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University of Melbourne boosting facilities maintenance via app

The University of Melbourne is using a new mobile app to modernize the way it responds to campus maintenance requests. The app, Snap Send Solve, enables any member of the campus community to photograph and send maintenance alerts directly to the proper campus department.

According to an ITWire report, Melbourne is Australia’s first university to launch the mobile app, and has enabled its nearly 60,000 staff and students, as well as visitors to instantly report on-campus facility issues. Some of the actionable items reported so far include downed computers, blocked toilets and broken bicycle racks. Since the app’s launch the university reports an average of 50 reports submitted weekly.

The app is also operational across all eight University of Melbourne campuses, and the university says the data gleaned from the already 676 reports logged in the first three months is helping the university to better understand which departments require more maintenance support and pinpoint potential future issues.

“Snap Send Solve empowers the University community to help us monitor our vast campuses, all with the convenience of a mobile phone,” said Chris van der Weyden, Director of Client Services at the University of Melbourne, in an ITWired interview. “Before the rollout of the app, students would need to tap their tutors or lecturers on the shoulder to report these issues. Teaching staff then had to try and figure out what do with the feedback.”

Snap Send Solve worked with the University of Melbourne to integrate the app into its existing service management system and amend the GPS coordinates to correlate with specific classrooms and other areas of campus.

Once a problem is “snapped” via the app, the platform automatically sends a report containing images, descriptions and other relevant data to the appropriate campus team. For example, campus IT would be alerted to a broken computer, be informed of the exact location, and may even be able to identify the exact issue before responding, explains Danny Gorog, chief executive and founder of Snap Send Solve.

By simply snapping of a photo and tapping out a brief description, students can report maintenance issues in real-time. The app was introduced at Melbourne three months ago and has already amassed 52,000 downloads.

In addition to higher ed, Snap Send Solve is currently in use by some 700 authorities across Australia and New Zealand, including local councils, telecommunication companies and supermarkets.

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