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NZ Racing Board signs 5-year IT outsourcing contract with Spark Digital

NZ Racing Board signs 5-year IT outsourcing contract with Spark Digital

“There is no competitive advantage for us running our own in house IT infrastructure,” says NZRB CIO Colin Philp.

As part of its strategic commitment to reduce costs while transforming its business, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is working with Spark Digital to redesign its IT infrastructure and change the way it delivers internal IT services.

NZRB has signed a five-year contract with Spark Digital to provide an outsourced IT system that includes infrastructure, networking, cloud computing, security and IT service management.

The new arrangement will provide financial savings, as well as other significant benefits in terms of risk, capability, digitisation, and collaboration opportunities, says Spark Digital, in a statement. Spark Digital was chosen following an RFI process.

The partnership, says Spark Digital, will allow NZRB the flexibility to regularly scale up and down their IT requirements around race days, and other busy periods.

“Spark Digital came up with an original and innovative approach that reduces our IT spend,” says Colin Philp, GM technology at NZRB.

Google’s simpler hardware and software means fewer support calls, that’s a huge cost saving from our point of view.

Colin Philp, NZ Racing Board


NZRB has also chosen Google Apps for Work and Chromebooks, which will mean a new more collaborative set of tools for staff.

“Moving us to Google software and Chromebooks means we get significant benefits and an incredible change in price points,” says Philp.

“We can now provide four or five users with desktops for the same price we were paying for just one. Another benefit is that Google’s simpler hardware and software means fewer support calls, that’s a huge cost saving from our point of view.”

“Another benefit of the IT infrastructure solution that Spark Digital is providing is that it will enable us to shift our focus to where we add the most value to the business – our IP and our ability to differentiate from our competitors.”

Outsourcing resolves many IT challenges and means NZRB can now focus on strategic issues, he states. “There is no competitive advantage for us running our own in-house IT infrastructure.”

Because the Google software has collaboration built-in, staff will be able to work better together than ever before, and from multiple locations, he states. This is important as NZRB staff are widely distributed around the country. Philp says this means staff will be able to connect easily with their colleagues in other locations, changing the way they work.

“Spark Digital works closely with many customers who are transitioning from a traditional IT services model to a new cloud-based model,” says Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles.

This type of end-to-end solution instantly brings a business closer to where its customers are interacting with each other, says Miles. “In this case Spark Digital will be providing cloud services from New Zealand’s highest specification connected data centre located in Takanini.”

“We are looking forward to building a long-term relationship with NZRB, and the first step is to work closely to establish robust end-to-end processes, systems and integration to support their transformation.”

Read more: Gartner survey shows digital business leaders are pulling ahead of the pack

NZRB is an entertainment business widely recognised by its customer-facing brand, the TAB, with more than 148,000 TAB account-holders and a retail network of more than 730 outlets. The organisation was established in 2003 under the Racing Act to administer all racing and sports betting in New Zealand.

NZRB is number 67 in the 2015 CIO100 , the annual report on the top ICT using organisations in New Zealand.

Philp leads a team of 81, supporting the organisation’s IT and project needs.

“IT plays a pivotal role in our business and in the achievement of our strategic goals” says Philp in this year’s report. “Re-architecting our IT is one of the key initiatives driving the company’s five-year strategy to deliver greater returns to the racing and sports industry and provide a better offering for our customers.”

Read more: ​Massey University forges 'Big Data' partnership with SAS


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Tags CIO100innovationoutsourcingtransformationCloudNZ Racing BoardTim MilesSpark Digitalcollaborationdigital

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