The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society took advantage of a software and services grant from Microsoft Corporation and deployed Microsoft® Office 365 in order to improve its work processes. A non-profit organization recognized by the New Zealand Charities Commission, Plunket offers wellness support, childcare information and car seat rentals to families with children under five years old.

In the past, Plunket had access to a video conference tool that was underutilized as its staff found it difficult to use. As a result, managers were required to travel to centralized meetings from one of Plunket’s offices collectively, spending many hours and thousands of dollars on air travel annually. Moreover, Plunket faced the challenge of communicating effectively with parents, small businesses, its 1,500 frontline staff and thousands of volunteers.

After looking into cloud computing, Plunket decided to try Microsoft Office 365, a set of cloud-based applications that includes online enterprise-class email and collaboration capabilities. By leveraging Microsoft Office 365, Plunket was able to deploy nearly 700 licenses cost-effectively.

“We need to keep costs at a minimum while maximizing the level of security. The aim is to ensure that our staff and volunteers have the technology that supports their ability to help New Zealand’s children and families,” said Craig Le Quesne, General Manager of Information and Communications Technology, The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society.

Microsoft Lync® Online, the Office 365 suite’s web-based conferencing tool, proved to be the most useful tool for Plunket as it enabled staff or volunteers to communicate more effectively via video from virtually anywhere, helping to save on travel expenses.

“Being able to meet virtually allows us to accomplish so much more, and helps to keep our overhead low at the same time. With more time and money, we can now further develop Plunket’s support and volunteer programs, and empower our community to drive positive change,” said Le Quesne.

Plunket is currently leveraging both Microsoft SharePoint® Server and Lync Online to provide frontline staff with a new application called PlunketPlus. This centralized system allows nurses to record and access client information more efficiently, which aligns with Plunket’s plan to eliminate multiple, paper-based records. 

“Being able to meet virtually allows us to accomplish so much more, and helps to keep our overhead low at the same time. With more time and money, we can now further develop Plunket’s support and volunteer programs, and empower our community to drive positive change.”
- Craig Le Quesne, General Manager of Information and Communications Technology, The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society