By Trevor Busch
The worm has definitely turned for the Town of Taber in implementing an online registration system for swim lessons and other recreation.
Previous registration processes were conducted manually by town staff, and often involved long line-ups which prompted a series of complaints from residents. Approved by town council in March 2016, the Intelligenz software cost $108,349, with an annual maintenance fee of $9,500 for five years. Originally, the project was only allocated $30,000 by the town in 2016.
The Taber Aquafun Centre has held two registration sessions with the new Intelligenz software. On Sept. 9, 70 per cent of the registrations were completed online, and as of Oct. 1, 89 per cent of the lesson spots were registered (239 of 268) with 65 per cent overall registered online.
“The first online registration that we had back in June actually went better, for some reason, than the second one did,” said recreation director Aline Holmen, speaking at town council’s Oct. 10 regular meeting. “We had a lot less glitches than we did with this one. There’s still about 35 per cent of the people that are coming in, which is about what we predicted would happen. That seems to be the norm out there compared with other municipalities.”
Issues with the online registration process included difficulties encountered due to the use of a mobile device, a software glitch that caused a delay in the opening of online registrations by 10 minutes, but was rectified by Intelligenz Solutions, and a few other minor problems dealt with by town IT staff.
Recommendations out of the process moving forward include clearly specifying the town’s website address, adding a link to the registration page under the Recreation portion of the website, and issuing reminder notices through the software. Other recommendations include allowing IT staff access to the script from the back end of the software to assist with opening, and continuing to remind clients to test their passwords to ensure they remember them and that they have access, as well as encouraging people to create accounts for their family in advance.
“I’m glad to see that nobody had to camp overnight anymore for registering their kids in swim lessons,” said former Coun. Rick Popadynetz. “It’s good to see that we’re taking a proactive approach to swim lessons, and finding our negatives and our positives.”