Infoxchange has added 20 new not-for-profit customers to the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
The organisations, which all moved across from Google, have received charity discount rates from Microsoft and Telstra, according to David Spriggs, general manager, IT at Infoxchange. The NFPs pay up to 50 per cent less than commercial rates.
Spriggs told Computerworld Australia a range of not-for-profit (NFP) organisations have signed up, from two-people organisations to NFPs with over 100 staff.
Infoxchange’s new customers includes BrainLink Services, which helps to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by brain injury.
“Office 365 has empowered our staff members to forget about technology and get on with their jobs,” said Vanessa Marrama, communications manager at BrainLink Services, in a statement. “We don't rely as much on our in-house IT support because the Cloud has proven to be so reliable and user friendly."
Spriggs said these benefits are typically seen with smaller organisations which don’t have their own dedicated IT resources, making it difficult for them to manage their IT infrastructure.
“So putting it in the Cloud solves a lot of those problems for them. The other [benefit] is being able to access the solutions from anywhere on mobile devices and tablets,” he said.
“A lot of organisations in the past that we’ve worked with could only access their email and document management, for example, from within their own office network. [Office 365] has really opened it up.”
He said that “Google just didn’t provide the same level of integration” as Office 365.
For example, users can access data through SharePoint and Outlook. Infoxchange has also developed a CRM specifically for NFPs based on the Microsoft Cloud CRM.
“[The benefits are] about the integration, but also what’s really important in the not-for-profit sector is ease of use and familiarity for users, given they’re not necessarily tech savvy users of the applications,” Spriggs said.
Not-for-profit organisations can also benefit from using software-as-a-service solutions in emergency relief situations. For example, many businesses were locked out of their office in Christchurch after the earthquakes while the buildings were rebuilt. Software such as Office 365 allows organisations to access their files when they can’t physically access their office and IT department.
“There are also some organisations that we work with that have specific responsibilities under emergency relief conditions as well … and actually have specific provisions in their agreements that they make with governments that says they’ll be able to access their technology solutions even in the event that their office isn’t accessible,” Spriggs said.
The focus on the not-for-profit sector has been a driving force behind Infoxchange for the past 20 years. Spriggs said one of the aims for the company is to empower people to use and access technology, with Office 365 offering NFPs improved effectiveness and efficiency.
Infoxchange also aims to improve digital inclusion across the broader community, working with low income communities to help them access technology and learn how to use it.
Over the next 12 months, Infoxchange is targeting 100 new NFP customers on the Office 365 platform. It currently has 4,000 NFP customers, but Spriggs admits this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the 600,000 NFP organisations in Australia. Infoxchange is also aiming for 100 new customers for its CRM online platform.
“A big part of what we’re doing moving forward is some education and awareness campaigns across the country for not-for-profits as to why technology is important and the benefits that it can deliver to not-for-profit organisations,” Spriggs said.
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