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Talis Aspire

How we scale Talis Aspire to meet our customers’ needs

Natalie Naik
Accessibility infrastructure Integration

As the mad rush of the new academic year settles for our European universities and Asia-Pacific universities gear up for exam season, we look back over the numbers from the past months to explore what Talis Aspire looks like during a busy period, and why we know it’s crucial you can rely on us.

As your technology provider, we understand the importance of providing a reliable and robust service for your academics and your students. As we have grown and scaled up Talis Aspire, we have continued to ensure that it works just as well for our universities no matter where, how, or when they use it.

We currently have 94 universities using the Talis service, with 80 of those in Europe. Talis Aspire is used in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, Cyprus, Malaysia and China. There are over 300,000 active published lists in Talis Aspire which we support around the clock, seven days a week. We see activity on Talis Aspire every day of the year, including Christmas Day!

September and October are the busiest months for Talis Aspire. This time of year marks the start of an exam period for many in Asia-Pacific universities and the start of a new academic year for our European customers. With a flurry of students returning to their studies or starting for the first time, you need to know that you can trust our product to continue working in the background, to support the work you do in the library.

This year, we have seen a huge growth in engagement with Talis Aspire from the start of September. Up until November 1st 2017, 301,400 lists have been created and published in Talis Aspire by academics and library staff. There were 21.3 million views to reading lists by students between September 1st – November 1st 2017, a 30% increase on the same time period in 2016.

Talis Aspire is designed to allow for this surge in use, as we have scaled up over the years with a growing number of universities. We ensure a consistent experience for all users, by keeping server response time around 300 milliseconds for both online reading lists and copyright management. We have customers all over the world, who have different term dates and time zones so we want to ensure that our product is delivered at the same standard for all.

In the last 525,949 minutes (that’s one whole year!), Talis Aspire has been unavailable for only 22 minutes.

We are proud to say that we have seen a 99.99% uptime since the start of September for both online reading lists and copyright management services, even during a huge peak in use in the first week of October. This would have been when our European universities started Semester 1 and when our Asia-Pacific universities were studying for exams. The busiest week of the year this year was 27th September to 3rd October where we saw 3.5 million views for Talis Aspire reading lists, a 27% increase on the same week in 2016.

We see a big difference between traffic in low periods of use (outside of core teaching periods) compared to traffic during peak periods (the start of year or start of term). The week with the lowest usage this year was 19th to 26th June 2017 with just 0.73 million views, almost five times less than our busiest week mentioned above. Thanks to our scalability, Talis Aspire can deal with big peaks and troughs in usage, ensuring we deliver you the service you require and trust to be available when you need it.

Talis understand that a majority of your student access will come via your Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), ensuring that you are getting a seamless integration experience, delivering resources your students require. To move the integration with your LMS forward, one of the ways we improve accessibility is with the Talis Aspire Learning Tools Interoperability integration which ensures that students are looking at the right content sooner. All 94 of our universities have integrations with the LMS, of these 39 are currently using LTI to integrate their online reading lists in their LMS and 15.4 million resource links have been clicked via this integration since September 1st 2017.

To learn more about how Talis deliver this service, and the benefits universities across the world are experiencing, join us at Talis Insight in 2018. We are hosting an Asia-Pacific event in Melbourne on the 8-9th February, and a European event in Birmingham on the 1st-2nd May.


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