RSPCA uses Microsoft cloud to deliver animal welfare services

RSPCA uses Microsoft cloud to deliver animal welfare services

Move aims to improve access to information and education services, and optimise spending

Elly Yates-Roberts |

The New South Wales (NSW) RSPCA Society in Australia is using the cloud as part of a digital modernisation effort to accelerate the delivery of its animal welfare services, improve access to information and education services, and optimise spending. 

The animal welfare charity has worked with Microsoft partner Digital Armour on the initiative, deploying Office 365, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint online and Dynamics 365 Business Central for Finance. It has been designed to support the organisation’s 500 employees, 1,500 volunteers and 1,600 foster animal carers.

RSPCA NSW is also deploying Telstra Calling for Office 365 across the organisation and migrating key systems to Microsoft Azure. It predicts that these new technologies will provide a return on investment within 12 months. 

Previously the charity relied on multiple manual and legacy systems, which Microsoft says led to “poor reporting, lack of controls and limited governance”. Its data was siloed, making it hard to access and use.

“One of the things that I’m trying to achieve is as few systems as possible, as good integration as possible, make it as seamless and consistent from a user perspective as well as from the back end,” said William Beerden, general manager of regulation and business services at RSCPA NSW. “We’ve got better controls, better governance, much better reporting and vastly improved accuracy.”

The RSPCA is using Azure quite extensively, according to head of finance and IT Julian Manche, and is looking to move more systems, like its shelter management software, to the cloud. Manche believes that this will “allow the organisation to take advantage of an array of Azure cybersecurity features as well as multi factor authentication to manage user access”. 

The broader community that RSPCA serves also has improved access to information and services as a result of the new technology investments. For example, the charity has been able to establish a prebooking system for animal adoption visits.

RSPCA NSW is now exploring technology for its new educational centre being built in Sydney. Beerden envisages using Teams to create a “communications backbone” for the facility that will, for example, allow vets performing a surgery to interact with veterinary students in the auditorium. The digital ecosystem will also allow RSPCA to enhance its scenario planning, for example, to respond to bushfires or floods, and continue to protect animal health and well-being.

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