by Hamish Barwick

Relationships Australia WA looks to collaboration

Mar 11, 20132 mins
Collaboration SoftwareSmall and Medium BusinessUnified Communications

With disparate branches spread across Western Australia and long travel times, not-for-profit organisation Relationships Australia has plans to roll out Cisco IP phones and TelePresence videoconferencing.

The organisation provides counselling services for people who have experienced domestic violence and family disputes. Relationships Australia WA also works with the Aboriginal community in the state.

Speaking at Cisco Live in Melbourne, Relationships Australia WA CIO Martha Rousselet told attendees that the organisation is planning to change all of its phones to use IP connectivity for improved collaboration purposes. For example, staff in remote parts of WA will be able to easily communicate with the head office in Perth.

“We also want videoconferencing capability because our branch managers meet once a month and they have to travel by plane or drive,” she said.

“Even from the south to Perth it’s at least four hour’s drive. “

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Saving money through the use of technology is essential for Rousselet as a large amount of her ICT capital funding comes from Lotteries West.

When Rousselet arrived at the not-for-profit in 2011, she drafted a business capability model which enabled her to develop an ICT plan that aligned with Relationships Australia WA’s strategy.

Rousselet discovered that infrastructure and core software were not integrated. Employing server virtualization has reduced a pool of 300 physical servers down to just 80 servers.

“I mapped where our locations were, along with the software and hardware that would enable the business applications to run.”

Next on the agenda is improving the organisation’s bandwidth at its 25 office locations in WA.

“If we want to introduce a video app using the Cisco Communications Manager the bandwidth has to be there for us to operate well,” she said.

“What we have decided to do is implement software at every Relationships Australia WA branch that will allow us to monitor how much bandwidth is used at each branch to best determine what level of bandwidth to apply at every site.”

Hamish Barwick travelled to Cisco Live in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco

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