Community services

Caliber One takes Somerville Community Services on a journey to the cloud

Darren Gore (Caliber One).

Credit: Caliber One

Technology partner Caliber One took Somerville Community Services on a cloud transformation journey, creating a resilient IT environment.

The project involved moving the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) care staff on-premises server to Office 365 and legacy telephony to Telstra Calling for Office 365 while implementing enterprise-grade cybersecurity.

Supported by triple-redundant fiber connectivity and Telstra’s third-party mobility solutions, the digital transformation program reshaped the way Somerville’s 200 employees served their customers and improved its resilience to external shocks.

Somerville’s cloud journey began with the devastation wrought by Tropical Cyclone Marcus in 2018 – the most powerful cyclone to hit Darwin in 45 years, costing the Northern Territory $75 million and downing 430 power lines which blocked 26,500 properties.

“We lost power in the office for a week, so I had to carry this server to our other office and it wouldn’t turn on,” said Jannie Bacus, ICT and systems administration manager. in Somerville.

“I restored it to a virtual server and we were up and running, but it was really a ‘never again!’ moment for me. »

By the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit the territory, Caliber One had migrated Somerville to its managed cloud services, routed fiber internet to the three caregiver administration sites, and connected it via paths triple-redundant fiber cable from Telstra. For the first time, Somerville had dedicated bandwidth and 24/7 services.

“Providing fiber optic services to businesses was essential. Before, everything was a standard NBN service for businesses or consumers,” said Caliber One CEO Darren Gore.

Caliber One also provided Wi-Fi, a SharePoint intranet with OneDrive, cloud backup, managed services for the helpline, and cybersecurity, including mobile device management.

“There have been numerous outages elsewhere in the territory since we installed the Somerville network but, with Telstra, they now have redundant fiber paths,” Gore added.

Bacus said connectivity and digital collaboration through Microsoft Teams and universal messaging transformed the way Somerville cared for its vulnerable customers, while improved data collection and privacy protections satisfied regulatory obligations.

Since its transformation journey, Somerville has seen improved service delivery as staff spend more time serving their vulnerable clients and less time on manual paperwork; cost reductions and simplified financial management through infrastructure standardization and Caliber One managed services; and increased productivity by allowing staff to access data when and where they need it.

The project also saw Somerville unify voice and telecommunications by replacing three difficult-to-manage systems with a single, fully integrated cloud platform.

And although a Category 5 storm hadn’t hit NT since Marcus, Bacus was confident that Somerville’s redundant and resilient IT architecture would withstand any blow.

“It changed the trajectory of this organization – the project laid the foundation for future innovation,” Bacus said.

“It’s changed people’s expectations of what they can do and their level of comfort with new systems.

“We have achieved our immediate goals in terms of major improvements such as staff communication, access and flexibility and, in the longer term, we have the scale and foundation to provide tools to staff and support the growth. None of this would have been possible without the solutions Caliber One has built for us,” he added.

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