Massey University

Massey University

2007 ranking: 10

Senior IS executive: Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer Reports to: General manager strategy and finance

Size of IS shop: 97

PCs: 7916

Mobile PCs: 1000

Terminals: 0

Hand-held devices: 50

Total screens: 8966

Industry: Education services

PC environment: Apple Mac; Linux; Windows 2000, XP; HP;

Advantage; Toshiba

Server environment: Apple; Linux; VMS; Windows 2000, 2003; HP

Intel-based; HP Others; IBM

DBMS: SQL, Ingres, Oracle

Address: Highway 57, Palmerston North


Key IS projects this year: Disaster recovery data centre and associated

storage and archiving facilities; server virtualisation.

MASSEY UNIVERSITY HAS three major campuses in Palmerston North,

Wellington and Albany in Auckland, and caters for some 38,000 local

and international students of which approximately 18,000 students

study by distance education.

The three-college structure provides a diversity of degrees, diplomas

and certifi cates. Massey University specialises in the fi elds of sciences,

agriculture, creative arts, humanities and social sciences, education

and business — having the biggest business college in New Zealand.

Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer for Massey University,

heads a team of 97. He says Massey has a strong focus on research

and research-led teaching and encouraging success at a postgraduate

level. Leading edge research is undertaken on all three campuses

and the university has invested in equipment in support of its commitment

to research. This includes high performance computing, Nuclear

Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry, advanced research data networking

and a variety of collaboration technologies.

A major upgrade of the core network of the university was completed

in 2007, as was the rollout of a consolidated printing and photocopying

environment and a full refresh of all undergraduate computer laboratory


While Massey does selectively outsource a number of ICT function

areas, Bahlman says there is growing concern outsource suppliers are

stretched and unable to provide the level of service necessary to pursue

such strategies. He says mergers and acquisitions result in smaller,

highly-focused providers being swallowed within larger cultures that

do not understand the nature of the business. This introduces risk into

the outsource environment.

“The larger the IT provider, the further removed their management

is from context-sensitive service delivery. In general, the quality of

service provision lowers as the size of the IT provider increases. Large

organisations cannot provide an intimate, long-term understanding of

their smaller customer needs,” says Bahlman.

As with most educational institutions, the online environment

continues to be an important channel for Massey University. Current

online services include enrollment, full registration, record information

access, payment and universal email. Internal administration on the

web provides academic and general staff with access to online support

structures and services.

Other key IT projects in 2008 include investment in a disaster recovery

data centre and associated storage and archiving facilities. Massey

University continues to investigate CRM and unified communication

technologies, and to pursue efficiencies gained through server virtualisation

and consolidation strategies.

ICT concerns for the coming 12 months include staffing and workforce

planning in the face of a labour market skills shortage, and emerging

and existing issues surrounding data security.

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