How IT can help those who help others
When charity resources are necessarily focused on helping those in need, equipping staff with the IT systems required to operate efficiently is a major challenge. This was one of the issues faced by Spring Housing Association, a charity established to provide high quality accomodation for people at risk of homelessness.
Spring Housing’s Managing Director, Dominic Bradley, explains: “With the UK in the midst of a well-publicised housing crisis, the acute need for quality accommodation has fuelled our ambitious growth plans. Just like any fast growing business, we’ve needed the IT and communication tools that underpin many key processes.”
Founded in late 2014 with a team of two, Spring Housing now employs 50 staff across six locations. Dominic says: “Soon after we started I approached Synium IT with a big list of requirements and the budget of a start-up charity. We needed scalability and low up-front costs, which is thankfully what they were able to deliver.”
At the core of Spring Housing’s IT provision is Microsoft Office 365, which provides enterprise-class email, cloud file storage and key productivity tools such as Word and Excel. It has scaled effectively from two users to fifty across multiple locations and is available without cost thanks to Microsoft’s Nonprofit licensing policy.
A VoIP telephone system has provided similar scalability, using the internet to eliminate the upfront costs of traditional telecommunications infrastructure. Spring Housing now use the system to provide a telephone helpdesk service for residents to report maintenance issues.
Dominic says: “Synium now provide us with all the benefits of having our own IT team without the overheads. They provide IT help desk support for staff across our six locations and manage all aspects of data backup and security. Perhaps most importantly it means that we can just get on with our core mission of preventing homelessness and social isolation.”
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To discover more about Spring Housing Association’s vital work to prevent homelessness, please visit www.springhousing.org.uk