It was a risky business to start an Australian Rules Football team in Western Sydney. Though it wasn’t a risk for Greater Western Sydney (GWS) to team up with efex as their Technology Partner. Both strategies have paid dividends.
Greater Western Sydney Giants
In 2008 the idea for the AFL’s newest club was born after the league won the support of the current 16 club Presidents to establish an 18th side to be based in Blacktown Western Sydney. Their first season in AFL was 2012, and having experienced success during the club’s seven seasons, they can now boast over 20,000 members. More than 100 staff across two divisions, (Corporate and the Football department) contribute to the running of the Club and the success it has achieved to date. With the Club motto “Think Big, Live Big, Play Big’”, they plan to continue their success.
Key challenges and business drivers
- Multiple IT suppliers, resulting in lack of ownership of problems and varying levels of overseas customer support.
- No disaster recovery plan infrastructure for critical IT systems, creating organisational risk.
- Catastrophic failure of on-premise phone system with outdated technology, impacting productivity.
- An adhoc supply chain for technology with unpredictable costs, affecting overheads and profit margins.
- Outgrown the capability of their current IT platform, impacting business productivity.
Benefits delivered by efex solution
- Total Managed Service for all technology and infrastructure improving uptime and productivity.
- Australian based service and support ensuring a continuum of service.
- Single contact point for all customer support issues, improving productivity.
- A dedicated PBX in the cloud with VoIP delivered over a private network providing network stability and productivity.
- Strategic partnership providing continuous improvement and innovation.
It is efex's ability to respond and deliver solutions quickly, making sure the technology is the right fit for the client"
In the heart of Rugby League territory, an Australian Rules team, GWS, launched in 2010 playing in the local Blacktown competition.
Nick Sheehan, the efex CEO grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, GWS territory, which started his interest in Australian Rules Football.
An introduction to GWS management in 2016 provided an opportunity for efex to speak with GWS about their overall business strategy and IT drivers to support it. It became apparent there were some critical challenges that needed to be addressed in order to mitigate risk to the organisation, and ensure business continuity.
During an important presentation there was a power outage. There was a problem with the grid in the area, so all power was down. For this to occur on Gameday would be mission critical.
The aftermath gave efex the ideal opportunity to discuss disaster recovery and offsite solutions with GWS. The UPS had failed and when power was restored, various in-house services did not come back up, particularly the phone system. The system parts needed to repair the problem were located in Melbourne. They would take time to arrive in Sydney and take at least four days to repair.
efex’s CTO suggested an alternative. A dedicated PBX hosted in efex’s private cloud to ensure security, high availability, redundancy, and removing technology from being located in the same place as their people. efex’s private cloud solution for voice and data is delivered with Quality of Service (QoS) to ensure optimum call quality and reliable results for every call.
Within 36 hours of getting the go-ahead, the new system was installed by efex with 100% success. Following the success of that implementation, efex has since provided all the GWS technical infrastructure, together with hardware, applications and networking, including wi-fi out on the football ground. The network services two distinct operational areas, the Corporate environment and the actual Football Department, which has specific needs during game time and training sessions.
One of the challenges GWS had previously was dealing with multiple vendors. This challenge was eliminated when efex came on board.
Over the past 24 months, efex have become trusted advisers to GWS for everything related to their technology, efex acts as the Club’s CTO. They are now the designated Technology Partner to the Club.
Any support issues and queries are processed through efex’s Australianbased Customer Support Team. Even if they are not directly responsible for an application, it will still be triaged through. The benefit for GWS is a ‘single port of call’ and efex are proactively actioning anything which may need to be addressed. It is a totally Managed Service which includes backups, upgrades, regular reporting, innovation and forward planning. efex also supplies necessary technology which involves being built to specification.
When asked why efex is so successful in providing these services, Stephen Doyle said “It is comforting to know we can rely on them with our entire IT strategy. It comes down to focussing on what we specialise in, and empowering them to optimise & manage the technology in our business.”
Another advantage of efex is their ability to supply a variety of technologies over several mediums - a “fail-safe” situation for any client. This provided GWS redundancy which on game day is critical.
The partnership between efex and GWS continues to grow with continuous innovation ideas being deployed throughout the club, aligning to their growth strategy.