Keeping the past alive with fresh technology

Dunedin’s Otago Museum is one of New Zealand’s most iconic museums. Inside, visitors can find rare objects and special exhibitions that share the cultural and natural stories of Otago, New Zealand, and the world.

Established in 1868, Otago Museum’s proud history has brought it to a vibrant present. A succession of directors and generations of benefactors have helped to build rich collections and grand environments to house them. Today, the Otago Museum is Dunedin’s most visited attraction.

The Challenge

Visitors to Otago Museum might go to see rare and ancient artefacts but behind the scenes each of the 1.8 million items in the permanent collection, as well as those in temporary exhibitions, must be catalogued, tracked, archived and backed up in a comprehensive data management system.

Museum staff and visitors rely on a working IT infrastructure – the shops and cafes in the museum use Triquestra retail management software, there are AV and RFID systems that need to be maintained, and visitors are offered free wireless internet.

When the organisation’s IT Manager left in February 2014, the museum urgently required someone with the expertise to fill the role.

The Solution

Rather than replace the IT Manager, the museum turned to Datacom who had worked with them previously to procure software and hardware, and provided consulting services.

With very little advance warning, Datacom allocated a person to work on-site who took over total management of Otago Museum’s IT systems.

Datacom discovered that weekly data backups took the organisation’s aging server three days to complete. This posed a risk when changes to the configuration would also take three days amend if something went wrong. The old system was causing headaches for staff, starting with computers taking several minutes to log on.

To fix this issue Datacom procured the museum a new IBM v3700 server and backup system. Three months later the new server was fully operational, reducing risk for the organisation and improving the attitude of staff towards IT.

“The relationship has been really beneficial to the Otago Museum as we have total support for our services with expertise and back up staff on call 24/7. Running a 364 day a year business we need to partner with businesses that can deliver on demand.”

Murray Bayly - Commercial Director, Otago Museum Trust Board

The Partnership

Datacom continues to have a strong relationship with Otago Museum including having an employee working on-site. Introducing museum managers to the audio-visual team at the University of Otago has led them to work more closely with the University - which will allow easier use of museum conference and event facilities by University staff. 


  • Museum no longer needs to worry about IT
  • Full weekly backups are completed on time over the weekend
  • An IT manager is on site at low cost

Technologies Delivered

  • Complete management of Otago Museum’s IT infrastructure
  • Procurement of new servers and backup systems