Operating from a single platform, this charity has a secure, collaborative solution that has truly modernised the working environment and met all hybrid working objectives.
Medical Justice is a UK charity offering independent medical advice and assessments to support people in immigration detention. Volunteer clinicians visit those held in Immigration Removal Centres across the UK to assess their health and write medico-legal reports. Using this evidence, Medical Justice carries out research and publishes reports to help to bring about policy change and improve healthcare for people in immigration detention.
“We are a grass roots non-profit operation that was growing quite quickly,” explains Anthony Omar, Office Manager at Medical Justice, “yet our IT environment was simply not growing with us at the same speed.”
The 20-strong team at Medical Justice, including admin staff, case workers, clinical advisors, doctors and researchers, were dependant on using email in order to communicate with each other. External communications were reliant on old analogue handsets, personal devices and documents, where personal data and other important files were all stored on-premises across a number of servers, hard drives and encrypted local devices.
Anthony continues: “We had volumes and volumes of data stored across a variety of hard drives and staff computers. We were unable to share documents to collaborate efficiently and data security was inadequate – if a hard drive or back up went missing or got broken, we ran the risk of losing lots of valuable information in an instant. There were also several issues with having a large, off-site volunteer team.”
With the covid pandemic pushing everyone towards working from home – this was the catalyst that highlighted the rapid need for change at the charity.
AspiraCloud initiated the partnership with a comprehensive information gathering session together with the Medical Justice team, to evaluate the current situation and suggest an appropriate solution that could support remote working, drive collaboration and identify any other efficiencies that could be introduced to modernise the working environment for this charity.
“AspiraCloud was not at all apprehensive by the large amount of sensitive data we had throughout the charity and the daunting task ahead of them to organise and secure this in some way, ” says Anthony.
AspiraCloud proposed a three-phased approach to implement an organisation-wide cloud platform, encompassing the collation of all data, a migration to Microsoft 365, and user training to drive adoption. AspiraCloud also recommended that the charity should not adopt a big bang approach and migrate all the data in one go – but instead move the data slowly and steadily to keep the internal team operational and maintain business as usual.
Over a four-month period, all client information, company files and personal data were securely collected and moved to Microsoft SharePoint Online prior to providing access to all the charity’s staff and volunteers.
AspiraCloud went on to design and implement a rigid and concise data retention plan for the whole organisation, including tagging content with meta data, so everyone knew how to store, manage, and dispose of data in the cloud. Finally, the team also received SharePoint training to ensure everyone was confident in using the new system.
The new cloud platform presented a significant learning curve for this charity. However, the responsive AspiraCloud team was on hand every step of the way to help and advise everyone at Medical Justice and ensure the transition and uptake was a smooth as possible.
“Moving all our data to a single, cloud-based tenant has drastically tightened security,” explains Anthony. “Responsible for vast amounts of sensitive customer data, it is such a relief that we do not need to maintain and manually back up all the old servers and hard drives in the office anymore. These tasks are no longer keeping me awake at night as I know it is all automated in the Microsoft Cloud.”
Operating from the cloud, staff and volunteers can now communicate and collaborate much easier – no matter their location. Staff are no longer receiving thousands of emails per day with unsecure attachments as all data is stored in the cloud. Everyone can quickly log in to access and securely share casework, valuable evidence and other vital documents, whether they are in the office or working remotely.
External communications have also improved with the adoption of Microsoft Teams Phone. Anthony continues: “Teams Phone has been life changing – my favourite part of the project to date! Introduced to replace our ageing analogue system, it’s so easy to share calls with Caller ID and we can effortlessly use Teams Phone from home to support hybrid working.”
Medical Justice was introduced to AspiraCloud by one of our existing clients, the Law Centres Network Islington, another legal non-profit organisation.
Anthony reveals: “Law Centres Network Islington was already benefitting from a successful Microsoft 365 cloud environment designed, deployed, and supported by AspiraCloud. We instantly recognised that AspiraCloud had experience of working with growing legal charities and we were impressed with what they were delivering to the Network and its 40 members around the UK. We could see this working for us, and AspiraCloud could see it too.”
“AspiraCloud are cloud experts and took the time to understand our growth plans to put forward a solution that could grow with us. The personable team remained responsive throughout the project to deploy a secure, collaborative solution that truly modernised our workplace.”
“The success of this cloud project has really kick started our plans to modernise our organisation,” concludes Anthony. “We will be working closely with AspiraCloud in the coming months for strategic advice to address our incumbent client database and identify improvements we can make in this area.”
If you want to find out more or do the same for your charity, simply get in touch.