Glasgow Life find value with GMC


With more than 40 sites, Glasgow Life operates a huge range of facilities, from sports centres, swimming pools, golf courses and football centres to some of the world-class sporting facilities showcased during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the Emirates Arena, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Tollcross International Swimming Centre and Scotstoun Sports Campus.

For the past 11 years, we’ve been using Gladstone’s Plus2 member management system to look after our ICT needs with very positive results. In addition to the core system, we have a number of Kiosk self-service units and Connect for online booking, and we’re also using a Gladstone API (application programming interface) to integrate timetable information, bookings, membership sales and customer self-service into our own branded website.

The newest addition to the portfolio – introduced earlier this year when our Plus2 system was upgraded – is the Gladstone Management Console (GMC). As a browser-based system, the GMC offered us the opportunity to run certain tasks outside of Plus2, thereby improving functionality and giving us more control over certain areas. For example, we can now make changes to Connect configuration and archive old data ourselves.

The archiving facility in particular has been extremely useful. Before, if we wanted to streamline the data held in Plus2, we’d have to set up a whole project and invest a significant amount of time and money. With the GMC, the initial clean-up of the data was extremely straightforward; now we simply have to maintain it. A very brief training session was all that was required to get us started, and although we had some reservations about how much time it might take given the quantity of data we wanted to archive, the process proved much quicker than we expected.

In the end, we were able to reduce the size of our database by about a third, following which staff across the city reported a faster, more stable user experience. Although this must be partially attributed to the efforts of our IT team to improve infrastructure, connectivity and other areas affecting performance around the same time, it’s reasonable to assume that the archiving played a significant part in this improvement.

Overall, we’ve found the GMC to be a very valuable business tool. We’re now looking at Gladstone’s Learn2 course management tool with a view to improving our swimming programmes, and we will also continue to get as much as we can from the API in order to give our customers tailored access to all the information and functions Plus2 can offer.