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July 31, 2020

Admission Possible: Boxfusion and the Gauteng Department of Education’s eAdmissions Portal

Boxfusion is passionate about both Education and technology. So when the Gauteng Department of Education approached Boxfusion about developing an online tool to help Gauteng parents register their children for the 2021 year, the company was immediately onboard.

Xolile Ndlangana, Boxfusion’s Director of Sales and Marketing, says that “The opportunity to help the Gauteng Department of Education ready their online eAdmissions portal was right up our alley.

“We were confident that our development capabilities and Microsoft’s Azure cloud would get us across the finish line in time, and deliver a solution that would please the parents of Gauteng.”

The challenge

The aim of the project was to create a public-facing online portal that would allow parents to book spots in the available schools for their kids for the 2021 school year.

The first challenge was that the database would need to be “live” as it required up-to-date data on which schools had slots available for parents to claim.

The second was that the portal needed to handle the huge volume of traffic caused by thousands of Gauteng parents accessing it at the same time, without failing.

The ultimate goal of the project was to create the best-possible experience for Gauteng parents, who were already jaded by rocky attempts in previous years to offer online registrations.

“On its own, creating this “eAdmissions Portal” is a big challenge,” says Ndlangana. “However, that challenge was compounded by the fact that we had just eight weeks to build it.”

The Solution

Boxfusion built the eAdmissions Portal in partnership with Vodacom and the Gauteng Department of Education. Vodacom was the procurement partner as they had the agreement with the Department, and Boxfusion was the fulfilment partner.

To execute on the Department’s vision, Boxfusion leveraged their experience with app creation and UX design along with extensive knowledge of Microsoft’s Azure cloud to develop the portal.

Boxfusion created the front-end, connected it with the Gauteng Department of Education’s database of schools and available slots, and hosted the solution in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Boxfusion chose to host the solution in Azure because of its proven resilience and scalability. A surge in demand was anticipated on the first day the eAdmissions Portal was made accessible to the public.

The servers needed to handle this large volume of traffic without falling over, and Azure’s resilience and automatic scalability made it a perfect fit for the project’s needs.

The Outcome

On the day of the launch, there were over 100,000 successful registrations before lunch time.

The solution didn’t quite nail 100% uptime on the day, however, as there was an initial hiccup that took the portal offline briefly.

Fortunately, it was quickly resolved and applications were flowing again in a short amount of time.

Over that first morning of availability, the solution supported over 19,000 people accessing the portal at the same time, thanks to Azure.

By the time the Monday after the Friday launch rolled around, the portal had registered over 230,000 learners for the 2021 school year.

Ultimately, the eAdmissions Portal was a huge success, allowing Boxfusion to serve the needs of Gauteng’s residents with a cutting-edge technology solution.

Best of all, Boxfusion was able to deliver it in a short time frame thanks to close collaboration with partners, and by leveraging the company’s extensive experience in app development and deep knowledge of Microsoft’s Azure stack.

Ndlangana adds, “We are very pleased to have been of assistance with the Gauteng Department of Education’s vision for a technology-driven future. We also learned a lot and look forward to collaborating more with Vodacom and the Department on future projects.”