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CountryNet case study

A case study that illustrates how one company's technology brings school communities together.

Software developer CountryNet Software is working to create Australia’s first shared community beyond the school fence, where  students, parents, teachers and administrators operate in an interconnected digital community.

CEO Simon Totonjian says the NSW-based company’s platform offers online education management tools from timetabling, subject selection and viewing student grades to booking parent/teacher interviews - all in one place.

“Our new product allows for real-time information transfer. When your child does an exam or a task the results are immediately published within the system, a teacher can post a comment and a parent can read it and respond. Why should you wait three months to find out if your child is having a problem?” he asks.

Rapid change

“We're doing a lot of pilot testing and it's going beautifully. We've got five schools in Australia that use it at the moment, but our primary testing ground is offshore.”

His team’s flexible and agile approach to product development in the face of rapid technological change have helped keep its profits growing.

“In our industry if you're in the middle of doing something and there's a change in the environment, you have to be able to respond quickly,” Simon says.

Fresh approach

This requires a fresh approach to hiring and forming partnerships. Third-party developers write the initial software and the CountryNet team then builds out the final product.

Simon says a product’s “end of life” is vitally important.

“It’s very hard to sign up 1,000 schools when your product is relevant for only five years. You need a perpetual ‘end of life’ so you can keep the business growing without worrying,” he says.

Things you should know: This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The findings of the FY18 CommBank Business Insights Report are based on a wide-ranging quantitative survey of 2,473 business owners, decision makers and managers — as well as 16 in-depth qualitative interviews — conducted on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank by ACA Research and DBM Consultants between August and October 2017. Participants were drawn from businesses across Australia with an annual turnover of more than $500,000 and at least two employees. The survey was designed to benchmark the innovation performance of each business, identifying the key motivations and drivers influencing that performance, and highlighting best practice. Any opinions, conclusions or recommendations set forth are subject to change without notice. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.