When A Leading Massachusetts Non-Profit Needed To Increase Productivity, KDSA Got IT Done

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By meeting IT and budgetary needs, KDSA helps organization fulfill its mission to protect and promote the rights and well being of children and families.

MSPCC provides services out of multiple locations throughout the Commonwealth. It was important to ensure a consistent level of technical advice to our social work and administrative staff. From day one, KDSA has provided a high quality technical support and assistance to ALL staff

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) is a leading private, non-profit society that has been working to strengthen families and prevent child abuse for over 130 years.

As with any non-profit, the company has to perform a lot of important work while staying within a tight budget - a challenging proposition at any time but especially in today's troubled economic climate. MSPCC's comprehensive array of programs and services includes child abuse and intervention programs, mental health treatment, and adoption services that place the agency in a class by itself.

In recent years, some of the inner workings of the agency were beginning to get bogged down by budgetary constraints and a lack of experienced IT personnel. MSPCC's Management Information Systems (MIS) department had some serious operational problems, including far too many items that remained open at the end of each week; technical support that was full of holes; and important projects like an active directory project that were stagnating. According to Larry Hookey, MSPCC's Director of MIS, it had reached the point where the agency began to search for outside help.

Hookey said, "In 2004, we had an internal MIS staff of six people, but the personnel just didn't have the expertise to maintain and improve our technical infrastructure. Projects like our active directory, which we rely on to store network information and get group policy done, were way behind schedule. We have over 1,000 users that rely on MIS Help Desk support on a daily basis, and they weren't getting the answers they needed. Our network needed a software upgrade. And our President and CEO, Marylou Sudders, recognized that we needed help."

Sudders directed Hookey to begin to scout for solutions to the agency's IT challenges. In his quest for more knowledgeable IT personnel, Hookey consulted with a number of fellow MIS directors that shared similar goals and needs. A company called KDSA Consulting, LLC was recommended to him as a potential outsourcing option. After a three-month review of possible solutions, Sudders and Hookey opted to give KDSA a try. MSPCC has been working with this company ever since.

"MSPCC provides services out of multiple locations throughout the Commonwealth. It was important to ensure a consistent level of technical advice to our social work and administrative staff. From day one, KDSA has provided a high quality technical support and assistance to ALL staff," said Marylou Sudders.

Based in North Andover, MA, KDSA is one of the region's leading and most experienced IT firms, dedicated to helping customers develop, implement and maintain systems that drive revenue, control costs, and reduce risk. The company has three divisions - Managed Services, Business Solutions, and Technology Solutions - and has supported companies in a wide variety of industries, including many not-for-profit organizations.

"Right off the bat, KDSA gained our confidence by providing us with knowledgeable professionals who worked with us here at our offices from the beginning to the end of the workday," Hookey said. "Not only did they kick all of our network and server functions into a higher gear, including the active directory project, but they greatly improved our Help Desk support. Their assistance has expanded into other areas over the years, including bringing greater efficiencies to our financial applications and programming report generation."

While MIS productivity has soared at MSPCC -- the department has reduced the number of open items to just 20 a week -- the cost of performing MIS functions has been greatly reduced. In fact, since working with KDSA, the organization has seen its IT budget reduced to one-third of what it had been.

Over the last two years, KDSA's role at MSPCC has evolved to include improving the group's hardware environment. As part of its "Technical Solutions" division, KDSA is an IBM partner, offering IBM blade servers and storage solutions. By providing MSPCC with blade technology solutions, KDSA has not only increased its client's storage space but also allowed them to centralize business computing workloads to reduce power costs, complexity, network traffic, and management overhead.

As part of its "Business Solutions" division, KDSA is a Microsoft Dynamics partner offering implementation, training and support for financial solutions such as accounting and budgeting software. Recently, KDSA has worked with MSPCC to implement a new web-based budgeting tool that streamlines the entire budgeting process. Additionally, KDSA's staff has also taken on database and reporting functions for their current clinical application.

"KDSA has helped us make remarkable gains in efficiency," said Hookey. "They've upgraded our financial software, updated our payroll software, and helped us to replace our aging data storage hardware. Perhaps more importantly, KDSA has the expertise to look at and quickly understand our business processes and make intelligent, strategic suggestions for change. They really have worked with us as very important members of our team."

In the future, KDSA's role at the MSPCC will continue to evolve and expand. In the upcoming months, KDSA professionals will be assisting the organization in the implementation of electronic health records, all while continuing to support and improve the health of the many functions handled by MSPCC's MIS department. And a healthy, successful MSPCC is certainly great news for children and families throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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