Using Microsoft Teams to Bring a ‘Live’ Museum Online

 |   Ashlea Lynch

Tram at MOTAT

Finding the right moment to implement a new solution into the workplace is often a difficult task. People are often busy enough with their day-to-day work, so learning another application can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task.

For the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), New Zealand’s lockdown into Level 4 within the space of a week would be the catalyst to bring on board a new software solution.

Located in Auckland, MOTAT is New Zealand’s largest technology, transport, and social history museum. With a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow, MOTAT takes people on an interactive journey through New Zealand’s past, present, and future through its exhibits, educational programmes, and events.

The MOTAT team has used Microsoft 365 for nearly five years, and Microsoft Teams had been on ICT Manager Neil Clarke’s radar before the lockdown. MOTAT had certain things in place for remote working, like the ability to access on-site files, but no collaborative tool.

“I couldn’t find an opportunity [to use Microsoft Teams] because people are busy. People don’t really want to take on a new application,” explains Clarke.

However, the sudden jump to Level 4 lockdown proved to be the incentive people needed to try it, to jump on Teams, test it, collaborate on it, and ultimately start using it as an integral part of their working day.

Within a week, MOTAT’s 120 full-time employees were working from home.

Pumphouse at MOTAT

“We rely on people coming through the door. We run our marketing and communications across social channels, but when we closed, we couldn’t get onsite for new content. We had to figure out what to do,” says External Relations Manager, Chris Atkinson.

Unable to meet in person, MOTAT quickly embraced Microsoft Teams. As a social, customer-facing team, Atkinson says that the benefit of being able to talk and bounce ideas off each other was immense.

The team was able to launch a brand-new website,, in just five days following the lockdown.

“All the teams came together to talk about what content we could put together and how we could refresh it day after day,” explains Atkinson. “We didn’t even know we were going to do the project when we went into lockdown.” is an online resource full of fun and entertaining activities for parents and their children. As a ‘live’ museum, MOTAT knows how to provide a hands-on learning experience. also supports teachers with lesson plans and supplementary activities.

In three weeks, had over 15,000 users.

Without people visiting the museum, it isn’t necessarily business as usual for MOTAT. However, their team continues to work together to create value for its customers using a tool that facilitates more than just meetings. With smooth integration into Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams is now MOTAT’s go-to tool for collaboration.

You can get started with a free trial of Microsoft Teams today. Right now, there are special offers available to small and mid-sized businesses. If you have Microsoft 365, you already have access to Teams. If you’re a new customer without Microsoft 365, you can work with an IT partner to start a free trial. To learn more about Microsoft Teams or to check the offers available, click here.

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