Managed IT Services
The Mother and Child Alliance was formed in 2000, with the ambitious goal of preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in the city of Chicago. Right away, the organization realized it couldn’t restrict its efforts to the confines of the city limits and expanded across the state of Illinois. By any measure, the Mother and Child Alliance is a success. Thanks to its outreach, education, and services offerings, at-risk women get the help they need, and transmission rates are now consistently in the single digits — with several years of zero transmission. The organization has case managers stationed in hospitals and community care centers throughout the state, along with a network of participating nursing and medical professionals.
Like every nonprofit, Mother and Child Alliance operates on a lean budget, routing every available resource into its mission. BT Partners’ Managed IT Services team supports that mission by providing right-sized technology services that keep the organization efficient, compliant, and focusing on what they do best.
"There are services that we know would be nice to have, but we don’t truly need them. BT Partners was honest with us about what things we needed to do to create a secure, supportable network, and what things we could wait on."
“Previously, we were working directly with a technician who happened to work for BT Partners,” explains Anne Statton, Executive Direction of Mother and Child Alliance. “He donated his time at no cost. We so appreciated the efforts, but eventually we needed more resources than he could provide. He connected us with the Managed IT Services practice leader at BT Partners.”
Statton says the BT Partners Managed Services team spent time with her to fully understand the organization’s technology challenges, everyday needs, and budget. “They designed a managed services agreement specifically for us,” she says. “There are services that we know would be nice to have, but we don’t truly need them. BT Partners was honest with us about what things we needed to do to create a secure, supportable network, and what things we could wait on.”
Today, BT Partners handles every aspect of the organization’s technology, including procuring and maintaining hardware, establishing and supporting the VPN, sourcing the telephone system, security and permissions, cabling and wiring, network security and backup, and technical support. “Now we’ve got one budgetable expense covering all our technology,” says Statton.
While BT Partners worked to optimize the organization’s service package, some technology services and protocols, are not optional. Mother and Child Alliance stores confidential medical records on its servers, so BT Partners performs added diligence, creating a technology infrastructure that meets or exceeds state and federal mandates — as well as multiple hospital-specific requirements.
“They understand precisely what it takes for us to obtain and retain compliance,” explains Statton. “It’s so helpful to have BT Partners handle this for us. We don’t have the time or the knowledge to keep up with the requirements, but they do.”
Statton notes that among her 17 staff members, there is a wide range of computer skill levels. Rather than route all computer support requests through the BT Partners helpdesk, Statton often serves as the first line of support. “If one of my staff calls BT Partners with a low-level problem, they refer them back to me,” she says. “It helps keep our costs down. Not many service providers would be considerate and flexible enough to work with us this way. It’s another reason why we appreciate BT Partners.”
Mother and Child Alliance’s staff is often on the go, so when they need technical support, it’s got to be flexible. “BT Partners has been great about accommodating us,” says Statton. “They will work with our staff to schedule a convenient time to access the computer remotely and address the issues. The staff can just leave their computer powered on, open on their desk, and when they come back, BT Partners has the issue fixed.”
Technology service offerings can be confusing and expensive, putting them out of the reach of many smaller nonprofits like Mother and Child Alliance. Some service providers recommend products and services that may not be necessary. Statton is grateful that in BT Partners she’s found an MSP that works on her organization’s behalf, strategizing with her on ways to extend the technology budget while still ensuring the security and accessibility needed. “I have a lot of respect for BT Partners, and in return, I feel like they respect us,” she concludes. “That makes for a great partnership.”