CeBIT 2012: NSW Cancer Council begins Cloud journey

The Council’s CIO, John Davies, explains why the not-for-profit organisation implemented Cloud for some of its business functions

Faced with growing data and outdated infrastructure, the not-for-profit organisation, New South Wales Cancer Council, made the decision to move some of its business functions to a private Cloud in early 2012.

Speaking at CeBIT in Sydney, chief information officer John Davies, told delegates that the organisation has a diverse range of constituents it deals with, including supporters, patients, care givers, health professionals and advocates.

In-depth: How to create a clear project plan.

“In 2011, we decided to review our systems and the capability to support our business objectives,” he said. “We found there were systems and data that were limiting our growth and not allowing us to deliver the services that we needed to for our constituents.”

Davies said the Council required a solution that would support customer relationship management (CRM) systems and be scalable for the future. However, this seemed beyond the limited IT budget of the not-for-profit organisation.

“With a small IT budget we also wanted the platform to have a low infrastructure footprint and support levels,” he said. “I would rather spend that IT budget on enhancing business capability than boxes and people to run them.”

After a vigorous selection process, the Council selected Salesforce.com, with the added benefit of Salesforce offering heavy discounts to not-for- profit organisations.

The first project was a cancer information and support application based on the Salesforce service Cloud which now powers the council’s help line and support services. It consists of a call centre console with an integrated online search facility that locates cancer services, support groups and the Council’s publications based on the location of the patient.

Coupled with this is a case management function which includes information on the client’s interactions with the council.

Davies added that the Council will be deploying the Salesforce CRM for a number of business functions including donations processing, online fundraising, research studies, advocacy, campaign management, social media integration, special events management and marketing analysis.

In addition, Davies said that while there were short-term benefits from Cloud computing, the real benefit was helping the IT department to develop new skills and not see Cloud computing as a threat to their jobs.

“For the Council, Cloud is not about reducing head count but ensuring IT staff can learn more about Cloud and further their careers. Before you know it you have a Cloud literate team.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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