Case Study: Zoos South Australia


“Subnet is Zoos SA’s trusted partner in Information Technology. The team ensure that our systems are operating effectively and sufficiently to meet the demands of our business 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”

– David Ball, IT Manager, Zoos SA

Zoos SA, a not-for-profit conservation charity with more than 45 000 members, supports animal welfare and conservation initiatives in South Australia by operating Adelaide and Monarto Zoos. The core business activities the organisation focuses on include zoo visits and educational opportunities; over the years these have grown to become more interactive, diverse and adaptive.  

Zoos SA continues to deliver on their commitment to protecting wildlife through world-class zoo standards coupled with local and global efforts to save species. Their success is due to unique creativity, innovation and continuous improvement. Thanks to their partners, sponsors and donors – the zoo continues to increase their capacity and efficiently execute their conservation goals.  

As a long-term corporate partner of Zoos SA since 2010 and the managed services provider of choice since 2012, Subnet has developed a deep understanding of their long and short-term organisational goals through expertly delivering various projects and ICT solutions over the years.  


In 2016, the Zoos SA team found themselves in desperate need of on-site ICT support after the previous manager’s 6-month term ended without a replacement start.  Unfortunately, with the IT systems getting close to the end of their productive life and warranties expiring, the environment was reaching the limits of its computing power, capacity and the staff found them under-performing.  Compounding these issues, a newly introduced ticketing system was proving challenging for the Zoos SA staff.

The Subnet Solution:

Subnet was called in to provide our Virtual IT Manager service as a stop-gap measure until a full time IT manager was able to start. A senior engineer was immediately dispatched to deliver the on-site weekly support and assistance. As part of Subnet’s commitment to helping our Zoos SA family, our Managing Director Brett Lodge was involved in the hiring process for the next IT Manager. He sat on the interview panel and was able to provide an ICT specific hiring skill set to assist the zoo in hiring the right person for the job. In the meantime, our engineers managed to secure a few in-between measures in place to ensure business continuity before the chosen IT Manager, David Ball, was set to start in January 2017. The Zoos family were happy with their virtual IT Manager as he helped to stabilise their ICT environment efficiently. 

After working with Zoos SA for years, Subnet had already developed a deep understanding of the state of the infrastructure. Working closely with David Ball, IT Manager, we developed a solution and implemented a new server infrastructure after taking into consideration the Zoos SA team’s capacity and future needs.   

Once completed, our Systems Engineer worked with Zoos SA to resolve all preexisting storage issues and bugs. Our Engineer took the initiative to come up with a crisis plan. Since Subnet implemented the plan– the Zoos SA team have yet to report any issues. IT Manager David Ball said the following about our engineer’s customer service, “He has always helped and continues to regularly call us to see how we are doing, especially when things get wobbly and we’re running out of space.” He added, “Subnet assigned the right Systems Engineer to us. The engineer is all about adhering to industry best practices, and I’m about practicality – we work very well together and complement each other’s skills.” 


The Zoo’s staff have greatly benefitted from having engineers on-site. As the current on-site IT team is comprised of a small group of two, they find Subnets engineers to be very valuable and believe the level of service and care they have for Zoos SA and its environment is exceptional. He said, “Thanks to Subnet, there is less pressure in our day to day operations of delivery of service as our team doesn’t have to worry about taking leave. Having Subnet as our managed services provider has extended our in-house IT team.” With Monarto Zoo set to experience growth, David Ball has indicated that he’d expect to expand the relationship and support moving forward.   

For many years, the Subnet family has been working within not-for-profits like Zoos SA; therefore, David Ball believes that the Subnet working culture is best suited to and integrates well with not-for-profits like Zoos SA. As we have a good understanding of the not-for-profit sector, he believes that other organisations in the industry would benefit from working with Subnet as we know what they have available to them and can work with their resources. Subnet staff also support our customers with mentoring and any form of training they may require to best deliver on their working commitments.   

Subnet’s staff have fully supported the Zoos SA family with all the tools they need; David Ball highlighted, “The last managed services agreement report produced by Subnet reinforced my belief that Subnet is the best-managed services provider I have ever worked with.” He added, “Last month, there was a power outage, and an engineer called out of concern to check if he could help and if everything was okay – he went above and beyond. Subnet helps to keep us secure and keeps our system running – this keeps visitors flowing through our gates.”   

Our long-standing relationship with the Zoos SA organisation has seen Subnet become invested in its cause and commitment to animal conservation. 

Subnet has been a corporate sponsor of the zoo since 2010 and the Asian small-clawed otters Kalaya and Bao since 2017. These charismatic animals are considered vulnerable to extinction, and we believe we must protect them.  


Mark Johnson 
              Account Manager           

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