Starlight Foundation's outsourcing wish comes true

Charity inks five year contract

Dimension Data has inked its very first outsourcing contract to cover its complete range of desktop services.

The five year deal with the Starlight Children's Foundation Australia covers the provision of the service desk, desktop services, servers, the network, applications, onsite engineering and services management.

Dimension Data will support 165 staff and 130 desktop computers in five capital cities, seven Starlight Express rooms nationally, and remote computing needs for Starlight Express vans across Australia.

The Foundation's head of business operations, Warren Phillips, said Dimension Data was selected because of its ability to innovate.

"We have also worked very closely with one of Dimension Data's health industry specialists, so the company understands the kind of business environment we operate in," Phillips said.

The new contract is an extension of a 10-year relationship Starlight has had with the provider encompassing a number of commercial and philanthropic activities.

In recent years Dimension Data has provided a range of pro-bono services such as IT strategy and consulting in addition to an upgrade of security infrastructure, application integration and Web development.

Phillips said the charity has also streamlined IT components such as its desktop, and conducts annual carrier cost optimisations.

Both of these have driven costs down, according to Phillips.

Dimension Data will also operate Starlight's shared service desk, which will deliver immediate efficiencies," he added.

"Previously, we only had three people in IT to manage our technology environment.

"But this relationship really gives us access to a big bank of forward-thinking people who will help us to deliver enhanced benefits to seriously ill kids," Phillips said.

"The future of charities is going to depend on their IT capabilities, such as more integrated systems to provide one view of the beneficiary and a reliable network infrastructure."

Starlight Foundation CEO, Jill Weekes, said the provider has gone above and beyond in the relationship.

For example, the contract involves providing services at a reduced rate.

Dimension Data's director of culture and reputation, Merle Singer, said the relationship has been a longstanding success because of a strong cultural fit in terms of shared values.

"While the deal is a commercial arrangement, it is a win-win for both of us whereby services will be delivered at reduced rates to through a model that works for both organisations," Singer said.

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"Starlight have seen the depth of capabilities within Dimension Data through the range of commercial and pro-bono managed services work we have delivered to them for over 10 years.

"But we also understand the nature of their organisation, and IT is a critical part of Starlight's business model.

"We can reduce Starlight's costs, provide access to skilled IT resources, offer a strategic partnership on new community initiatives, and open the door to key vendor relationships."

Dimension Data is a major supporter of Starlight, with ambassadors on the NSW and Victorian advisory boards.

The company is also a founding member of The IT Fund for Kids which benefits both Starlight and Giant Steps (a NSW school for children with autism).

The IT Fund for Kids is a national fundraising initiative for seriously ill young people set up by the Starlight Children's Foundation and IT companies such as Microsoft, KPMG and eBay.