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Removing Stress With Complete International IT Service Solutions

Teaser: 
MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) is an international economic development organization that has created business solutions to poverty for more than 60 years. Rooted in faith values, MEDA aims to alleviate poverty by fostering entrepreneurship and working with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions. Headquartered in Waterloo, ON, Canada, MEDA works with over 200 partners in 60 countries around the world.

Client: 
MEDA

International economic development organization increases focus on core mission by outsourcing IT needs to a trusted partner.

The Challenge

MEDA’s employees and volunteers have business and global expertise that make them extremely qualified at providing economic development solutions. MEDA is also an organization that carefully chooses local partners around the globe that are working toward the same, or similar, business goals and initiatives. As such, MEDA has consciously made the decision to remain focused on what it knows best and not become burdened by its IT needs.

With over 50 employees at its main office location – many of whom frequently travel (often to remote locations) – and 263 employees in 11 offices around the world, MEDA needed to find a technology provider that it could trust to support its IT infrastructure. The IT provider would be required to meet all of MEDA’s IT needs, including high-level infrastructure planning, on-site technical support, help desk support, and support for special projects and unique needs.

"Working with an organization like PeaceWorks allows us to get so much more for our IT dollars. With one relationship, we are able to utilize the expertise of the whole PeaceWorks organization and know that our IT needs are being met -- from the smallest help desk concern to a vision for our entire IT infrastructure."
Scott Ruddick
Director, Integrated Support Services
MEDA

The Solution: Solutions Based on Relationships

Just as MEDA partners with like-minded organizations in developing countries, it requires an IT organization that has values and principles that are aligned with its own. With a strong desire to provide quality technical solutions that work to  advance an organization’s mission, along with a solid commitment to promote social justice and community, PeaceWorks Technology Solutions fit the requirements perfectly.

PeaceWorks provides MEDA with a complete IT service solution. The technical roadmap begins with CTO-level consulting that sets the strategic plans for MEDA’s current IT infrastructure and establishes plans for future growth and technical advancements. That is followed up by on-site consultants who work to set up the network design, implement proactive monitoring, centralized maintenance and disaster recovery planning. Finally, MEDA staff, including international staff members, have access to call into PeaceWorks’ Help Desk and reach staff who are able to provide remote support for a staff technical issue, or escalate the issue to a designated on-site consultant. PeaceWorks and MEDA set up regular meetings to keep apprised of changes and future desires.

From time to time, MEDA requires specialized software development support to enhance their program reach and effectiveness. PeaceWorks uses their breadth of knowledge, gained from working with a very large and diverse client base, to create unique technical solutions to assist MEDA in their goals.

"When this technology was used in Tanzania it worked to better equip mosquito net distributors, townspeople and clinics to ensure a greater number of the vulnerable population were receiving their nets and reducing their exposure to malaria."
Thom Dixon
Director, Business of Health
MEDA

The Results

PeaceWorks removes the stress of maintaining an IT environment off of MEDA and enables its employees to focus on their key strengths of establishing best practices in financial services, investment fund development, market development and solving poverty by responding to each population’s unique needs. Kim Pityn, MEDA’s Chief Operating Officer, states, “From corporate-level strategic planning and international micro-finance systems support, right on through to everyday IT
management, PeaceWorks consultants understand MEDA’s challenges. We appreciate the professionalism of the PeaceWorks team, their cooperation and their ability to create technology solutions that solve our issues and leave us well-prepared for the future.”

In fact, with the advancement of mobile devices throughout the world, PeaceWorks works with MEDA to create mobile data collection solutions. The solutions use mobile SMS (text messaging) capabilities to create and complete forms and surveys on electronic mobile devices, allowing information to be collected remotely – even offline—and uploaded to a centralized server when a connection is available. MEDA deploys these solutions to its partners to obtain information that tracks progress, makes reports, and influences decisions. Thom Dixon, Director, Business of Health at MEDA says, “When this technology was used in Tanzania it worked to better equip mosquito net distributors, townspeople and clinics to ensure a greater number of the vulnerable population were receiving their nets and reducing their exposure to malaria. The immediate nature of the mobile data collection also meant that the effectiveness of the program could be evaluated and revised on a timelier basis.”

"We appreciate the professionalism of the PeaceWorks team, their cooperation and their ability to create technology solutions that solve our issues and leave us wellprepared for the future."
Kim Pityn
Chief Operating Officer
MEDA

The Relationship

PeaceWorks and MEDA both value having a relationship and believe it is key to providing better IT systems. According to Scott Ruddick, Director, Integrated Support Services, “Working with an organization like PeaceWorks allows us to get so much more out of our IT dollars. With one relationship, we are able to utilize the expertise of the whole PeaceWorks organization and know that our IT needs are being met -- from the smallest help desk concern to a vision for our entire IT infrastructure.”

About PeaceWorks

PeaceWorks provides first-rate technology solutions that enable organizations to achieve their mission with increased ease and efficiency. We focus on genuine client-focused relationships, connecting client needs with sustainable and reliable technology solutions.
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