Aged care and disability services provider, Baptcare has upgraded its entire network with Cisco gear after engaging publicly-listed Data#3.
Baptcare previously used home-grade wireless hardware, which often created connectivity issues for staff, and tenants were unable to use modern applications such as Skype across its sites in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Baptcare ICT Manager, Belinda Quirk, said that streaming video content was near-impossible.
“In the past, our aged care residents haven’t had an easy way to stay in touch with family members outside of using a landline or visits. We now have the technology in most rooms for telephony and internet access," Quirk said.
“We know that keeping in touch with friends, family and community offers tremendous benefits to our resident’s wellbeing, and to make it happen, we had to overhaul the IT environment.”
According to Baptcare, its requirements varied across its sites that involve 15 aged care facilities, two sanctuaries and a number of 'House of Hope' sites.
“The sanctuaries were previously just running personal DSL links that weren’t even business grade. If staff tried to stream video, it made the overall network crash," she said.
“None of it was built to a professional business standard.”
Baptcare was able to replace donated devices with standard machines built to its own specifications, using its own funding.
“In the past we depended on charitable donations from church members of goods they no longer used. But, now the Sanctuary staff are much more integrated to the Baptcare network backbone standard, and running essential applications like Office 365," Quirk said.
Being a non-profit organisation, the biggest challenge was funding, Quirk said.
Contacts from Data#3 and Cisco were invited to tour the customer's facilities and come up with a viable solution, and creating a 'tech fund for Baptcare' to help make it more affordable in offering discounts.
"Our partners came back to us with tech funds. For every dollar spent, they take 10 cents and return it through free services. This can be in the form of monthly comms costs, hardware and expertise needed for sanctuaries and any sites with concessional beds,” said Quirk.
"The tech fund enables us to invest more in our Houses of Hope, in additional aged care beds, and gives us flexibility to help disadvantaged members of the community. We can help more people.”
Supporting its previously technology environment was also creating an ongoing challenge for the organisation's IT team.
“We were not running Baptcare built images on end user devices, and didn’t manage the software on donated devices, so we kept them at a distance until we could manage a full refresh to our standards," she said.
Data#3 CEO and managing director, Laurence Baynham added that the project was a fantastic example of how innovative technology can be used to positively impact the community and make a meaningful difference in the lives of vulnerable Australians.
Data#3 has had a string customer wins recently including The Friends' School in Hobart; $96 million Microsoft volume sourcing deal with the federal government's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and providing Microsoft support for CSIRO.