Major mail migration rolls out in record time

The Waikato District Health Board needed to replace its legacy Novell email system, as it sought a new, fully supported system that would boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.

The Challenge

The Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB) employs more than 5,800 staff and plans, funds and provides hospital and health services to more than 360,000 people in a region covering eight per cent of New Zealand.

The large health provider had been running Novell GroupWise to provide email services, which was classed as legacy and was no longer vendor supported. It was also running on an ageing IBM SAN. The old system was distributed throughout the hospitals and the Waikato DHB wanted to centralise its systems to reduce operational costs.

To achieve this operational goal, the Waikato DHB recognised the need to migrate to a new, fully supported email system. Key to this project was a requirement for a minimum amount of downtime and minimal support costs as the organisation did not want to operate two systems in parallel.

Following on from the success of another project with the Waikato DHB, Datacom was approached to replace the existing distributed Novell NetWare infrastructure with a new centralised Microsoft Windows based infrastructure for its 3000+ users.

The Solution

The project team was challenged as they were working to extremely aggressive timelines and high expectations, such as 5,000 plus mailboxes migrated over a single weekend. The time available to design, test and deploy the solution was very limited, so the project had to be delivered extremely efficiently.

Datacom worked with the DHB’s internal team to deliver the project on time and migrated all mailboxes over the Easter weekend 2010. Datacom’s experience and expertise in managing complex delivery projects and using the right combination of best practices, smart tools and people delivered the outcome the customer was after.

All Waikato DHB users are now using Outlook 2007 to access their email, calendaring and tasks held in Microsoft Exchange 2007.

“From a Waikato DHB perspective this migration is another significant milestone in our IS systems infrastructure transformation programme and our most visible to date. The professionalism, positive attitude and efforts of the entire Datacom team are very much appreciated. I can't speak highly enough of your team.”

Mike Duffey - Infrastructure Programme Manager, IS PMO, Waikato District Health Board


  • Reduced cost of ownership from a centralised and consolidated email platform.
  • Improved functionality, performance and resilience of a key business critical system used by 3,500+ staff whose primary objective is to deliver medical care to New Zealanders living across the greater Waikato region.