Swindon Carers Centre transitioned to a cloud-based system in order to offer better, more flexible technology to their staff and volunteers.
Swindon Carers Centre (SCC) are a medium-sized charity who work to provide information and support to unpaid carers who live in the Swindon area. Providing support and care for those who dedicate their lives to providing others with that same support and care, the centre’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of people with caring responsibilities in and around Swindon.
Caring for someone with a physical or mental health condition, a learning disability, or drug and alcohol dependency is a demanding, 24/7 responsibility. Swindon Carers Centre strives to keep administration costs to a minimum to enable resources to be targeted at improving the lives of the unpaid carers of Swindon. This necessitated a dynamic, modern replacement for outdated desktop systems. By transitioning to cloud-based technology, the Swindon Carers Centre was able to enjoy the increased flexibility of Microsoft Office 365.
After purchasing discounted charity subscriptions through the Charity Digital Exchange, the Swindon Carers Centre found that the product met all of their requirements: providing everything from security measures to collaboration tools.
One of the advantages of a cloud-based subscription service is the fact that rather than buying a license for a device, you buy it for a user. Office 365’s paid subscription allows license-holders to download apps onto multiple devices. Users can pay for what they need to use at the time and aren’t tied down to specific devices.
This technology is particularly beneficial for the charity sector where workforces may be volunteer-based, remote, or on flexible hours. Cloud-based technology encourages collaboration between remote workers and allows field teams easy access to a centralised bank of resources. This grants employees to access documents and complete work on their own devices - which can help to increase efficiency.
The centre purchased their subscriptions through the Charity Digital Exchange and contacted our customer service team for instructions on how to obtain the software.
Swindon Carers Centre purchased subscriptions for Office 365 E3 and E1 - which gave them access to a variety of features. The charity found them all to be useful.
Some of the security features were particularly beneficial. The team at SCC found that multi-factor authentication for employees working on personal devices allowed them to enjoy the benefits of flexible working and collaboration tools without compromising security. They also found the software’s compatibility with Windows 10 Pro beneficial.
A charity engaging on a grassroots level with service users will often have a high demand for flexible and dynamic working practices. Some of the collaboration tools included within the SCC’s subscription proved useful for this, including OneDrive and SharePoint.
With the comprehensive set of features included in the Office 365 E3 subscription, the SCC was able to make their office operations more efficient and streamlined. This allowed them to better provide support for their busy and active service users.
However, they did find that the frequency of Microsoft’s updates could be hard to keep up with - and that some aspects of SharePoint’s interface could be smoother and easier to navigate.
The team at Swindon Carers Centre also raised another concern. They felt that there was a gap in the charity sector for a charity advisory service offering guidance on cloud services and setups.
The Charity Digital Exchange team offer a Cloud Manager Service to help with implementing your charity’s new Office 365 plan, helping you take the hassle out of set up and configuration. Contact our customer service team to find out more.
You can view discounted charity subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365 here.