FSO Union: IT Support for Non Profits' Success
Family Support Organization of Union County (FSO Union) provides support, education, and advocacy to parents of children with special needs, children who are juvenile justice-involved, and/or substance use challenged.
Dr. De Lacy Davis
Dr. De Lacy Davis is the Executive Director of FSO Union shares how managed IT support helps their organization improve services and save finances.
Non-profits constantly need IT support
Non-profits need money for salaries and other regular expenses. But every day, they need more than that. Non-profits need computer maintenance, internet network, data management, and other IT infrastructure so they can sustain constant communication with generous donors and supporters to help them get the work they do done.
Troinet is an experienced IT Support for nonprofit organizations that can maintain systems, software, networking, databases, and other IT work.
Video Interview Transcript
How can IT Support and Services improve business? Our guest for today, Dr. De Lacy Davis, Executive Director of FSO Union, one of Troinet’s clients, is going to discuss how the organization has benefited from IT support.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your role, and what FSO Union does?
Family Support Organization of Union County (FSO Union) provides support, education, and advocacy to parents of children with special needs, children who are juvenile justice-involved, and/or substance use-challenged.
Dr. De Lacy’s role is to make sure that the 125-150 that they service each month meets the standard of service delivery so they can help families, parents, caregivers navigate New Jersey’s system of care.
What were your greatest challenges in technology?
Our challenge is that our former IT provider charged for everything. When we make a phone call, there was a charge. When they come on site, there was a charge. They walk through the door and nothing was wrong, there was a charge.
Being a non-profit, we don’t have an IT budget if you will. The first challenge we have to overcome is having a small budget but we also expect it to be at a very high standard because we work with the State of New Jersey. So everything was a la carte, and that didn’t just work for me.
Additionally, the equipment that I have on site was slow, outdated; and with the vendor, the communication was poor, the response time was poor, especially when I had a crisis around IT.
We had server issues because it was old. These were a problem to me. The systems going down. Not sure if that data was backed-up, and the State holding us accountable for deliverables. Those were my challenges around IT.
What were your objections that prevented you from taking IT solutions before?
Well, we want IT solutions but it was the budget which was the problems for us first and foremost.
And especially if you have challenges that you could not overcome and didn’t have solutions that were not very effective, it’s very hard to convice the Board of Directors with limited resources to say “spend this kind of money in an area that we’re not getting the amount of greatest return for our investments.”
What knowledge enabled you to overcome objections?
With Troinet, just selling the package is something that I have the information for a couple of years. And so, the first opportunity that I had to get a package for us that will address all our issues and I could prepare in advance for the Board to have a line item, that helped us to overcome the objections.
So when it was a chance to change vendors, the Board said, “Sure, let’s go with that contract you’ve been holding for the last 3 years.”
And when we reached out to Troinet, you’re very supporting and honoring something that was 3 or 4 years old. I mean, the times have changed, the economy has changed, certainly with everyone else, it would have gone up significantly and that didn’t happen.
What questions often come up about business IT?
One of the questions were:
- “How efficient will the company be?
- What’s the most effective and efficient way to resolve a problem or conflict?
- When there’s an issue will it be resolved remotely? Is it on-site? Is it a combination of the two?
- How much time will it take?
- What about software updates? Will they be automatic? Will it operate in the background?
- How secure will our data be?
- What happens if the system goes down and the server which was on-site, that goes down, what do we do?
- Who’s responsible for the data?
Those are some of the challenges were being raised and questions being asked. And so those are the issues I had to address.
How did Troinet products and services improve your business?
Let me start with customer service. I’m an Apple fan, so I’m used to great customer service, it’s second to none.
I think Troinet clearly meets that standard and exceeds in some areas. In the sense that, when there’s a phone call, people respond.
Let’s just look at the pandemic, COVID-19. Our systems went down. We have to quickly go from being onsite going into homesite every week to now being remote. And we have never worked remotely in terms of technology. So I have to ramp up our staff of ten in 9 days. I have to then figure out how we could get access to our desktops and our servers from home because we don’t want them accessing the system on their personal computers. How do we secure all of that? How do we roll the computers out? How do we coordinate the software. We need to be able to log-in to three different softwares and have the security around each of them and be State-approved.
Troinet, starting with the customer-service, one, assured us that a solution could be developed. We were able to secure, we have simple help, which allowed access to all of our stuff, remotely from the laptop which have been secured.
Troinet worked with another vendor that we have to make sure that the laptops had what we needed on them.
And then, we went to backing up the system. Troinet recommended a backup server. It’s a solution that we don’t have expertise in. So we already have very limited resources, and now we need a backup to the server. And so, we did do that at the recommendation of Troinet. And when it did, it reduced our downtime, improved performance, improved our efficiency and proficiency.
And then, again the customer service, we pick up the phone, we know that we can get a hold of them: Max, Mike, and if neither of them is available, we get a hold of Wayne. They’re extremebly responsive. Accessibility for our staff during a crisis is second to none.
And then finally, the clean and professional installations of the products as well as the hardware. Whenever we pickup the phone, and say, “Hey, this is what we need.” There is a quick response. There is quote that’s given. There’s a conversation around what’s there. If there’s anything that’s not understood, there’s a conversation around: “How do we help make you understand this in terms that makes sense to you, your staff, and your board of directors. And does it work what you need to do?”
And so all of them, you get check, check, check. I think you’ve done a great job and we’re excited about it.
Thank you very much, Dr. Davis. We're glad to hear that. Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, I highly recommend Troinet. We’ve had a relationship now with this agency for some years. But I also have an experience with Troinet over the last ten years.
And so I would tell anyone, large or small, this is the kind you want, the kind of service that you would expect, and the professionalism that you’re looking for, Troinet should be your number one phone call, and tell them that we sent them to you.