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Maori social organisation aims high in ICT service provision

Sathya Mithra Ashok | March 26, 2014
Te Rūnanga ō Kirikiriroa (TROK) was established as the Urban Māori Authority for Kirikiriroa, in Hamilton, in the mid 1980s, under the guidance of the late Maori Queen Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu and Mayor Sir Ross Jansen.

"That was very important to us. If neither of us are available, any other person with the admin password can log in from the management side and make changes as necessary. The simplicity of it was a winner," says Francis.

The solution was implemented in late October last year, and took a remarkably less amount of time.

"We have got two end-points — physical endpoints — in our building in Hamilton. One is in our main boardroom, and the other is in our training centre. The rest of our users can connect to us by cloud. If there is a training session in the training room then users from any part of the world can log on and join it. The end-point in the boardroom is for executive and management meetings, and general video conferencing.

"We don't host Starleaf in our data centre," says Francis.

With Starleaf, TROK users are able to not only call and conference each other in, but also share documents and collaborate on them in real-time, according to Francis.

Francis says that the team and the users are quite happy with the service levels that Starleaf has provided, and says that 90 per cent of the time, the solution provides them "crystal clear call quality."

"The only times when we have ever had problems is when the network at the other end is not up to standards. If the other organisation has immense firewalls against any video content, or if their speeds are less than a MB per second then they might be able to hear us well, but we get them all pixelated at our end," says Francis.

"We have users using Starleaf almost everyday and the licencing agreement makes this cost-effective. You can buy licences in either pots of five or pots of 17. We have got the 17 licence set, which means that in any one call there can be 17 people logged in.

"Also, each user gets to invite a guest who works on a free licence. That effectively doubles our pool of licences," he says.

Guest users can be sent direct emails by TROK users, which comes with simple instructions, that enables them to log in from most end-user devices.

"We are talking about $55 per user for a month to use Starleaf. If we had a person visiting us from Auckland, then we are talking four to five hours or travel, besides nearly $200 in fuel costs. Instead of that we can just log into Starleaf and that proves to be extremely cost-effective," says Francis.

Licences for a year, up to three years, are purchased upfront, which also helps with budgeting costs for the IT team at TROK.


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