As part of a strategic review the Australian National Maritime Museum has successfully migrated its e-mail and groupware system to the cloud utilizing BPOS!

Karen Holt, CIO, presides over the museum’s corporate IT, online services including Web and digital media, and records management.  "Until recently the IT team was comprised of one or two business contractors who supported the museum servers, cabling and desktops," Holt says. "We have a small technical team so it's important to have an infrastructure they can manage."  Holt began looking at a mix of hosting, cloud and on-premise infrastructure to best support the limited in-house skill set. The museum has been "fairly well served" for most of the past decade by Novell GroupWise on Windows, but issues around disc space, feature limitations, lack of smartphone support and an unintuitive interface forced it to look at alternatives.

"With GroupWise everything is a third-party add-on — which adds layers of complexity and licensing," Holt says. "Quest (Partner) had tools for migrating from GroupWise to Exchange and I thought about a cloud offering which might offer higher availability and work the same from everywhere. It would also provide tools to collaborate." Holt presented the idea to the executive group mid-February and commenced the migration at the beginning of April. By the end of April everybody at the musuem was using Outlook in the cloud.

"It was probably four weeks planning and three weeks to migrate and upgrade," she says. "We have then 'back filled' people's mailboxes through May and June." The museum experienced "minimal" loss of productivity during the migration and the 25GB mailbox space and IM service has been well received by Gen-Y and executive staff alike.

In keeping with government regulations, the museum tendered for at least three quotes. Microsoft's BPOS won the deal and now executives are using Windows mobile phones to access e-mail on the road. Holt says the project has changed her view of the cloud and, with a CRM project due at end of the year, she will look at cloud offerings.

Next on the agenda is a move to IP telephony and integrate voice with Outlook for a true unified messaging environment with click-to-call.  Over next two years the vision is to have all voice and messaging converged and in the cloud.

You can read more in the August edition of CIO Magazine