We were given very clear guidelines and direction as to what we would be going through and what we could expect to resolve the problems – it was fantastic.
Historically NZSG’s IT systems were supported by a “one man band”. The support they received was very reactive and communication to the NZSG was sparse if any. “When something went wrong, we would call him and we wouldn’t know if we were going to get a response” says Christine Hurst, Library Supervisor.
They would often wait days before the issue was addressed and when it was they were not notified of what the problem was or offered any long term advice on preventing its re-occurrence. There was no maintenance regime in place and the basic fundamentals of windows updates and antivirus was not kept current. As a result, there were frequent virus outbreaks. Apart from unstable PC’s, the biggest effect of this was unreliable email as they had been blacklisted by a number of antispam organisations.
As a result countless emails were lost. This had a profound effect on the business and it tarnished their credibility, as a result of lost emails they would look very unreliable and problems festered that could have been nipped in the bud. A simple task would take twice as long to do as they found themselves sending an email and then calling the recipient to see if they received it. On one occasion the entire office lost a whole morning due to a miscommunication (24 man hours).
“It was chaos, we were ready to walk out” says Janeke Fourie, Office manager
The Kinetics Approach
NZSG then approached Kinetics Group to help them sort out the issues they were having. “We were given very clear guidelines and direction as to what we would be going through to resolve the problems” says Janeke. The immediate benefit of resolving the email issues was restoring the confidence that their communications were going through. Not needing to follow-up an email with a phone call increased productivity immensely.
The next step was to address the ageing hardware that was putting the organisation at risk. Being a not-for-profit organisation they had to approach this upgrade wisely. With the help of the Microsoft Software donations program they were able to save $35k on their new infrastructure they required. The administration PC’s were also upgraded to Windows 7 with Office 2010. “It was a bit of a learning curve at first, but I love Windows 7 and Office 2010. My productivity has increase by at least 20% a day” says Christine.
A third of the library PC’s have also been upgraded to Windows 7 and Office 2010 with the remainder to be upgraded as funding allows. “Bringing all the PC’s up to a common platform has made it easier to support” says Janeke.
The New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) is a not for profit organisation that exist to provide educational opportunities and research resources for the development of knowledge, skills and practice in family history, genealogy and whakapapa for members and the wider community•The organisation employs 6 full time staff and has a number of volunteers to support the member
- 6 Office administration staff
- 15 Library workstations for public access
- 70 Branch committees
- 50 Appointed officers
- 75 Volunteers
- 7300 Members
Software and Services
- Server 2008 R2
- Exchange 2010
- SQL 2008 R2
- Windows 7
- Office 2010