Adventure, Culture and Beauty: How Technology Preserves New Zealand’s Natural Heritage

New Zealand’s natural wonders draw thousands of tourists from abroad every year. SAP technology helps the country’s Department of Conservation better manage its data, so it can better protect the environment.

Last year, my friend Lisa was dealt a poor set of cards. Recently single and laid off from her 4th grade teaching job due to budget cuts, she was forced to forfeit her apartment. In the midst of being distraught and unsure what to do, she had an epiphany. “I’m buying a one-way ticket to New Zealand, and I’m not sure when I’ll come back to the States,” Lisa told me. She arrived in New Zealand about a month ago, and for weeks now I’ve drooled over the pictures she posts on social media of the natural wildlife and scenery. It’s like something out of a dream.

Each new picture makes me extremely envious. Lisa’s hiking mountains, kayaking the seas, diving in the ocean, climbing rocky cliffs, and eating the most amazing seafood. She’s spotted whales while lounging on the beach, seen seals in Milford Sound, as well as penguins and sea lions in the Catlins.

Preserving the Land

Protecting New Zealand’s natural heritage is no easy task. The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) works around the clock to preserve the country’s natural culture so people like Lisa can easily find serenity in the beauty and calm of these islands. DOC’s mission is to provide leadership for a prosperous New Zealand, a country that flourishes socially, economically and environmentally.

The organization also provides access to New Zealand’s parks and recreation for tourists and locals. It works to build health and well-being by maintenaning species of trees that purify the air, wetlands that filter impurities from the water, insects that pollinate the foods produced, rivers that drive hydroelectricity stations to provide power, and vegetation whose roots  prevent erosion and landslides. DOC also protects the country’s endangered species and sea mammals, and keeps all marine environments clean and healthy so that locals can harvest fish and shellfish, bringing revenue into the country.

Data Overload

Behind the scenes, DOC manages 20,000 inspections and 100,000 work orders for preventative maintenance a year. Dissecting such huge amounts of data used to take hours, but DOC now manages its data in seconds using SAP Work Manager as its infield data collection tool, providing its employees with a simple and reliable mobile asset management solution. Employees work more efficiently and make better-informed decisions because they have access to the relevant information they need on the move.

“SAP Work Manager has transformed the way I do my job,” said Emma Dunning, services ranger at New Zealand Department of Conservation. “It’s intuitive to use and takes the frustration out of data management so I can focus on the job that I love doing.”

Since going live, DOC is better protecting the stunning natural environment and special places that are part of New Zealand’s history and culture, which draw thousands of overseas tourists, like Lisa, to their country. With streamlined processes to increase workforce productivity and allow its task-force to deliver quality care for the biodiversity, DOC is now responsible for the creation of one in 10 jobs and the generation of $20 billion for New Zealand’s economy.

Experience of a Lifetime

Take a look at some of the amazing pictures Lisa captured thus far on her trip.

Because of SAP’s partnership with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Lisa is able to travel around this gorgeous country snapping photos everywhere her sneakers touch ground (or not when she is zip lining through the air). Her year of what seemed like misfortune actually led her to this exciting adventure and trip of a lifetime. And who knows? Maybe she will eventually return to Philadelphia with a Kiwi boyfriend.

Learn more about this story by watching an SAP video:

Check out more adventures with me on Twitter at @CMDonato and connect with me on LinkedIn.

This story originally appeared in SAP Business Trends.

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