beautiful, usable, rich, responsive, accessible websites and apps that run on every mobile device and in the browser.

Icon representing an analytics report

 Maintenance and Growth

Strategic marketing, technical support, and agile development aligned with your business growth goals.

Icon depicting the global and a pie graph, representing hosting

Hosted Digital Platform

We provide every customer a rich suite of hosted applications. Highly secure, fast, locally supported, and highly available.

The  DDSN digital platform provides a great starting point for many businesses. For our clients with large scale or proprietary technologies, we'll help wire up the distinct marketing and operations software to provide a coherent business-specific user experience for both customers and support staff.


Our Work In Other Industries

Goulburn Broken CMA

Image of one of the GB CMA photo galleries, overlaid by the Goulburn Broken CMA logo

www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) facilitates integrated planning for management of land, water and biodiversity resources. DDSN support and manageme their web facing digital platforms.

Read more 

Hammond Care - DSA Website

Stylised graphic of a dementia care professional shaking hands with a carer of an older person who is also in the frame, overlaid by the Dementia Support Australia logo.

www.dementia.com.au 

Dementia Support Australia is a partnership run by Hammond Care and it needed to re-design its website to align with its brand update.

Read more

Police Association of NSW

Image of NSW police force members saluting, overlaid by the Police Association of NSW logo.

www.pansw.org.au

Secure e-communications and member services digital platform for one of the world's largest state police associations.

Read more

A suite of technologies optimised for Residential Colleges

We would be delighted to show through you a working installation of the Acora Colleges platform. Demonstrations can be provided face-to-face or over the Internet. Please contact us to arrange an appropriate time.

Express interest in Acora College Platform

Alternatively, call us on 03 9533 8800 to learn more.