Park management company cuts software costs

Australian Tourist Park Management (ATPM) is saving over $7,000 a year in software licencing costs following the rollout of Office 365 and Windows Intune in mid-2013.

The Gold Coast-based company manages 30 parks in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. It employs 82 staff, many of whom work in remote locations.

ATPM IT operations supervisor Jonathan Morris said that one of the challenges the business faced was the parks' heterogeneous infrastructure.

Each new park the company took on had different IT infrastructure, Internet connections, email software and security systems.

“We would use retail boxes of software and send them around to the different parks. It was difficult to keep track of whether we had the correct number of licences for the number of computers we had,” said Morris.

“We also have a number of staff members who travel and they needed access to emails and files from their mobiles and tablets while they were travelling.”

In 2013, ATPM began working with IT partner Ozbizweb Group to roll out Office 365 and IT management tool Windows Intune to its support office and 30 parks.

Ozbizweb technician Elliot Munro said one of the main problems ATPM wanted to address was the ability to take on new parks as the company expanded and not have to worry about the IT that came with each new park.

“We designed and developed a custom solution that incorporates Office 365 and Windows Intune to address key requirements," said Munro.

For example, ATPM is saving $7000 a year thanks to predictable monthly software licencing. This means it doesn’t have to buy boxed software products and IT staff can keep track of how many software licences are in use within the company.

“We now have detailed hardware and software inventory using Intune,” said Morris.

Every ATPM staff member has access to Office Pro Plus on their PC and laptop. Office 365’s mobile device licences allow employees to access data and documents when they are out on the road.

“We’ve got a consistent email experience across all of our devices and we have peace of mind with a stable platform across the whole of our business,” said Morris.

“We’re also using Lync Online as a professional communications tool. We’re running webinars for [staff] training and guest services.”

According to Morris, there has been a 25 per cent decrease in IT support calls. Malware related IT support tickets have dropped by approximately 30 per cent since ATPM used Windows Intune and Office to consolidate software versions and deploy Windows updates.

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