Non-profit organizations chartered to meet health and human services challenges are at a real disadvantage when it comes to IT. Their boards expect them to spend virtually all of their funds meeting the needs of clients. Little is left over for even rudimentary computers and applications, let alone enterprise-class IT infrastructures. And few non-profits can afford to compete with the private sector for skilled IT professionals.
The President, CEO and IT Practice Head of a cutting-edge organization turned to Warner Connect to solve this challenge.
This organization manages the IT infrastructures of nonprofit companies with a combined base of over 500 employees. Normally such a task would require a rather substantial IT department—as well as all the headaches managing such a department entails: IT projects that never seem to get done, uncontrollable costs, endless firefighting instead of supporting business growth, and the inevitable collisions with management teams who don’t understand the value of IT.
This job isn’t exactly headache-free, but one headache this IT practice head doesn’t have is managing a large IT department.
Instead, they work with Warner Connect to deliver and manage pre-designed IT packages that include infrastructures and applications to its growing client base. “We tell our clients that we can get them some serious technology for a price they would never be able to afford on their own,” he says. “Could I do it myself? No way. Our partnership with Warner Connect is how I make it happen.”
IT services as soon as the equipment comes off the truck
To provide these IT services for clients with internal resources, he estimates he would need help desk staff, engineers and technicians, system designers and architects—and that’s just the staff. “We’re a small organization with limited resources,” he said. “Most of our 20 employees are busy managing human resources and finance and accounting for our clients. So there is simply no viable model for us to staff IT on such a scale. We’d never be able to hire the number of different skill sets we need at the right levels of expertise.”
With Warner Connect, the solution was surprisingly simple. “We’re able to deliver IT services to our clients almost as soon as the equipment comes off the truck from Warner Connect. We install the equipment, load their applications, hook up the T1 and make it go.”
Even the strategic planning that happens up-front is made easy with Warner Connect. When a new organization signs up, Warner Connect and the organization works with the new client to select one of Warner Connect’s pre-designed and pre-configured packages for small or medium-sized businesses (based on the organization’s size). The package can be customized to meet the organization’s specific needs, then it’s up and running in 30 to 60 days. Warner Connect manages the hardware and applications from its Minneapolis data center and uses techniques such as virtualization to monitor the performance of PCs and local area networks remotely.
Services that they provide its clients through Warner Connect include:
- Overall technology infrastructure management
- Help desk during working hours
- User adds and changes
- Wide-area networking and Internet access
- Management of technology assets (including license compliance)
- Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) telephony
- Applications review and consulting
And this isn’t just any IT
Warner Connect IT services may be affordable, but that doesn’t mean compromises. “Warner Connect’s engineering is outstanding. Working with them, we have designed and implemented best-of-breed solutions that we wouldn’t have even known existed without their help. We can also offer services, like wide-area networking and telecom services, that small organizations just can’t buy today. And having one firm manage everything from planning to design to implementation to day-to-day management is tremendously economical for us and our members.”
In short, this organization isn’t large, but it certainly acts like one when it comes to IT. They deliver an innovative and precedent-setting standardized enterprise-scale case management application later this year designed especially for smaller clients. Try doing something like that if you manage IT yourself and spend all your time putting out fires.