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BUI partners with Iziko Museums to move their email and file systems to the cloud.
Embracing the Microsoft cloud has made it easier for Iziko Museums to preserve our natural and cultural heritage.


BUI partners with Iziko Museums to move their email and file systems to the cloud.


Iziko Museums
South Africa



What We Did

Migration from outdated exchange systems to the cloud.
Cultural custodians

Iziko Museums of South Africa is a national government entity that manages 11 different museums (many of them housed in iconic buildings) in greater Cape Town. These include the South African Museum and Planetarium, the South African National Gallery, the Groot Constantia Manor House and the Bo-Kaap Museum.

Iziko’s mission is to manage and promote its unique combination of South Africa’s heritage collections, sites, and services for the benefit of present and future generations.

In terms of its constitutional mandate Iziko Museums must ensure that its programmes and projects respect the cultural diversity of South Africa and the creative freedom of artists.

In total, the group has hundreds of thousands of artworks, objects, books and artefacts in its Social History, Art and Library Collections and millions of specimens in its Natural History Collection.

Iziko’s management team is constantly seeking to innovate and transform its heritage offerings to meet the needs of South Africa’s democracy and serve the public. Migrating from the confines of outdated antiquated exchange systems to the cloud has moved Iziko towards innovative solutions and greater efficiency. This has drastically improved theirofferings to the public , and the experience of both internal and external users.
COVID silver linings

Being a museum, the antiquated state of Iziko's ICT infrastructure was an unsurprising challenge. In 2021, the situation reached a critical juncture for Iziko's ICT Manager, Andre Makka. Reflecting on the experience, he recalls, "I had advocated for a transition to the cloud for quite some time, but the impact of COVID underscored the limitations of our existing systems." The abrupt shift to remote work compelled the ICT unit at Iziko to navigate the challenges swiftly, ensuring seamless access to emails and files for the dispersed staff. Following several months of remote work, it became evident to the executive leadership that an upgrade was imperative. As head of the ICT unit, Makka, identified the group's email system as the first area requiring attention. The on-premises exchange, which was outdated and causing significant operational issues, prompted Andre to initiate discussions on whether to opt for a system upgrade or venture into cloud-based solutions. Recalling the deliberative process, Andre explains, We spent a year contemplating whether to simply upgrade the existing system or embrace the cloud. Iziko has occasionally exhibited apprehension towards change, and as the ICT Manager, my responsibility was to explain the benefits of embracing a forward-looking technological approach."

Following informal consultations with BUI, a comprehensive presentation explaining the strategic advantages of transitioning to cloud-based solutions was delivered to the Iziko executive. Subsequently, having successfully garnered the executive's endorsement, the project entered the Request for Quotation (RFQ) tendering process in adherence to government regulations. As Makka attests, "BUI proved to be exceptionally supportive, generously contributing their expertise without charge. Consequently, their triumph in securing the tender was a source of great satisfaction."
All systems go.

The project officially commenced in September 2021, with dual primary objectives:
  1. Facilitate the migration of Iziko's email exchange to Microsoft 365.
  2. Undertake the migration of Iziko's file system to Microsoft Teams.
This marked the initiation of a concerted effort to enhance Iziko's operational efficiency and technological infrastructure through the adoption of cutting-edge cloud-based solutions.

Because Iziko was running on legacy software, there was more to the migration than simply lifting and shifting. “Before we could do the move, we had to make their systems cloud-friendly,” explains BUI account manager Matthew McKellar, “You need a solid foundation before you build on top of it.” The prep work entailed:
  1. Upgrading their email server from Microsoft Exchange 2010 to the 2016 version.
  2. Streamlining and upgrading their Microsoft Active Directory which dated back to 2008.
  3. Creating a secure cloud environment and including Identity security prior to migrating any data.
Following the successful establishment of the foundation, the implementation proceeded in carefully orchestrated phases, ensuring meticulous adherence to the planned framework. Makka, reflecting on the process, remarked, "There weren't actually any curveballs. I've never been involved in a project that ran so smoothly. BUI was incredible."

After a three-month transition period onto the new system, the previous servers were officially decommissioned. In total, Iziko retired 3 servers, effectively reducing the on-premises server count from 3 to 1, aligning with a state-of-the-art hybrid model.
Wins all around.

The strategic migration yielded positive outcomes across the board. The relocation of the email exchange to the cloud marked an immediate and seamless success, with all operational changes seamlessly executed in the background.

While transitioning the staff to embrace the new Microsoft Teams file system demanded additional effort from Makka, he was pleasantly surprised by the rapid and enthusiastic adaptation of the organization to the innovative work advantage. Makka highlighted how easy staff found it to retrieve files from any location and the ability to seamlessly share files internally and externally through OneDrive. He also noted a notable increase in remote work engagement, stating, "I've also noticed a lot more people are working from home."

Iziko CFO, Ronell Pedro says: “Our technology, processes, and resourcing structures must be able to effectively assist the organisation in achieving its objectives. I find comfort in the fact that we are no longer tied down by our legacy infrastructure and can respond quickly to rapid social change. Using Teams has been a pleasure and users have given great feedback. We look forward to exploring all the functions on offer and really building on the infrastructure we have thus far”.

The implementation of the latest technological advancements has significantly fortified Iziko's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, effectively enhancing its resilience against cyber threats. This strategic move not only bolstered the organization's security measures but also resulted in substantial cost savings that would have otherwise been allocated to the procurement of hardware and servers.

An integral aspect of this transformation, as highlighted by Makka, lies in the newfound efficiency and operational ease within the email system. Formerly burdened by the intricacies of troubleshooting email-related issues, he attests to the transformative impact, stating, "Now, the email system operates seamlessly, eliminating the need for extensive troubleshooting efforts." This streamlined functionality has not only alleviated operational challenges but has also yielded a significant temporal dividend.

Capitalizing on this reclaimed time, Makka has redirected his focus towards strategic initiatives, with a paramount emphasis on the integration of Iziko's intranet into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Concurrently, he is spearheading the digitization of the organization's workflow processes, marking a pivotal shift towards a fully digital operational organization. This new approach underscores the organization's commitment to leveraging technological advancements to optimize operational efficiency and embrace a comprehensive digital transformation agenda.
A job well done.

The 12-month project (design, implementation, migration, and support) was successfully completed in July 2022. “It was an honour and a privilege to play our part – however small – in safeguarding our national heritage,” says BUI’s McKellar. “And we’re on standby if Iziko is ever in need of further cloud solutions.”

Makka states that, at present, there are no imminent plans for additional upgrades; however, he expresses a hopeful anticipation of collaborating with BUI once again in the near future. Makka says BUI was “an absolute pleasure to work with” and affirms that the decision to transition to the cloud was unequivocally the correct choice for the organization. He notes that the process exceeded his expectations in terms of ease, emphasizing that there were no discernible downsides to the transition.

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