Baltic Contemporary Arts

CASE STUDY

A Brief Introduction

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Housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the river Tyne in Gateshead, BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art. Four gallery spaces provide an exciting programme of exhibitions, while a restaurant, café, shop, learning spaces, and areas for parties, conferences and weddings complete the visitor experience.

Supporting the range of technologies that BALTIC, its staff, sponsors, partners and the five million visitors that have passed through its doors all add to the challenges faced by Head of IT David Coxon, as he explains: “In effect we operate several different business strands the gallery spaces, shop, restaurant and café, and learning department, working seven days a week. Meeting the complex and open conflicting technology requirements of each of these businesses can be a quite a balancing act.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The Challenge

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Each of our departments operates software systems unique to them, such as the car park, lighting, thermal people counting or the shop’s electronic point of sales systems, many of which rely on real time network and internet connections.

These internet connections are increasingly being used to offer visitors access to additional audio visual content and social media platforms while in the gallery.

Our in-house IT team handles the day to day requirements of our various systems, supported by a long term support contract with ITPS where we can call on them as needed, for example in the case of hardware break fix or for complex installations and upgrades

ITPS Approach

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Our relationship with ITPS dates back years, and is based on honesty and trust. We freely exchange knowledge, ideas and contacts, and ITPS bring new solutions to the table that they have successfully implemented for other clients and that they think may benefit us too.

Partnership is a key factor in the success of our IT infrastructure. Both ourselves and ITPS have good relationships with major suppliers and they worked alongside us to think creatively and make sure we got the best deal possible. One of the benefits of our support contract with ITPS is the peace of mind that it gives us that no matter how busy we get, if something unexpectedly goes wrong that we can’t easily handle, we can just pick up a phone, call ITPS and they with liaise with manufacturers on our behalf, taking ownership of the problem and happy to get feet on the ground if problems escalate. We don’t think of ITPS as just a supplier, they are a partner and genuinely have our interests covered, so we are happy to act as a reference site for them.

Results

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DEEPER INSIGHT

“Because entry to BALTIC is free, it’s difficult to measure success via ticket sales, we have to look at other avenues, such as a combination of elements including footfall and visitor engagement, and that is where Meraki really comes into its own,” adds David.

“The easy to use dashboard means more control and less work for the IT team, with the facility to dice that information up whichever way we choose. It logs all the information basics such as web visitors and downloads, and we can tag each access point with a unique name to pull up information on just that access point or all of the access points in the building and look at information such as the number of devices that passed by, what types of device people used to connect, when those devices connected and for how long they stayed with us.

This information gives us a really insight into visitor behaviour that we otherwise find difficult to obtain. The basic principle of BALTIC is simple but our business need and those of our partners can be quite complex. The Meraki solution gives us the ability to manage a large number of wireless networks spread throughout gallery space, meeting rooms, cafes and staff areas, tailoring bespoke networks on a daily basis as and when required.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The ITPS Difference

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We have established a framework where we have a capable internal team supported by high calibre partners and suppliers such as ITPS, Meraki and Cisco. It’s an open dialogue and a good fit that works well for us, keeping our IT management and development on track so we always maintain the best solution for our business.”

Our relationship with ITPS dates back years, and is based on honesty and trust. We freely exchange knowledge, ideas and contacts, and ITPS bring new solutions to the table that they have successfully implemented for other clients and that they think may benefit us too.

One of the benefits of our support contract with ITPS is the peace of mind that it gives us that no matter how busy we get, if something unexpectedly goes wrong that we can’t easily handle, we can just pick up a phone, call ITPS and they with liaise with manufacturers on our behalf, taking ownership of the problem and happy to get feet on the ground if problems escalate. We don’t think of ITPS as just a supplier, they are a partner and genuinely have our interests covered, so we are happy to act as a reference site for them.

“Partnership is a key factor in the success of our IT infrastructure. Both ourselves and ITPS have good relationships with major suppliers and they worked alongside us to think creatively and make sure we got the best deal possible.”

David Coxon

Head of IT, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Get In Touch

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If you’d like to chat about how we can support your IT needs, about working for us or indeed discuss our charitable efforts, we’d love to hear from you. Fill out the form to get in touch.

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