The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has a proud legacy stretching back to 1951, when the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was established as the sole betting operator in New Zealand. This was an internationally significant development as the TAB was the first off-course totalisator service in the world.
The NZRB continues to administer all racing and sports wagering in New Zealand, facilitating bets on more than 78,000 domestic and imported thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races each season.
Having traditionally underinvested in IT, NZRB needed to modernise its corporate environment and reduce the risk and cost associated with using outdated infrastructure.
Head of Business Support and Management Information, Sam Moncur, said: “We were not in great shape. We were operating an unsupported version and incompatible platform, in house.”
NZRB struggled to keep pace with business demands using manual, labour-intensive processes and systems.
Head of Accounting Operations, Steve Burgess, said: “We’ve got roughly 300 employees who work on the road, who couldn’t easily access our systems in the past.
“These employees would track their hours on paper, type everything into a computer and email it to an administrative person. That person would then spend hours typing everything into a spreadsheet, pass it on to payroll and it would then be plugged into the payroll system.
“We were spending about 1,000 hours on administrative and processing time per year that could potentially be avoided.
“Our budgeting and forecasting process consisted of about 50 spreadsheets that consolidated into a Microsoft Excel database, which we then went over for reporting. It was a labour-intensive process to set it all up. The spreadsheets were quite big and prone to crash.”
NZRB migrated to TechnologyOne’s enterprise SaaS solution to boost resilience, increase accessibility for all stakeholders and streamline business processes.
Since migrating to TechnologyOne’s SaaS solution, NZRB has experienced the benefits of a robust, highly-accessible and user-friendly platform.
“I no longer have to worry about disaster recovery and business continuity, which makes my life easier,” said Mr Burgess.
“We’ve automated many of our processes, such as budgeting and forecasting, which gives us efficiency. It’s a much easier process now.
“With our timesheets, it’s now a closer to a one-stop-shop linking our payrol system.”
Processing around 600,000 financial transactions per month and seven million per year, NZRB now operates on a platform robust enough to handle the sheer volume and projected growth of the business.
We’ve automated many of our processes, such as budgeting and forecasting, which gives us efficiency. It’s a much easier process now.
NZRB has been in partnership with TechnologyOne since 2006, when it purchased TechnologyOne’s Financials software.
NZRB attributes a strong working relationship with TechnologyOne to the success of the migration.
“We partnered with TechnologyOne to ensure success. The migration involved rigorous testing and planning. We had a good consulting experience, which made the go live a breeze,” said Systems Accountant, David Howie.
“The team at TechnologyOne has been invaluable, working with us. It is a good partnership.”
Following the devastating earthquakes New Zealand has experienced in recent times, NZRB - like many New Zealand organisations - has embraced a cloud-first strategy, moving away from risky on premise infrastructure to the greater resilience offered by SaaS.
In addition to resilience, achieving greater support and accessibility were key drivers for NZRB’s move to SaaS.
“The technical support provided by TechnologyOne was one of the major drivers in our move to SaaS,” said Mr Howie.
“We didn’t have to upskill our IT people to know all the under-the-hood stuff. We now have access to a team of experts who know how everything works together.
“We get instant upgrades, we get the latest and greatest applications and we don’t have to worry about managing it ourselves. We can now focus on configuring the application to fit our business needs and streamline business processes.”
Mr Moncur added: “Using SaaS has freed up space in our schedules. Moving to SaaS has allowed us to hand things over to the experts, so we can get on with core business.”
With SaaS, NZRB now has a highly accessible platform, which stakeholders can interact with at all times, regardless of location or device.
“TechnologyOne’s anytime, anywhere philosophy rang true for us. We wanted people to engage with our system more and we wanted the system to be a lot easier to use,” said Mr Moncur.
NZRB’s Financial Accountant, Maria Fogarty, added: “It’s much easier for the user, having Software as a Service. Everything is integrated and we have a single sign on, which means we’ve only got one user ID and one password for all our systems.”
For NZRB, the days of field staff being unable to access systems and going through a convoluted process to process information is fast becoming a thing of the past.
“What we’re doing now is rolling out timesheets to mobile devices, so that employees can fill them out from anywhere,” said Mr Howie.
Mr Moncur added: “Our foundation work has provided the catalyst to improve people’s experience using the software.
“We’ll soon be able to use the dashboard functionality, for instance, where a user can simply log in and from one place do whatever they need to do, whether it’s working with financials, seeing how a project is tracking, or renewing contracts.
“We can make sure people are on top of everything by providing a single source of truth.
“It’s an exciting time for us. We’re really starting to see the benefits of our move to SaaS.”
About New Zealand Racing Board
New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) administers all racing and sports wagering in New Zealand, facilitating bets on more than 78,000 domestic and imported thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races each season. NZRB directly employs over 800 personnel, accommodates 180,000 TAB account holders and manages a retail network of more than 650 outlets.
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