In the words of Chief Executive, Philip Kearney, Arthritis NZ wants its technology solutions to “support rather than to hinder” its mission to improve the life of every person in New Zealand affected by arthritis.
He explains, “If we can develop new ways to be more effective behind the scenes, that’s invaluable to us. 80% of our income comes from donations and grants. To be able to continually improve our services, we either have to raise more money or operate in a more cost effective and efficient way – and to do both is the ultimate goal.”
With a desire to increase mobility, productivity and ease of working for its people, along with a drive to reduce risk and operational cost, Arthritis NZ found itself constrained by its existing managed IT infrastructure and complex support agreement, looking for a better way forward.
GoCloud saw a significant opportunity for the charity to consume a more reliable cloud-based service at a significantly reduced cost, allowing Arthritis NZ to spend more time focusing on their clients and their cause, free from the burden of technology overheads and maintenance.
With the support of GoCloud and reduced licensing costs enabled by Microsoft’s philanthropic fund, an Office 365 solution was swiftly implemented, creating a solid and economical platform for Arthritis NZ’s cloud-based future – with its other business systems following suit in the direction of the cloud.
GoCloud worked with Arthritis NZ’s incumbent service provider to transform, consolidate, streamline or replace its existing services, all with the goal of simplification, greater enablement and self-sufficiency for its people. The migration of file services, email and authentication to Office 365 meant staff could instantly access company information from anywhere with the utmost security.
As it turned out, timing was everything. The public cloud was especially attractive to Arthritis NZ for its ability to de-risk operations and remove reliance on on-prem systems, particularly in the event of an unforeseen event such as an earthquake or, as it transpired, the COVID-19 lockdown. In March 2020, plans for a remote working “drill” became a sudden and ongoing reality, with the Arthritis NZ team able to easily continue its important work from anywhere, without disruption or loss of productivity.
“Office 365 has made life easier,” says Rob Mitchell, Corporate Services Manager. “We had a seamless transition to home working in the COVID environment. It was easy for us to adapt, and we are now confident that we can cope with almost any business interruption.”
With their cloud platform in place, Arthritis NZ is already enjoying the many benefits it brings. Whether it’s reduced risk, cost and complexity, or increased mobility, flexibility and productivity, the solution gives Arthritis NZ newfound freedom – to work from anywhere, to explore and build on new digital opportunities in the cloud and to investigate new ways to deliver increased value to its clients and further reduce operational costs.
Philip Kearney says, “GoCloud has provided us – and continues to provides us – much more than a service; they advise and provide technology leadership, looking out for us in terms of the opportunities in front of us and how we can use technology in the future. They have a genuine interest in our cause and in creating efficiencies and simplifying processes for us. Their understanding of our culture, their attitude and willingness and the support they have provided us is exceptional.”
Support and advocacy group
Arthritis New Zealand is a national charity that provides information, advice and support to people diagnosed with any of the more than 140 forms of arthritis. Arthritis affects more than 700,000 New Zealanders and is a leading cause of disability. There is no cure, but the condition can usually be managed effectively. Most people with arthritis continue to lead productive and fulfilling lives.