Shared services lead to better communication for West Coast Councils

Region NZ

Industry Local Government

Customer Profile

The West Coast region consists of four Councils including the West Coast Regional Council, Grey District Council, Westland District Council, and Buller District Council (‘the Councils’).

The Councils service their ratepayers and local communities independently of each other. A mandate from the Central Government requires the Councils to pull their resources together to be more efficient by sharing services – reducing the duplication of systems, infrastructure and budgets.

Challenges & Goals

All four councils carried traditional on-premise infrastructure which backed up to network storage and tapes. Having Civil Defence duties, the Councils IT systems require a high level of resilience and DR (data backup and recovery) capability in the event of a disaster or cybersecurity breach.

The Councils engaged vBridge’s Cloud Connect and Office 365 Backup software service, backing up their on-premise servers and Microsoft Office 365 data to vBridge’s data centre seamlessly and successfully. This was the base of a really healthy relationship with the four councils.

The Councils use Cisco Call Manager (CUCM) to run their voice communications. These voice systems are vital as they connect the ratepayers to the Councils, as well as the internal departments’ to each other. Hosted and backed up by another cloud provider, the system ran off a physical server which carried a lot of risk. A number of points of failure lead to outages, poor redundancy, poor network connectivity, and poor performance. Poor customer service was the final straw and the Councils unanimously decided to move access to vBridge’s Infrastructure as a Service solution.

Solution

vBridge designed a cost-effective solution with plenty of redundancy built-in. The migration to vBridge’s servers was project managed professionally and executed seamlessly over a holiday. vBridge’s infrastructure offers superior processing power, responsiveness, 24/7 uptime, and is encrypted end to end. A robust DR service allows the data to be quickly restored from vBridge’s data centre. vBridge’s MyCloudSpace portal is user-friendly and allows for the platform to be scalable.

Over and above the secure, fast and flexible environment, vBridge’s customer care and a deep level of expertise is second to none – continuously looking for proactive ways of doing things better for the good of the client.

Results & Return

Once the voice system was connected over the Southern Alps to vBridge’s safe and secure data centre in Christchurch, the Councils gained a number of advantages. Besides efficiency and cost-effectiveness, it’s given peace of mind that the voice, video, data, and mobility products and applications are backed up safely and securely.

The Councils also feel as though they are a part of the team and use vBridge as a sounding board. Sending a support email or picking up the phone results in a competent, caring and flexible response. Since the move, vBridge have never missed a beat. The Council’s site visit to vBridge’s data centre saw first hand the superior hardware vBridge run and has given even more confidence they have invested in the right team.

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