Case Study: Cornerstone; Every Penny Counts
10 June 2014
Why The Right IT Provider Could Reduce Long Term Costs
Like every other industry, Third Sector organisations need a comprehensive and reliable IT provider. By selecting the right package and provider, charities can greatly reduce their long term expenditure and by ensuring their systems are secure, they can safely extend access to volunteers. However they often need more support when building a business case for a move to a new IT system especially when it comes to persuading trustees. For almost a decade, Cornerstone, one of Scotland’s largest charities, has relied on IFB (Internet for Business) to keep them connected and like other IFB clients, once they got on, they stayed on.
Cornerstone is a leading provider of services for people with disabilities and other support needs. John Cameron, Cornerstone systems manager says, “As a charity, we’re no different to other organisations with regards to our IT challenges, but we are different in terms of how we can spend our funds; every penny really does count. By embracing cloud services we have already recognised a better return on our long term investment as we are able to keep up to date with the latest technologies, without additional costs.
“We often work on campaigns that need additional IT systems, such as our Home Is Where the Heart Is campaign where we had to raise £300,000. We needed to ensure our systems were capable of handling any additional traffic, storage and of course security requirements. The campaign raised funds for Angus Court, a new social housing complex in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire. Angus Court consists of six flats that use the latest technology and allows people with disabilities to enjoy a home of their own. With our cloud service, we were able to get the additional IT resources we needed to run our fundraising campaign and were able to turn them off again when the campaign was over.
“IFB provides Cornerstone with internet connections for the majority of our sites throughout Scotland, which is some 150 broadbands for our remote workers. Critically, they have hosted our Virtual Servers in their innovative Tartan Cloud platform for the past 18 months.
“In 2012, IFB offered us the chance to become part of their Cloud solution. As if by fate, this came at a time when we were looking at spending a considerable amount of money to replace all our existing server hardware. This option not only saved us on capital outlay but allowed us to step out the cycle of renewing our equipment every few years. By being a part of the Tartan Cloud we know that our data is safe, protected and accessible whenever we need it, without it taking up huge amounts of space on our own servers. We often have workers out in the field, who need access to our system from their own homes or from other offices. All of these services are absolutely vital to our organisation – we really depend on IFB and trust them to provide first class service and efficient support when it is required.
“It’s been nearly a decade since we started work with IFB and they have consistently provided us with unmeasurable customer care and advice, for the services we need and want. In my experience this is a rare thing in the world of IT/Communication. Their staff are committed to providing solutions that are right for our organisation rather than selling us services we simply don’t need. It’s really important that cloud providers take a very sensitive and individual approach when approaching Third Sector Organisations. Liaisons with charities need to be well supported and companies need to be prepared in order to influence their key non-IT stakeholders. “
Founded by Nick Baxter in 1980, Cornerstone is one of Scotland’s largest charities and a leading provider of services for people with disabilities and other support needs. It all began when Nick brought together a group of parents and professionals who were concerned about the lack and quality of services available to people with learning disabilities and their families. To date, the charity supports over 2000 people in 18 local authority areas, employs and has a turnover in excess of £31 million.
IFB, founded in 1996, is a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) and provides ICT infrastructure for businesses across the UK. IFB provides cloud, connectivity, hosting, telecoms, back-up & recovery and work place recovery for our business customers through national, multi-Gbit/s network that links Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London points of presence.
For more information about Cornerstone and the services it provides visit www.cornerstone.org.uk