How we helped a major social services organisation improve digital experience for staff and clients.
When it came time to update its network to better meet the needs of clients and employees, Anglicare WA had a very clear vision: to enable adaptable solutions that are simple and fit for purpose and deliver services that are connected, sustainable, and people-focused.
What can make them more difficult is a focus on what IT wants to deliver and not necessarily what they need to achieve for employees. When Anglicare WA embarked on its own digital journey, the team knew that it wanted to put serving its clients and employees at the forefront—and that it needed the right provider to help make that happen.
Anglicare WA is Western Australia’s largest social services organisation. The nonprofit delivers community services throughout the state, driving positive outcomes for those in need.
Anglicare WA has an annual turnover of $52 million, with more than 650 staff and several thousand volunteers across nearly 50 offices, from Kununurra to Albany. Eighty per cent of Anglicare WA’s turnover is earned by delivering services for more than 90 government contracts in areas like financial security, disability support, family and domestic violence, homelessness, and mental health.
When it came time to update Anglicare WA’s network to better meet the needs of clients and employees, the IT team there, led by Mark Dunne, General Manager, Digital Solutions, had a very clear vision: to enable adaptable solutions that are simple and fit for purpose and deliver services that are connected, sustainable, and people-focused.
Defining the vision was a crucial first step. But finding the right provider who could bring it to life was the next challenge.
Mark was familiar with Vocus, as it was delivering an IP WAN migration for all Anglicare WA offices across the state, including its rural locations. His team was also working closely with Ever Nimble, a Vocus Strategic Partner since 2017, to configure its Microsoft 365 environment to Exchange Online. Due to the strong partnership between Vocus and Ever Nimble, Vocus was recommended to Mark as the right solutions provider for his project.
“We worked closely with Mark and the Anglicare WA IT team to first gain a detailed understanding of their IT infrastructure,” said Chris Morrissey, Ever Nimble’s CEO.
“By mapping out each application and business function we were able to start formulating the cloud migration strategy. We came up with a plan to use the best of Microsoft 365 and Vocus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—this really is a fantastic combination.”
“The Vocus IaaS solution made the migration easy, by using innovative VMWare technology to move workloads and applications, without impact to staff, and allowing our technical team to manage any potential risks with confidence. Step forward just a few weeks and Anglicare WA now have a scalable, reliable, and powerful cloud platform,” Chris said.
“A lot of the chats we had centred around us having a longer-term vision that we want to get to, but also recognising that there are often spot fires and immediate requirements that don’t necessarily align,” said Mark. “We needed to be able to do things now, while planning for tomorrow.”
In Anglicare WA’s situation, a traditional IT-led approach would focus on migrating on-premises systems to a Software as a Service platform. But that would do little to meet the needs of the nonprofit’s clients and employees.
“Based on where we were in our digital transformation journey, we wanted to prioritise our efforts on driving change for our team and improving the digital experience for our clients. Our focus was on staff outcomes and what they wanted to achieve, not what IT wanted to achieve,” Mark said.
"We have a small IT team, so being able to leverage Vocus and its strategic partners made it very easy to move across, while dramatically reducing risk for the organisation.”
Mark Dunne, General Manager, Digital Solutions
Vocus’ IaaS solution was a logical choice for Anglicare WA. It meant IT could spend less time focused on infrastructure and more time delivering value for its stakeholders.
“Having a small team means we have limited resources and have to prioritise what we’re looking at. IaaS means we no longer need to worry about our infrastructure, saving us time,” Mark said.
Vocus IaaS also provided flexibility to easily scale up and down the resources as needed and enabled the team to directly see the full cost of implementing new on-premises business systems versus SaaS offerings.
“It was a simple lift and shift of our virtual environment with limited involvement from our end,” Mark said. “We have a small IT team, so being able to leverage Vocus and its strategic partners made it very easy to move across, while dramatically reducing risk for the organisation.”
In fact, Mark said the whole experience was a breeze. “The process could not have been any simpler," he said. "We had a couple of meetings to discuss our immediate requirements and our longer-term vision to make sure everything was aligned. Vocus and its strategic partner, Ever Nimble, did the rest,” he said.
The cutover occurred on a weekend with a one-hour outage window. “On Monday, staff began commenting that system processes, which could take minutes, were now taking seconds,” said Mark. “It’s not often I hear about and see migrations of this scale and complexity completed without at least a few niggling issues. I was very happy that everything went so seamlessly.”
The new IaaS environment has had a lasting effect on Anglicare WA’s employees and volunteers. “Providing reliable digital foundations builds trust in staff and enables them to focus on those in need. Vocus’ approach is scalable and adaptable to our future needs,” said Mark. “We have now dramatically reduced the complexity of our systems so there is less friction, rework, and time lost for staff—so we can focus on delivering improved outcomes.”
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