Our MD, Reece Preston, shares a few insider stories with CIO – like when we ticketed some of Lorde’s earliest NZ gigs.

One of New Zealand’s major ticketing agencies, iTICKET has moved all of its operations to Microsoft’s regional Azure datacentres in Australia.
The migration was part of the group’s plan to become “stadium ready” when they foray into the competitive ticketing for the sports industry, says iTICKET managing director Reece Preston.

iTICKET is a web, venue and mobile-based ticketing platform that provides promoters and venues with a reliable and highly-scalable system to sell event tickets.

Preston says one of their most memorable experiences of recent years was ticketing two of Lorde’s concerts in New Zealand.

“Demand was so high that tickets for the two gigs we were selling sold out in a little over one minute. The system coped with ease because we had scaled up the websites on the Azure platform to deal with the anticipated amount of traffic. Everything ran smoothly in spite of the high overall load – something that wouldn’t have been possible with our pre-Azure system,” he says.

Preston says that since migrating all iTICKET’s systems to Microsoft’s Australian Azure datacentres – previously hosted in Singapore – the company has seen a notable improvement in processing speeds for all its workloads.

“This means our customers are able to experience faster, hassle-free online booking, even with large on-sale peaks in demand; something even larger companies still tend to struggle with. The system scales to as many servers and databases as necessary to ensure the customer experience is a positive one, whether there is one person online, or 50,000.”

Preston founded the company as a startup with fellow developer Phil Jobbins in 2004.

iTICKET, he says, was created as a “new breed” of ticketing company, with the aim of challenging the big multinational ticketing companies.

Technology has always played a major part in how iTICKET has been able to compete with – and have the ability to out-perform – larger ticketing organisations, he states.

Ten years on, he says, iTICKET now processes tens of millions of dollars’ worth of tickets every year for more than 1000 clients across the country.

iTICKET handles a range of events, from those requiring just a few tickets, to larger festivals with thousands of attendees like the Auckland Home Show, Big Boys Toys and the Armageddon Expo.

But to be able to meet the demands of the market of ticketing for sporting events, it needed a cost effective and massively scalable online architecture, says Preston,

He says this is why the company built and continues to run all its core services across Microsoft’s Azure platform, and also why they recently migrated their sites and database to Microsoft’s Australia-based Azure datacentres.

By Divina Paredes, CIO New Zealand

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