The Senior Source is the go-to nonprofit organization for aging services in the greater Dallas area. As the leading resource for all age-related issues, older adults and their loved ones can turn to The Senior Source for assistance. Whether help is needed with finances, transportation, prescriptions, social interaction or companionship, The Senior Source team has trusted professionals ready to find solutions. The Senior Source provides volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities, ways to connect with community leaders, and so much more.
The population of Seniors is experiencing explosive demographic growth. As a result, The Senior Source faced a number of concurrent challenges which limited its ability to scale and launch new services quickly.
Foremost among these challenges was technological obsolescence. Client data was stored in multiple instances of Microsoft Access 2000. Servers on-prem were nearing capacity limits, becoming costly to maintain and Case Managers in the field had limited access to information on their smartphones. This was also a contributing factor to their operational inefficiency. Case Managers typically returned to the office to retype or ‘cut-n-paste’ case notes to the Access databases. There were also multiple streams of reporting. Volunteers were managed ad-hoc with no central agency-level view. Compounding these problems of obsolescence and inefficiency, regulatory compliance heavily constrained the use cases of the deployed technology. At the same time, the regulatory landscape continued to evolve with the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule and the Texas Health and Safety Code revisions.
The tipping point came when the Agency wanted to provide tablet computers to Case Managers in the field, only to be limited by the technology infrastructure at the time.
The solution was an overall program for IT Modernization where Beyond the Horizon collapsed nine independent siloed programs into one Salesforce-based platform, providing agency-wide integration of all key applications.
Figure 1. Solution Building Blocks.
At the Infrastructure and productivity level, Beyond the Horizon put a plan in place to transition over time from desktop computers to laptops for enhanced mobility, from legacy messaging solutions to Office 365 in the cloud and from local data storage to cloud-based storage. All on-prem Microsoft Exchange and file servers were eliminated to improve data accessibility though cloud resources. OpenDNS Umbrella and Enlocked were introduced for greater security and encryption. Case Managers in the field were outfitted with iPads together with Apple Mobile Device Management for remote wipe capability. The Senior Source quickly moved from desktop to mobile, from on-prem to the cloud, and from open and vulnerable to highly secure.
The largest change Beyond the Horizon implemented to the Agency’s ways of working was introduced at the application level. Salesforce NPSP was deployed to add an Agency-wide contact database. This approach incorporated Salesforce Chatter and Workflow for collaboration and task management so employees could chat in real-time around a specific client, set reminders and scheduling tied to a client record, and report problems and automatically assign tasks to IT Support.
Salesforce became the foundation data for all programs at the Agency, achieving maximum reuse of the integration and synergies between programs. The Volunteers for Salesforce app was also added to support Volunteer Management and Circe software was deployed for Case & Program Management. All Access 2000 databases were migrated to Circe and Salesforce. The Salesforce CRM was customized for email marketing purposes and integrated with the existing Constant Contact software.
The IT modernization drove numerous benefits for all involved. For the first time ever, The Senior Source had agency-wide data and dashboards in one place. Case Managers could access data anytime, anywhere, which allowed them to spend more facetime with clients. They could collaborate with team members, schedule their case load, and track their time. E-signatures made compliance much easier and reporting to local and state agencies became smoother and more efficient.
Program Managers benefited from increased productivity as a result of streamlined reporting, caseload management, improved invoicing accuracy, and having all program documentation consolidated in one place. Scaling existing services and fulfilling regulatory compliance was inherently streamlined.
For the agency overall, employee satisfaction increased, and the reduced IT complexity made it easier to report to donors, easier to launch new services, and easier to scale up.