ABOUT BERRY STREET
For over 140 years, Berry Street has provided services to children, young people and families. They are one of Australia’s largest independent family service organisations, offering a diverse range of programs to around 35,000 people each year. Services include family violence support, education services, trauma services, out-of-home care, parenting and family services.
As a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation, Berry Street was focused on gaining maximum value from its IT assets. Dealing with legacy IT infrastructure, Berry Street found that staff members were not getting effective technical support and the service itself had become unreliable. The requirement to modernise became urgent in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, when lockdowns meant that the organisation’s 1400 staff members needed the ability to work from home. Berry Street’s existing systems did not support remote working reliably and there was a risk that critical services to its clients could be impacted.
The IT users at Berry Street cover a wide gamut of tech-savviness, with most users heavily focused on providing support services for their clients rather than on working with IT systems. Therefore, the lack of responsive help desk support was a key issue for the organisation. Neelu Kaur, Head of IT, Berry Street, said, “We needed to find a managed services provider that could take us from an end-of-life environment to a modern environment that was futureproof and would meet our service delivery needs. As an organisation we were looking for a partner that could also scale with our growth demands.” Technology is a key pillar of the service that Berry Street provides, and the executive team planned to renew its investment in IT systems. As part of this strategy, Neelu Kaur was appointed to the newly created role of Head of IT. The next step was to find the right partners to help Berry Street modernise and transform.
Berry Street undertook a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP) process that ultimately revealed blueAPACHE to be the ideal managed service provider (MSP) for the organisation’s needs. Neelu Kaur said, “blueAPACHE was experienced in working with NFPs and had similar values to Berry Street, so we were confident in choosing blueAPACHE for managed services, initially encompassing help desk and infrastructure support.” With confidence in the solution’s alignment, Berry Street began building a migration path to blueAPACHE’s emPOWER managed services catalogue. Neelu Kaur said, “The transition began in March 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic hit almost immediately, requiring Berry Street to provision its 1400 staff members to work from home. blueAPACHE helped Berry Street to mobilise its team to work from home and delivered the transition on time and within budget, despite the pandemic disruptions.
Since transitioning to blueAPACHE’s emPOWER managed services, Berry Street has achieved the improvements it was looking for in terms of help desk effectiveness and environment modernisation. Neelu Kaur said, “Berry Street is an NFP with diverse tech-savviness among users. blueAPACHE understood this very well and knew how to support these users. Our staff love the blueAPACHE help desk team where they know everyone by name. Most MSPs don’t have a dedicated support team for clients but blueAPACHE gave us a dedicated team of service desk agents who know our users and environment. This saves a lot of time because the blueAPACHE team understands the context behind help desk requests and can resolve issues and support our users more effectively.”
When it came to modernising the technology environment, blueAPACHE also understood that Berry Street needed to achieve maximum value from its investments, choosing the most efficient and effective solutions within a budget. The blueAPACHE team works with the organisation to determine the most cost-effective and sensible solution for each business need. Neelu Kaur said, “Berry Street relied heavily on blueAPACHE to help understand what was required from a modernisation perspective not just to modernise the services but also to ensure that the infrastructure behind those services was right. We worked together to design the new solution architecture and define the future state that the organisation needed to get to.