UCAS achieves top grade for its A Level system devised by Bath IT firm IPL

March 6, 2014

A cloud-based system built and operated by Bath-based IT consultancy IPL has helped higher education admissions service UCAS win the best public sector project at the inaugural UK Cloud Awards.

UCAS gained the accolade for it’s the way it handled A Level results day last year when 386,000 students from across England and Wales used its Track system to find out whether they’d been successful in their applications to university or college.

Track is the latest innovation from IPL for UCAS. The two have worked together for a number of years.

Track was part of a large-scale project to move key UCAS systems into the cloud, to ensure they provided a robust and high-quality service on A Level results day. Track handled a total of 1.17m logins on the day – from tablets, smartphones and computer web browsers – peaking at more than 180 per second.

UCAS beat off high-profile competition to secure the prize at the UK Cloud Awards ceremony, where Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney spoke about how cloud computing had come of age, a sentiment highlighted by the quality of the entrants.

UCAS chief operating officer Steve Jeffree said the award acknowledged the hard work that went into protecting students from a potential storm on results day. 

“The success of the resilient cloud system is a tribute, not only to our IT team but to the universities and colleges who gave us their help and patience while we made vital technical changes ahead of our most important day.

“I would also like to thank our many technology partners who were instrumental in this success – including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Attenda, IPL and Cognizant.”

IPL sales and marketing director Sue Purdin added: “We’re incredibly pleased that Track has contributed to UCAS winning this fantastic award. Track is a unique system that needs to withstand high levels of online access in a single 24-hour period. By using cloud technology, we were able to create a system that can scale up to meet these demands, while remaining incredibly cost-effective.”

IPL, which employs around 280 staff, designs, implements and supports IT systems that improve efficiency for clients in sectors spanning banking, finance, telecoms, utilities, local and central government, oil, gas and pharmaceuticals. Clients include Nationwide and Lockheed Martin.


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