Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic

2007 ranking: 64

Senior IS executive: Mike Collins, CIO Reports to: Phil Ker, CEO

Size of IS shop: 34

PCs: 1600

Mobile PCs: 150

Terminals: 20

Hand-held devices: 198

Total screens: 1968

Industry: Education services

PC environment: Windows XP, Compaq, HP, Asus, Toshiba

Server environment: Linux; Windows 2000, 2003; Netware, HP


Address: Forth Street, Dunedin


Key IS projects this year: 65 projects including a CRM and FMIS

system upgrade; knowledge management; disaster recovery projects;

investments in e-business and mobilisation; intranet redevelopment.

OTAGO POLYTECHNIC’S ONGOING goal is to develop more flexible

pathways and learning opportunities for learners, including learning

in the workplace. Additionally, the polytechnic is diversifying revenue

by introducing consultancy services to support business and the

community where appropriate.

CIO Mike Collins says challenges include adapting to the requirements

of new government funding models and maintaining enrolments

in a national climate of tertiary enrolment decline.

The attraction and retention of quality staff across the organisation, including ICT,

is a further challenge. Collins says Otago Polytechnic is also keen to give

staff the ability to ‘hot desk’ within the campus and work from home.

“Our big cost is salaries and infrastructure costs. So if we can reduce

office space by having staff work from home from time to time, then

that makes us more efficient,” says Collins.

In 2008, Otago Polytechnic will continue to invest in videoconferencing

technologies, which generate new national enrolments and is

used to connect remote students with local course content and vice


Around 30 per cent of the polytechnic’s voice infrastructure is

now over a VoIP network. Video conferencing services are run across

both the VoIP network and a separate data WAN. Other projects

include a CRM and FMIS system upgrade, knowledge management

and disaster recovery projects, along with investments in e-business

and mobilisation using cellular mobile technologies. Unified communications

planning is also underway, as is investment in new SAN


Collins says Otago Polytechnic keeps IT systems tidy and tight — six

core systems are integrated and non-integrated systems are discouraged.

Integration extends to the call centre, where CTI tools are being

put to use and customer enquires are recorded.

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