Software provider IGEL Technology is supporting homelessness charity Crisis in its Christmas campaign by helping it to implement a unified communications and cloud strategy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since its foundation in 1967, Crisis has worked to get rough sleepers off the streets during the festive period by setting up residential and day care centres and offering a variety of services, including medical, financial and counselling.
According to Chris Riley, chief technology officer at the Aimar Foundation – an IGEL partner and charity which provides IT support for other non-profit organisations – the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a thorough review of how the Christmas project is run, including its IT infrastructure.
“A range of new technical innovations were introduced, not only to guarantee a practical way for guests to actually contact Crisis for help, but to enable team collaboration and remote working,” he said. “This was important to ensure help could still be provided in the event that one worker got sick and the whole shift then had to self-isolate.”
To deal with the changes, IGEL and Aimar Foundation helped Crisis to implement a unified communications and cloud strategy. As part of this, the organisations have migrated Crisis away from virtual desktop infrastructure to Microsoft Teams and Office 365, which volunteers and homeless individuals can use to search online, send emails and communicate with loved ones.
IGEL is also supporting the charity by loaning its UD7 Universal Desktop endpoints so that volunteers can collaborate via Microsoft Teams.
“The logistical challenges are massive so the shift to the cloud really helps us: it’s an ideal technology approach given we set up services for a short period of time over Christmas and then turn them off in the New Year,” said Ian Richards, head of Crisis for Christmas. “Without the IT support we get from all our partners, particularly the Aimar Foundation and IGEL, we just wouldn’t be able to deliver the project like we do.”