Reducing costs is top of mind for every business. And for not-for-profits like Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ), every dollar saved is another that goes toward supporting the community.
With one Queenslander diagnosed with cancer every 20 minutes, the organisation assists those with any type of cancer through services like counselling, transport to treatment, financial assistance programs, and community support, along with funding research.
Providing the variety and quality of services that CCQ offers requires sizeable support. The not-for-profit employs about 200 staff and has more than 1,300 volunteers throughout the state, who all need access to systems and data.
“Keeping everyone connected is certainly a challenge,” said Andy Gordon, CCQ’s Chief Information Officer.
Moving to a new solution
When CCQ’s telco contract was coming to an end, the organisation decided the time was right to move from its existing architecture to an SD-WAN solution.
“We had a lot more cloud services by that point, so it made sense,” Andy said. “We came to the decision by analysing the traffic flowing between the offices. All our regional offices were accessing these cloud services via the main office’s internet connection. It made no sense.”
Choosing an SD-WAN approach would allow each office to access cloud services directly and better distribute traffic flow. It was time to go out to market.
“Cost is a big driver for us,” said Andy. “All of the funds we receive go back into helping the community or funding research, so we always want to minimise expenditure while maximising the benefits to people.”
Vocus’ presentation to CCQ was impressive and suited the organisation’s budget, said Andy. But because the telco wasn’t as well-known as the bigger players, the organisation took Vocus up on its offer to provide reference checks.
“When we spoke to Vocus’ references and other people in the industry,” said Andy, “they had glowing reports about Vocus and how strong the service was.” Those external recommendations sealed the deal for the CCQ board, and Vocus was awarded the contract.
The Vocus difference
For Andy, working with Vocus has been a smooth process that’s been driven by open communication throughout.
“Account management, issue management—everyone appreciates that things can happen, but it’s how they’re managed that matters, and Vocus does that really well.”
The delivery process was fairly easy, said Andy, but there were some delays on a site caused by a third-party carrier. The experience made it clear that Vocus was a different kind of provider.
“All the information was being passed on to us. I had a good understanding of why there were delays and when they were expected to be resolved by,” he said. “It was refreshing. Things can and will go wrong, but it’s when people try and explain them away that frustration creeps in.”
Since migrating to an SD-WAN architecture, the CCQ offices have all seen an increase in bandwidth along with noticeable performance improvements, and the decision to work with Vocus has paid off, Andy said.
“Everything has been good. The project implementation was strong, our services run well, and when there have been a few issues, they’ve been well communicated and resolved quickly. Vocus was completely transparent along the way. I absolutely recommend Vocus, and I have done so already.”