Open Minds has provided mental health and disability support services to Australians for more than a century, but while its focus has been on improving the quality of life of others, the organisation’s IT operational environment fell by the wayside, inhibiting its growth strategy.
And this inspired a company-wide transformation project to modernise and simplify its IT environment.
Open Minds initiated a competitive tender to find a new telco and selected Macquarie Telecom - part of the ASX-listed Macquarie Telecom Group - for its “collaborative approach to business, the high quality and simplicity of its offerings, and the ongoing cost savings it can deliver”.
Macquarie says Open Minds also benefits from its SD-WAN product, allowing it to establish crucial pop-up sites rapidly - and the simplicity of Macquarie combined solutions has reduced the cost establishing a pop-up by up to $40,000 because there are no unnecessary technology overheads.
“Our multi-faceted organisation has highly-diverse and constantly-evolving needs which impose challenges on our growth roadmap,” said Fiona Foley, IT manager, Open Minds.
“Whether we are opening a new office, setting up a remote pop-up site, or reinventing the business entirely, we need high-performance telco services that can adapt with us. Unfortunately, most options on the market are quite static, failing to tick the boxes that are most relevant to the way we work.
“After struggling at the whim of our restricted telco and network plans for several years, we met with Macquarie and quickly saw a willingness to partner with us to provide a package of services that is extremely flexible and based entirely on Open Minds, not other companies.
“We couldn’t actually have delivered on our growth plans without Macquarie. They have given us true mobility so our care workers can provide the best possible client services no matter where they are – even in the most rural regions.”
Under the deal, all of the services Macquarie is providing to Open Minds are fully-managed, allowing the organisation to allocate its limited IT resources – a team of five, responsible for managing more than 400 employees – on high value projects that will boost quality of work for staff, and consequently improve the wellbeing of clients.
“We were adamant on working with a company that wants to understand us so we can get on with supporting Australia’s vulnerable without worrying about unexpected drop-outs or the inability to access data due to a poor connection,” Foley said.
“Macquarie meet with almost weekly to ensure the products are performing as they should, while providing insights into new opportunities for us to explore.”
In addition to the managed services, Macquarie provides Open Minds with access to its specialists – Mobile Mentors – which manage the company’s 600 mobile and data connections to ensure resources are properly allocated, services are performing as intended, and costs are successfully minimised based on usage patterns.
“Australian organisations are accustomed to rigid telco services that fail to address their specific business requirements; Open Minds is yet another one of those companies,” said Luke Clifton, group executive, Macquarie Telecom.
“Faced with a very static communications framework, the company was not receiving the same high-quality experience that it provides to Australians every day, completely slowing its ability to expand and open pop-ups in high-demand locations.
“We have worked with Open Minds to develop a package of services that are completely catered and fully-managed so that its highly-skilled team of carers, IT specialists and other staff can focus on their main mission without being impeded by technology.”