The Institute of Swimming (IOS) is an educational swimming organisation based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. They are the largest provider of Swim England courses and aquatics qualifications for swimming teachers and coaches.
The Institute of Swimming’s previous website for booking courses was hosted on a separate domain to swimming.org, formerly www.theiosonline.com. The previous website was an ageing platform and the website lacked a strategic roadmap and had not been built to scale and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.
The IOS needed a new system, one which would grow with the organisation and allow them to become much more prominent within their sector. Over time, competitors had closed the gap and the old website was not maximising sales. The situation required a more innovative digital strategy and the design and build of a more flexible, powerful and ultimately more successful platform for booking courses and growing revenue.
We architected a new platform that consisted of a perfect combination of WordPress and Symfony, maximising the strengths of each system.
We used the advanced publishing features of WordPress to make the content management of articles and pages easy, whilst at the same time taking advantage of the power and flexibility of Symfony to digitise complex and bespoke business processes.
We also implemented Amazon’s Elasticsearch Service (AES) to power the focal point of the application, providing the front end user with the capability to find the right course, for the right location, on a required day. AES also powers a number of search components within the back end of the system, allowing the Institute of Swimming to quickly and effectively retrieve information and become more operationally efficient.
Each user has a personal profile where they can fill in their own personal development plan, search and sign up to courses and pay for the courses directly on the website.
The user can also access lists of all the available courses offered by the Institute of Swimming and mark if they are interested / not interested or if they have completed the course.
We developed a bespoke global payment gateway that integrated with DataCash, Swim England’s chosen provider. This enabled us to broaden the range of payment types including PayPal and other merchants.
DataCash is a payment processing company that offers the flexibility of secure multi-channel payment processing, fraud prevention and risk management services. It was founded in 1996 and has been a division of MasterCard since 2010.
The Institute of Swimming now has a powerful and scalable new platform that’s ready to take advantage of any new and emerging technologies in the future.
With that in mind, Skylab and the Institute of Swimming are already collaborating on the next phase of the platform to grow the online learning functionality.
The ‘Search, Book and Pay’ platform is a powerful new tool for the future. It will help external users such as learners to search for, book and pay for courses, as well as internal users such as IOS staff to simplify business processes and minimise administrative tasks.
By working together in close partnership, the new platform is already helping the Institute of Swimming to secure their place as a leader in their field.