QLD Performing Arts strikes outsourcing deal

Ticket sales linked to accommodation, flights

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has inked a three year hosted virtualisation deal with Macquarie Hosting to monitor network traffic and link its ticket bookings with flights and accommodation.

The outsourcing deal, the first for the QPAC, follows a $34.7 million upgrade of the Brisbane Concert Hall and Lyric Theatre last year and is set to make the centre more competitive with rival ticketing outlets such as Ticketek.

QPAC information services manager Chris Holder said it decided to outsource services after a large growth in network traffic.

“Services have been rolling over into the environment over the last eight months as we naturally outgrew internal management,” Holder said, adding the old environment was in place for about five years.

“We have plans to tie our ticket sales in with our restaurant to offer deals to our customers and we have partnerships with some of the local hotels... tieing qtix [ticketing system] with flights is still a possibility.

Holder said most systems have migrated to the virtualised environment, along with test servers running micro-sites for theatre campaigns including the Paris Opera Ballet La Bayadère.

Most services will operate on Citrix virtual VMWare hosts, alongside a single dedicated server, and use reporting systems and SSL load balancing to monitor and control network traffic. Its mission critical applications like the qtix ticketing system will be housed in the $35 million Macquarie Hosting Intellicentre in Sydney.

Holder said the hosted service, introduced in October last year, has reduced time to market for new offers and applications. Network traffic spiked at some of the highest levels during the launch of Miss Saigon and the Phantom of the Opera.

The centres' eight IT staff are also developing a new Web site, Holder says, adding that the QPAC has no plans to outsource further services.

The QPAC would not disclose the value of the deal.

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