The Winnifred Stewart Association & Foundation (WSAF) is a local Edmonton organization aiming to connect individuals with diverse abilities to their communities. WSAF’s important work currently serves over 200 people, providing customized support through recreational programs, employment opportunities, and semi-independent living options. Accurate has had the pleasure of working with WSAF since 2013, so we understand how critical technology is to run these programs well, and are mindful of the budgetary constraints existing in the not-for-profit space.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into isolation, the limitations of WSAF’s technology platform were—rather dramatically—brought to the surface. Like many other businesses at the time, WSAF’s key files were stored on a physical “on-prem” server; the only way to access these documents was to be physically in the office. With employees, clients, and residents in and out of the building on any given day and social distancing restrictions in place, WSAF and Accurate knew that, to continue to serve their clients effectively, WSAF needed to pivot.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into isolation, the limitations of WSAF’s technology platform were—rather dramatically—brought to the surface.
Accurate formulated a multi-phased approach to move WSAF’s files and server to the cloud, which would allow staff to access what they needed from home without compromising security and privacy. After a detailed analysis breaking down the data foot print required and working out a permission structure, the Project Team set about designing a SharePoint team site and library. The official site build then took place, followed by a period of testing before the official migration and, at last, the cutover.
The People Component
Completing the project was only half the work. We are big believers in new technology, but if users don’t know what to do with it, what’s the point? To make the transition as smooth as possible, we sent in Fraser Magee, our Service Adoption Specialist, to provide hands-on, customized training to WSAF staff. Fraser guided staff step-by-step through using SharePoint and 365 apps in a way that would be meaningful to them. The staff learned not just how to access files through SharePoint, but also how everything in 365 integrates beautifully into Teams and OneDrive, as well.
Fraser guided staff step-by-step through using SharePoint and 365 apps in a way that would be meaningful to them.
After the migration and training, we were thrilled to hear that the team at WSAF continues to embrace the ins and outs of SharePoint, Teams, and even some of the add-on apps like Lists and Planner. According to our inside source, we even managed to convert an employee who had been apprehensive about the change into a full-blown SharePoint enthusiast. We salute you, anonymous WSAF employee! In all, WSAF’s migration to SharePoint during the pandemic highlights how embracing, adapting, and learning new technology can alter the way we work, communicate, and collaborate. If there was ever a time for cloudbased tech to shine, it is now.