Creating adaptable, secure, and supported workplaces

The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) was founded in 1986 and runs between 200-500 events per year. They have between 10-35 staff with 300 volunteers during festival times, and are supported by government, philanthropy, and ticket sales

Challenges

The MWF staff were experiencing poor IT performance, difficulties connecting to their VPN, and had to use their own devices whilst working remotely. Staff used multiple storage solutions including online platforms and local storage on their devices. Email storage was insufficient and there were rules around access to certain websites and apps under their current model.  

The MWF‘s IT infrastructure and computers were part of their office lease, didn’t allow flexibility for the organisation and to scale up easily during festival time. They also required effective and efficient IT support for their chosen solution, from a provider who had experience and expertise with small to medium businesses.

MWF management and the Board had concerns about business continuity and wanted to safeguard the organisation from cyberattacks. 

Solution

After discussions with Steadfast Solutions, Office365 with helpdesk support was agreed upon as the chosen solution based on the MWF needs. It addressed their accessibility, connectivity, and security needs whilst allowing them to be independent and scale up and down as needed. The Board was very supportive of this move.

The solution included:

Office365 with storage, system, emails, and SharePoint folders

a new fleet of laptops set up with Office365

migration of emails, systems, and files

support to assist with IT enquiries and issues.

Migrating to Office365 was seamless for the MWF and was backed with good internal communications. Staff adjusted to the new solution quickly and were pleased with the transition.

As a not-for-profit the reliability, support, and pricing model of this solution were attractive.

Results

The Office365 solution and IT support have provided the MWF with:

  • the freedom and independence to operate their business more efficiently and effectively.
  • peace of mind that their systems and business have increased security to prevent external attacks.
  • increased productivity including no downtime, one place to store and retrieve documents, with integrated and reliable systems.
  • time savings due to faster access to devices, systems, and data from anywhere.
  • professional, efficient, and responsive helpdesk (which is also kind and understanding).
  • flexibility and adaptability to scale up and down when needed, and to work remotely.
  • an increase in staff morale, as the technology was now working for them (not defeating them).
  • a decrease in calls to the helpdesk as the solution made the systems and business operate more smoothly, with no downtime.

Conclusion

The MWF was impressed with Steadfast Solutions’ client management, the increased capacity that the solution had provided them with and the responsive helpdesk support.

In the near future, the MWF is considering working further with Steadfast Solutions to assist with staff training, options for box office phones, event management and a CRM like Dynamic that integrates with Office365.

"We had heard positive feedback about Steadfast Solutions and made contact. The conversations were respectful, and they filled us with confidence that they understood our situation and could deliver a good solution. They lived up to their reputation and delivered on time and on budget"
~ Rebecca MacFarling, CEO, Melbourne Writers Festival