odyssey IT systems

mcrIT partners with Odyssey House vastly improving IT outcomes for not-for-profit

In 2018, Odyssey House — an organisation dedicated to providing treatment, support and education for those wishing to address harms related to substance use — engaged mcrIT to improve operations across its six sites in Australia.

Now two years on, the partnership has resulted in substantial improvement to system performance and user experience for both clients and staff. The system is now dependable with proactive maintenance and risk avoidance measures in place. 

An overarching business goal was to unite two disparate Odyssey House organisations. Given the critical services Odyssey House provides, finding a reliable and knowledgeable partner of NFP compliance guidelines and security was integral. 

After an initial health check of Odyssey House’s infrastructure, the mcrIT team set about modernising their legacy infrastructure – implementing upgrades to their Servers, Network, Desktops, Intranet and Telephony.

It was Odyssey House’s CEO Julie Babineau’s vision to establish a foundation to standardise their systems across the organisation. Julie knew there would be significant impact to their users when implementing this ‘One Odyssey’ strategy, requiring significant organisational change management. 

“mcrIT have helped us to deliver our mission by building a secure and flexible IT foundation that our staff and clients can rely on’’ said Babineau. 

This project included the procurement of refurbished laptops and desktops from another NFP, WorkVentures. A total refresh of the network was implemented, leveraging 4G backup for remote locations with unstable Internet services, which provided additional flexibility for staff. 

Users were migrated to Microsoft 365 to remove the single point of failure of their ageing onsite email server and implemented multi factor authentication and Single Sign on to improve their security posture. The remaining servers were migrated to Azure, removing aged equipment and reducing the reliance on remote locations for key applications.

After the system upgrades, there was an immediate improvement in system performance, and savings on hardware maintenance costs. By moving applications into the cloud, updates can now be made in real time, which has significantly improved service to clients. 

mcrIT encouraged the team at Odyssey House to leverage the Microsoft collaboration tools like Sharepoint and Teams to support their clients through remote treatment sessions. These tools have also supported the “One Odyssey” strategy, creating a common set of tools and procedures. 

“Sharepoint is a game changer for us. Our staff can securely access shared records from one site in the morning, and update that record from a different site in the afternoon – all while collaborating with other team members in remote locations’’ said Babineau.  

There has been an iterative process of introducing new technologies and security features after implementing a solid foundation with Microsoft 365, thus enabling a smooth transition for the Odyssey House team to leverage the additional applications.

‘’If you’re an NFP looking for an IT Managed Services partner, I’d highly recommend mcrIT” Babineau added. 

mcrIT look forward to their continued partnership with Odyssey House NSW and hope to support other NFPs in the ecosystem

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry.

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