Credit Union SA re-evaluates work practices after seeing the benefits of pandemic-forced remote working for staff.
WHO ARE CREDIT UNION SA?
Credit Union SA exist to help South Australians do more with their money, so that in turn they can make the most of their life. It is an approach that – coupled with their proud commitment to strengthening their local South Australian communities for a brighter future – has already attracted over 50,000 members across the state.
As an invaluable service provider to their community, Credit Union SA has no place for downtime. When lockdown requirements were introduced across the state to combat the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, Credit Union SA’s Infrastructure and Services Team Leader Daniel Kalinovic had to pivot quickly to maintain business continuity.
Having worked with Blackbird IT for several years in a procurement and advisory capacity, Daniel reached out to the Blackbird team.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Credit Union SA had only a handful of staff occasionally working remotely – mostly to accommodate personal circumstances. The large majority of staff worked in-house, using desktop computers with multiple monitors. The unprecedented circumstances surrounding the lockdown meant this approach simply wasn’t viable moving forward.
Daniel Kalinovic highlighted the urgency at which they had to pivot.
“We had to adjust our stance quite quickly once everything changed. In the past we had been using desktops with just a handful of laptops for work from home. But with the lockdown, we immediately moved to get everyone on laptops that would facilitate a mobile, work from home workforce.” – Daniel Kalinovic, Credit Union SA Infrastructure and Services Team Leader.
He also named a number of key challenges that needed to be addressed.
“To protect our organisation’s reputation, IP, and invaluable customer data, the devices required all the proper security measures such as VPN and proxy capabilities, as well as the ability to monitor their health and security in real-time. Time really was of the essence.”
THE SOLUTION & PROJECT EXECUTION
After consulting with Blackbird IT, Credit Union SA chose to implement 50 HP ProBook 450s powered by Intel® Core™ i5 processors, with HP USB-C docking stations that would allow their staff to connect to multiple displays if necessary. With the organisation already running Microsoft 365 and Microsoft teams, Daniel highlighted that the backend systems were in place for a relatively smooth transition, granted Blackbird IT could deliver the hardware quickly.
“The software we had in place made it pretty streamlined to get all the devices out to staff quickly. We had the ability to do a staged rollout, so the main challenge was going to be getting the hardware in, because we were hearing stories of low stock due to supply issues with the pandemic.”
Thankfully, Blackbird IT were more than ready to hold up their end of the bargain thanks to a recently implemented ecommerce portal; gluh. Credit Union SA could quickly and easily place orders as their staged rollout happened over a few weeks. Blackbird IT would prepare the devices when needed, and Credit Union SA maintained their now mostly
“The time from placing the online order to having the hardware on-site is quick, the turnaround is really impressive. And because we still had some staff in the office as an essential service, we had the ability to stage the rollout. Staff would come into the office, work for a period of time before taking their new hardware home with them, and then that cycle would start over again. And Blackbird IT was always ready to distribute the next batch of devices, with the same models available for consistency which made our life a lot easier as well.” Daniel Kalinovic, Credit Union SA Infrastructure and Services Team Leader.
THE BUSINESS OUTCOMES
Since the rollout was completed, Credit Union SA has seen a number of key business outcomes emerge.
- The organisation now has consistency across their device fleet.
- The HP ProBook 450s are stable, reliable and resilient tools that have worked seamlessly since implementation and will enable staff to continue working remotely.
- The internal IT team at Credit Union SA have further confidence in Blackbird IT’s ability to turnaround orders in an incredibly short timeframe.
- Staff devices are secure, powerful and easily monitored and managed.
- Zero downtime was incurred during the rollout, maintaining Credit Union SA’s reputation with their customers.
According to Daniel, the most pleasing aspect to come out of the project has been tangible evidence for supporting flexible and mobile work practices for their workforce moving forward.
“Flexibility and work from home protocols is something we’ve been discussing recently. This project has proven to us that our staff can be just as productive at home as they can in the office. So, it’s definitely made us think a lot and moving forward it’s something that will looked at in depth – offering that flexibility as standard, even when we’re all allowed back in the office full-time.”
At the time of writing, Credit Union SA have just placed an order for a further 25 HP ProBook 450s to continue their move from a desktop to laptop environment – a move Daniel Kalinovic says wouldn’t have come about if the working relationship with Blackbird IT wasn’t there.
“Yes, we’ve just purchased another 25 devices and it’s another step forward for our organisation. Blackbird IT have definitely played their part too. The local support is of huge benefit to us, as we have regular engagement with the same people within the organisation which really helps to create more of a friendship as opposed to just a working relationship.”
Daniel also highlighted how satisfied he and the whole Credit Union SA team are with the Blackbird IT relationship.
“The support that Blackbird IT gives us, in particular on this last project, is just fantastic. The speed of delivery and the manner in which the devices were handled both in build and quality – we’re really happy.”
When pressed on what the future looks like for both organisations, Daniel had one final thing to say.
“Blackbird IT are our primary hardware provider; the ease of transaction is fantastic and can’t be understated. But ultimately, it’s their level of professionalism with a real human element to it that will keep the two organisations working together.”
During these uncertain times, technology plays an integral role in your ability to maintain business continuity. At the same time, it can enable new service models that can help to differentiate your organisation from the market.
To learn how Blackbird IT can help you thrive amidst disruption, get in touch with our friendly team today by visiting blackbirdit.com.au
Tags: COVID, HP, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft365, Remote Work, working from home