SINGAPORE, October, 17, 2014 – The Thai Red Cross Society, one of the largest nonprofits in Thailand, recently adopted Office 365 to enhance speed and reliability in its communication systems and mission-readiness. To date, the Thai Red Cross Society has successfully migrated 3,000 staff and volunteers to Office 365 Enterprise E3 edition and plans to expand Office 365 usage to its remaining 7,000 users.
Office 365 was implemented by the organization under Microsoft’s Office 365 for Nonprofits through its software donation progam – an initiative conceived to enhance IT capabilities of non-governmental organizations and non-profits (NGOs). The adoption of Office 365 allows the Thai Red Cross Society to be more responsive in carrying out their social missions, leveraging the same cloud-based technology that enables Multi-National Corporations (MNCs), small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and public organizations to more productive and collaborative anytime and anywhere.
Clair Deevy, Citizenship Lead, Asia Pacific, Microsoft said: “With Office 365 supporting their day-to-day work, the Thai Red Cross Society no longer has to worry about maintaining complex and costly IT infrastructure needed to make its staff and volunteers productive and collaborative.”
“The software also provides a safe and secure environment that protects NGOs and their beneficiary data, which is important for all NGOs – especially those that handle sensitive information or data on children. Office 365 for Nonprofits enables Asian NGOs to better focus on their missions to address societal challenges such as poverty eradication, healthcare, education, youth empowerment and workforce training, that these countries might be facing,” she continued.
Previously, the Thai Red Cross Society utilized an email system that was plagued with many issues, including unstable internet links, limited data storage, and various complexities associated with maintenance. This led to a considerable strain on their IT staff who had to deal with numerous IT support requests. These problems were significantly reduced once they started using Office 365.
Office 365 for Nonprofits provides NGOs access to Microsoft’s enterprise-ready cloud service, personalized for the communications and productivity needs of each organization, including:
- Ability to access information from virtually anywhere: Office 365 increases an organization’s ability to work from anywhere, from headquarters to remote field areas, with access to documents and files by using Office applications optimized for use across PCs, smartphones and tablets.
- Collaborate easily: NGOs are able to work together across their own organization and even their donors by using familiar Office applications – email, shared calendar, document sharing and video conferencing – applications that already have over 1 billion users.
- Easy IT implementation: Office 365 includes access to easy-to-use admin controls and the ability to install Office without uninstalling previous versions.
- Reliable and up-to-date: Office 365 allows organizations to spend less time on IT maintenance, while providing access to up-to-date technology that is simple, easy, and highly stable to use.
“For the Thai Red Cross Society, email is an important tool for communications – especially for critical issues such as organ requests. The email system must be reliable and secure enough to deliver messages without delays or interruptions to ensure patient safety,” said Pornchai Timpawat, Director of the Thai Red Cross Information Technology Centre. “The great benefit of using Office 365 is that we now have a reliable email system, which is critical to our day-to-day operations. A cloud-based email system can also help reduce support tasks.”
Both non-tech-savvy users and the IT support staff welcomed the transition to Office 365 for Nonprofits. New built-in features such as the spam-filtering and anti-email-virus protection meant better security with less effort and complexity. With Office 365 having a similar interface to the old Microsoft Exchange platform, the new system had a gentle learning curve for everyone. As a result, less time and resources were spent on re-training, and the users could immediately jump into using Office 365 with ease.
In a study by TechSoup Global, non-profits reported that the top four advantages of cloud computing are easier IT administration (79%), cost-savings (62%), improved collaboration (61%), and data security (54%). Given the increasing challenges facing non-profits around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure they have access to the advantages of cloud computing and drive even more social changes in the world.
Microsoft’s donation of Office 365 is part of the company’s 30-year history of community support. In fiscal year 2013 alone, Microsoft donated more than US$35 million in cash, software and services to close to 5,000 non-profits in the Asia Pacific region.