With the Auckland region transforming into the new, amalgamated Super City, Auckland Transport needed to meet new legislative technology requirements. To make the most of this change, the organization implemented a full suite of Microsoft technology
solutions resulting in streamlined business processes, improved system reliability and a reduction of storage areas by 30 percent. The complete revamp, including the introduction of virtualized servers and efficient document management systems, has provided
a number of additional financial and staff productivity benefits.
Auckland Transport is a Council Controlled Organization (CCO) of the new Auckland Super City Council. The new organization consolidates transport related functions from eight local and regional councils and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).
The establishment of Auckland Transport marks the first time in Auckland’s history that all transport functions and operations for the city have been under one organization.
The role of Auckland Transport includes managing the region’s transport services (excluding state highways), from roads and footpaths, to cycling, parking and public transport. Due to legislation changes when Auckland Super City was established, Auckland
Transport was required to become a stand-alone agency with its own technology infrastructure by 1 November 2010.
“Because we were pulling together disparate systems from the different councils, we needed to implement a centralized system that all staff could access documents from and work on in real time for the legacy locations,” says Roger Jones, Manager of Information
Systems for Auckland Transport.
ARTA’s legacy Information Systems infrastructure was designed to support approximately 180 users, and the business role was limited to providing governance and advisory capacity. This system could not meet the new requirements of Auckland Transport.
“We required a system that could handle 1,000-plus users and would provide universal collaboration using a centralized management hub, as well as cost savings and improved staff productivity. Our new business applications also had to be deployed, and we
required a large amount of data to be migrated across from the Legacy Councils. We also needed to provide all new staff with access to emails, the wider system and new websites and intranets”
Auckland Transport undertook a risk profile analysis of potential partners to help make the decision of which solution would work best for them. While VMWare and Oracle were both considered, the end result saw the agency partnering with Microsoft New Zealand.
“After an extensive review period, we chose to partner with Microsoft Consulting Services and Microsoft Global Delivery directly to capitalize on its well-known brand, in-depth knowledge, efficiency, personal resource and experience in the area we required.
They were also able to ensure that the design and implementation enabled transition which was driven by legislation and involved some tight timelines, something that was essential for us,” says Roger.
Microsoft Consulting Services in conjunction with Microsoft Global Delivery, worked with Auckland Transport to define the vision and scope to meet the business requirements. This was followed by the design and implementation of the core infrastructure which
was built around Microsoft’s Virtualization technology suite (Hyper-V and System Centre). Virtualized servers, Windows 7, Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, Lync, Dynamics CRM, System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Operations Manager
were established to support Auckland Transport.
Microsoft implemented and tested the core infrastructure by 1 November 2010, providing access to the new infrastructure for all staff, whilst maintaining ability to access their legacy information, either directly from the desktop or via the Microsoft Customer
Care Accelerator (CCA). Network drives were dispensed with all information contained in a new SharePoint document management system..
All ARTA users were migrated to the new environment before 1 November deadline, and 150 users with transportable laptops were migrated within the next month. In early 2011, 650 users will be transferred to the new system with desktop PCs and laptops.
“Microsoft Consulting Services were extremely proficient to work with and we established a great relationship with the team over the year. They took the approach of breaking projects down for us, with each one managed and accounted for under an umbrella
program of work. A team of six to eight consultants of them worked onsite with us over the process, and held regular reviews and project meetings to make sure we were all on the same page,” says Roger.
“The implementation process has been very smooth, with regular reviews and project meetings every step of the way to make sure nothing was left out.”
There have been a number of immediate benefits for Auckland Transport, including cost savings and a reduction in physical servers.
The main benefits to Auckland Transport include:
• Streamlined processes with a central management system
• Cost savings
• Improved reliability
• Efficient searching and quicker access to archived documents
• Reduction in storage area (30%)
• Progression towards full records management with the implementation of Document Management
• Instant visibility of presence state with Microsoft Lync
“Some of the biggest benefits we have seen so far with the new Microsoft platform include cost savings in terms of collaboration time, and a reduction in the number of servers we are using with the Hyper V virtual servers. We have managed to implement the
total Microsoft core internal infrastructure on seven physical servers. We are expecting a 30 percent reduction in storage area requirements due to implementation of SharePoint document management and associated archiving ability,” says Roger.
One of the largest benefits for Auckland Transport was not measured in monetary terms, but in compliance. The agency was confined to a tight timeframe and required strict project management in order to meet legislation deadlines.
Auckland Transport has invested in a system that is fully integrated and future-proofed. It enabled the organization to migrate users quickly and efficiently to the new organization. Yet there is no immediate plans to stop there, the organization is also
implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM and considering moving to the Microsoft Cloud in the future.
“We have implemented our core infrastructure, and are still looking to roll out Microsoft Dynamics CRM by February 2011, followed by video conferencing. We are in the process of developing a customer portal for the public – instead of being directed to a
generic Auckland Transport website, if they choose to be registered with us they will have the option to view a personalized website, targeted to the area they are living in so they can access relevant information.”
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service providers to their businesses.
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For more information about Auckland Transport products and services, call 09 355 3553 or visit the website at: www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz
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