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Gisborne District Council



To replace the council’s dated on-site PBX and costly, temporary phone solutions with a more modern, agile and user-friendly solution that would unite staff spread across seven locations.


Microsoft Lync Server 2013 as a new enterprise voice solution, coupled with contact centre software Espera, all designed and deployed by Spark to meet the council’s specific needs.


Seamless, trouble-free deployment and a new unified communications solution that is dramatically improving collaboration across departments, lowering cost and bettering public service.

“From design and delivery, right through to licencing and support, Spark has got it covered.”

Jenine Ritchie, IT Manager, Gisborne District Council


For the largest district council in the North Island communication across departments is key; it helps the council to better serve the Gisborne population of 43,000.


However, with its 320 staff currently spread across seven locations, collaboration was proving to be more difficult and expensive by the day. Its current phone system, made up of a mixture of dating on-site PBX’s and costly temporary rental solutions, was not providing the kind of communication tools a busy organisation like the council demands to be at its best. It required a more modern, agile and cost effective solution that would connect its people no matter their location.


Partnering for success

Gisborne District Council’s IT Manager Jenine Ritchie says that following a pilot, Lync was the popular choice. She says there was never any question about asking long-term partners Spark to manage the design and implementation of Lync Server 2013. “They have specific expertise in this area and they gave us the confidence from day one that they had the ability to deploy a Lync enterprise voice solution that would achieve our goals.”


Connected virtually

Productivity has dramatically increased with staff now connected across one communication interface and with access to instant messaging and remote audio or video meetings both in and out of the office on a range of devices. Additional contact centre software, also deployed by Spark, is allowing the council to better its public service. Customised, real-time reports can be developed instantly via a simple drag and drop interface, revealing key statistics such as number of calls waiting and agents available.


Savings all round

Moving to Lync also means the council can outsource its management. For an experienced IT professional like Jenine, using Spark to do this remotely is a smart move. She says it not only frees up her team to concentrate on other areas but it gives the council peace of mind that its unified communications system is working at its best.Making the move to Lync over a PBX replacement and other temporary solutions has been well worth it. The council have calculated savings of more than $400,000 to date. Jenine says this is just the tip of the iceberg as this figure excludes the savings that is being made in travel costs and in staff travel time every day since the upgrade.

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