SSI Case Study

SSI Company Profile

Settlement Services International Limited (SSI) is an Australian not-for-profit organisation and a leading provider of human services and social sector insights. Standing for quality of life, for everyone, SSI believes in supporting and working with its diverse communities to inspire people’s lives and provide hope, create real opportunities, and strive for a fair and inclusive society.

Since its inception in 2000 as the NSW Migrant and Refugee Centre, with an aim to help newly arrived refugees settle in Australia, SSI has evolved through growing expertise and managed support services, including a brand refresh, corporate merger with Access Community Services in Queensland, and expansion into Victoria.

Now offering support across three states, SSI provides professional services across employment, disability, family preservation, at-home aged care, social enterprise, and training. Providing expertise through empathy, SSI is building a more diverse, empowered, and connected community.

Key Challenges and Business Drivers

  • Existing traditional Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network design with a single point of failure. SSI was seeking a high availability, resilient infrastructure ensuring minimal downtime to support clients.
  • A strict and restrictive network architected around legacy design principals, server-based computing, and in-office staff.
  • Increasingly, staff were operating outside traditional security “safety” zones, pushing server capacity to its limits, creating compliance concerns, and struggling with access issues, both in office and remote.
  • Deploying a simple, cloud -only approach was not possible without putting the SSI business through a painful and drawn-out organisational change process.
  • SSI had outgrown the capacity of its current IT platform, impacting organisational productivity, collaboration, security, and remote work capabilities.

Solutions delivered by FUJIFILM CodeBlue Australia

  • CodeBlue transformed SSI’s traditional, cumbersome network to the cloud through migration from an on-premises data centre to a Microsoft Azure Cloud environment.
  • Powered by Microsoft Azure Cloud Virtual Desktop, enabled 1000 SSI staff to better support the community and established foundations for secure BYOD capabilities in the future.
  • Secure SD-WAN, powered by Fortinet, deployed across 25 sites with a hybrid of high and standard availability, achieving distributed internet connection design with centralised security policies.
  • Decommissioning of in-house infrastructure and network allowed SSI to repurpose financial savings and meet many compliance requirements.
  • CodeBlue delivered project service to meet ambition of six-month implementation timeline.

Following a period of growth and organisational transformation, including onboarding a newly acquired business, SSI decided the time was right to embark on a Technology Enabled Business Transformation (TEBT) journey. Key tenets of the digital program included application amalgamation and modernisation, improved collaboration tools, anytime anywhere work model, business continuity, and security and compliance improvements across several office locations. However, as a not-for-profit, capacity and resources in SSI’s IT infrastructure team were already stretched and the team quickly realised they required additional project support to deliver a digital infrastructure capacity that was resilient, elastic, secure, and sustainable.

As leaders in not-for-profit digital transformation, FUJIFILM CodeBlue Australia (CodeBlue) were engaged to partner with SSI on its journey. This solved for several in-house and legacy system challenges and allowed SSI to implement an aggressive six-month deployment timeframe across 25 sites and 100 servers. CodeBlue also managed support with the onboarding of the newly acquired business to SSI infrastructure, which included amalgamation of multiple email services. This additional onboarding project was also successfully completed in the six-month project timeframe.

Commenting on working with CodeBlue, Jacob Johnson at SSI said:

“CodeBlue demonstrated the desire to work with SSI and meet our aggressive timelines. They always delivered. The CodeBlue team demonstrated the skills, commitment, and ease of vendor access to professionally support and deliver on our transformation program”

Following a discovery session to unpack SSI’s key challenges and goals, CodeBlue established there were several key challenges to resolve. Firstly, security and resilience issues with the existing legacy network. Empowering the 1000 SSI professional support workers through fast, reliable access was also a priority. While solving for this, CodeBlue also had to minimise organisational disruption to ensure SSI could continue to deliver for Australia’s most vulnerable.

To enable modern security practices, such as RFFR and Essential Eight, allow access to critical legacy systems, and provide a similar look and feel to existing processes, Microsoft Azure Cloud Virtual Desktop was chosen as the solution. This bridged the gap from traditional networking on local devices to allow SSI’s now remote workforce simple, fast, and reliable access to the information needed to support its clients. No longer bound by complicated virtual private networks or manually configured web proxy systems for secure access to sensitive resources, the Microsoft Azure Cloud Virtual Desktop solution integrated seamlessly with the recently deployed Microsoft Azure Cloud hosted infrastructure and AzureAD integrated authentication. Now, 1000 SSI support workers are supported through this new system, and a strong foundation has been established for BYOD capacity in the near future.

Beyond this, a secure SD-WAN, powered by Fortinet, was deployed across 25 sites. Making use of the Fortinet product suite, along with Microsoft Azure’s multitude of security functions, a distributed internet connection design with centralised security policies and reporting was employed. Through careful coordination, sites transitioning to the new SD-WAN were provided increased levels of availability and maintained the same protection for devices located at branch offices. With visibility into traffic flow and detailed usage reports security controls were applied over different trusted and untrusted network segments while providing additional connectivity options for guest devices and staff operating externally enabling a faster, more reliable, and efficient workplace.

SSI was struggling with varied employee experience to support hybrid operating model especially during the Covid crisis. With increasing compliance requirements and cyber-threats and the fear of a painful and drawn-out organisational change process, it became clear SSI needed to engage the professional support of technology transformation experts who were RFFR certified. CodeBlue delivered an unparalleled service experience and have revolutionised our ways of working, empowering us for our next phase of growth and ensuring seamless delivery of critical project services to our communities,” Jacob Johnson added.

When surveyed on the benefits of working with CodeBlue, SSI rated the experience as exceptional 10/10 across ease of in doing business, technical competence, and project management addictiveness. A score of 90 percent was also achieved for overall solution provided, client engagement, commitment to success, ability to understand business issues and requirements, and ability to identify risk factors and mitigation strategies.

“It has now been close to three years since the initial engagement with CodeBlue. Just like any relationship we had our challenges, but CodeBlue’s commitment, dependability, problem solving, adaptability and customer services has been great, and the trust has been built. We look forward to many more years working with CodeBlue to support and deliver on SSI’s future goals,” Jacob Johnson concluded.

For more information on how CodeBlue works with the not-for-profit sector or to speak to one of CodeBlue’s sales team members, contact us today on 1300 562 886 or via our Contact page.

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