Success story

He Waka Tapu

“With regards to infrastructure and IT services, we, He Waka Tapu, are probably one of the leaders, or close to, and that would definitely be thanks to The I.T. Team for putting things in front of us so we are always improving.”
Not For Profit
The Organisaton:

He Waka Tapu is a kaupapa Māori mental health and wellbeing not-for-profit. The organisation employs more than 150 people and has a wide and varied scope – from groups that work to lower alcohol, drug use and family violence, to a health clinic, residential units, and a community gym. It also covers a large geographic area. While Christchurch is its largest centre, it also has teams in Ashburton and on the Chatham Islands.

The Challenges:

He Waka Tapu prides itself on being forward thinking, flexible and ‘making the waka go faster’. They are attributes the NGO looks for in its IT service provider too, IT Project Manager Gordon Sutherland says.

“We’re constantly changing and that means our systems must be tweaked and changed to suit. If The I.T. Team weren’t up to being flexible, it just wouldn’t work,” he says.

That change includes rapid growth: Seven years ago, the organisation had just 30 staff. Today it has more than 150, all using a range of technology.

The I.T. Team has been providing Managed IT Services to He Waka Tapu for 15 years, providing user and device management, onsite support via The I.T. Team’s friendly group of Field Technicians, and remote support via the Service Desk. The oversight and management of new user onboarding and departure; full management of their Microsoft 365 licencing and tenancy; and providing a full range of security services and tools via its Security Operations Centre.

Gordon says that The I.T. Team have been ‘absolutely critical’ on the security front. They’re also invaluable for their advice.

“Our security has increased. They come to us with an IT Roadmap annually and that keep us improving.”

It’s that proactiveness which is a particular winner for He Waka Tapu. “The I.T. Team are open to our suggestions, but they also propose lots of things and are happy to pivot whenever we need to change. It’s a real partnership.” he says.

He acknowledges there have been discussions about hiring an internal IT person, but he says the extensive range of skills The I.T. team offers always makes them the preferred choice.

“When it comes to security, the network, anything IT – it’s always changing. You might be on top of something this month and then next month suddenly it’s all changed.”

“By outsourcing to The I.T. team we have a team who is always following the market trends, the latest security and threats – it’s their gig. It just makes sense.” Besides which, for He Waka Tapu, The I.T. team is, in many ways, an extension of its own business.

The Solution:

Over the years, The I.T. team has been responsible for ‘keeping the lights on’ with day-to-day IT operations, but they’ve also delivered IT transformation which has included significant equipment and cloud upgrades and adoption of new tools, including SharePoint.

“SharePoint is a big beast, and it needed to be set up correctly from the get-go,” Gordon notes. “We were assigned a SharePoint Architect to sit with us, learn about all our different departments so that everything could be drafted up, the structure visualised, and we could think about how we would use the platform.”

As with any big move, there were teething problems, but Gordon says that The I.T. team’s flexibility ensured things ran smoothly.

“The I.T. team has always had people who can step in and help. We have a Primary Engineer and Customer Success Manager who work with us, but there are more people who contribute here than just one expert.”

“I have complete confidence that no matter what, we are supported.”

That engineer works closely with He Waka Tapu, with a monthly time allocation for ongoing work, plus project work.

“It wouldn’t typically be an I.T Team job but often when we need help with Microsoft 365 products, whether its Excel doing something fancy or more often it might be using some of the automation tools which can get quite complicated quite quickly, there are always people there to assist us so we don’t have to go off and deal with other companies that specialise and potentially could be quite a bit more expensive.”

For Gordon, as the IT lead on site, a key issue early on was the constant interruptions from He Waka Tapu’s team members whenever minor technology issues came up. While staff could access the I.T. team – Gordon notes they’re ‘very easy to get hold of’ – sometimes it was just easier to go to Gordon.

“It was a big problem for me. None of my mahi was getting done,” he says. So, Gordon sat down with The I.T. Team and had ‘a real, honest conversation’. “The I.T. Team went away, got creative and looked at how things could work for them and us and now we have someone on site every day which is brilliant because typically you don’t need someone there full time, and it’s also a bit of staff training. “It’s working well for us.”

Gordon’s also saving time not having to look for the best price for hardware. “I used to hunt around and try to find different laptops to save on, but The I.T Team are very, very well priced so now I don’t even bother looking around. I just go with them, without hesitation.”

Connon Daly, The I.T. Team General Manager says the partnership with He Waka Tapu is a great example of the value of a managed service provider in serving the needs of a client – not just for the big projects, but for all day-to-day IT requirements and support. “We have a strong relationship with our managed services customers, and we have built a deep understanding of He Waka Tapu, their needs and how to help them improve their IT continuously,” Connon says. “We’re not just about fixing problems. We’re about ensuring our clients are always at the top of their IT game.”

Gordon agrees: “The I.T. Team make He Waka Tapu feel important. They bend over backwards for us, and we see it, feel it and we love it.”

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