California Nevada Methodist Homes (non-proft) relies on Clare Computer Solutions to manage system upgrade and provide strategic IT and management
California Nevada Methodists Homes (CNMH) is a not-for-profit corporation, operating two Continuing Care RetirementCommunities (CCRCs) in northern California. They’ve been in business since 1954 and are justifiably proud of their fine facilities, and the level of continuing care that they provide for seniors. CNMH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF/CCAD).
Their CFO, Robert Leeper, was overseeing the Information Technology aspects of the organization, and by the mid 2000’s, realized that it was in the organization’s best interest to modernize their IT infrastructure and its management. Their challenges included:
- The need to update basic computing platforms
- Update Line of Business applications for modern platforms
- Create an IT support structure, including help desk services for users on the network
- Ensure billing, clinical and business management applications are up-to-date, and properly managed
CNMH chose Clare Computer Solutions(CCS) to manage the upgrade project, and provide the ongoing maintenance, management and strategic IT planning for their organization.
CNMH has a data backup/business continuity system in place, and it proved to be very effective when a server crashed. Utilizing their onsite NAS device, they were able to convert it to a virtualized version of the failed server, and continue operations until the server was replaced. Thinking of what future accreditation requirements from CARF/CCAC might be, Leeper wanted to ensure that their business continuity (BC) plan would work in a larger scale emergency. He knew the plan included virtualization of the network in the cloud, but he wanted to test it, so that he could certify that their BC plan was sound.
CCS provided CNMH with the documentation to implement the DR plan, and was available to help during the test. “We wanted to make sure that our Point of Sale (POS) systems with active clocking wouldn’t be disrupted by the test”, said Leeper.
On the day of the test, Leeper used the documentation provided by CCS, and had a CCS engineer on the phone to help the process along. They had multiple servers virtualized for the test, to verify the virtualized environment would work for applications that required access to multiple servers. Leeper was able to access the virtualized networks in the cloud.
Most importantly, the process was documented fully, and if an actual emergency occurred, the business continuity process would be more familiar. CNMH plans to do the test annually, since systems (and personnel) often change over time.
CNMH and CCS – A True Partnership
“We’ve been working with Clare Computer Solutions for over a decade, now”, said Leeper. “And I wouldn’t consider changing that – the relationship works so well. They keep the IT work off my desk, and free me up to concentrate on other corporate responsibilities. I have confidence they have things handled, and the ticketing system keeps me in the loop.”
CNMH also takes advantage of CCS expertise in strategic IT planning as well. “We meet regularly to discuss IT initiatives, long range plans and set budgets.”, said Leeper. “All in all, I get a very good value for what we’re paying and the way CCS works is consistent with our philosophy.”
Growing Non-Profit Organization SAHA Relies on CCS as Their IT Department
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) is a non-profit organization that provides quality homes and services that empower people and strengthen neighborhoods. They are in a continuous growth mode and their growth trajectory consists mainly of acquiring and building more properties and expanding services to its residents and surrounding communities.
SAHA simultaneously functions as a real estate developer, property owner/operator, housing provider and as a service provider. They are subject to multiple regulations by a number of entities on the federal, state and municipal level.
Given these challenges, SAHA was confident to enlist the IT consulting services of Clare Computer Solutions (CCS), starting back in 2012, when a merger of two organizations formed SAHA. It was necessary to create a plan to combine the IT infrastructures of both companies and CCS was chosen to oversee and manage this integration work.
Since the merger, Clare has been a key partner for SAHA, managing its overall IT systems and helping to plan future upgrades including new servers and data management systems.
“Clare Computer Solutions continues to do a bang-up job, helping SAHA to create a suitable plan for the organization’s IT out of so many moving parts.”, said Tom Earley, SAHA’s Chief Operating Officer. “SAHA is unusual in that most of the staff works remotely, so making data and documents secure but easy to share is extremely important. All solutions must be transparent, and scalable.”
After CCS established their level of expertise on the initial merger project, Earley expanded the SAHA and Clare relationship beyond day to day systems management to strategic planning and implementation for SAHA’s data and hardware infrastructure.“I view Clare as our internal IT department, and an important part of the SAHA team.”, he said.
Clare Computer Solutions is involved not only in the day-to-day operations, but they also participate in the strategic aspect as well in a CIO role. “Clare is involved in our strategic planning and works with our infrastructure specialist, discussing plans for upgrades and other improvements as we grow.”
Outsourcing the IT responsibilities fits Earley’s needs perfectly. “They’re perfectly transparent – I see every service ticket – but it’s really a no-brainer to let the experts handle the technology.” Earley is free to spend more time presiding over the other facets of SAHA’s operation. “We really do value the relationship with Clare Computer Solutions.”