Working in the world of corporate IT it’s not often that we get to see technology actually making a difference to people’s day to day lives. But that was what the recent Web-Scale Wish Datacenter Makeover project was all about – Nutanix pledging to gift over $500,000 in web-scale technology and services to deserving non-profit organizations selected by an independent panel of community judges.
I was both pleased and proud to be part of the team supporting that project and, now that the judging is over and the prizes awarded, I want to follow up on what happened next. More specifically, I want to report back on not just who the winners were and why they were selected, but to give you an idea of the difference web-scale technology is making to the work of the organisations involved, their dedicated staff and volunteers and, of course, the people they are there to help.
It would have been fantastic if we could have given a prize to every entrant, but faced with hundreds of applications that clearly wasn’t possible. In the end, we had to settle on just three so here are their stories, with links to videos showing just how Nutanix helped make their Web-Scale wishes come true:
First prize winner CLASS LTD is a community developmental disabilities service provider operating across four counties in Kansas, USA. Founded in 1975, staff at CLASS believe passionately that everyone deserves the opportunity to live a rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful life, and that having a developmental disability does not diminish the desire or right to pursue this dream, it simply makes the journey more challenging.
Technology is key to CLASS being able to meet its goals, enabling around 200 employees across six offices to work together to deliver a range of assisted living, education, life skills and employment services. IT is also used to maintain and manage large amounts of client data and meet tough security standards due to HIPAA regulations.
Top IT Challenge... “Working on a tight budget and trying hard to do a lot with very little.”
Web-Scale Wish… “To complete virtualization of our server infrastructure, most running on outdated hardware. Due to budget constraints we can only add a little equipment at a time.”
See how the Web-Scale wish came true for CLASS LTD:
One of two runners-up, Australian Berry Street works with children, young people and families with the most challenging and complex needs. Founded in 1877, last year it helped over 27,000 children through a range of education and training, community building, fostering and residential care services.
Top IT Challenge… “Chronic underfunding and agreements that oblige us to use several different data systems – none of which inter-operate.”
Web-Scale Wish… “Two words – data warehouse. We want to pour data from all our disconnected systems into a central bucket, then develop consistent reporting and data entry tools to free up staff for more important work.”
See how the Web-Scale wish came true for Berry Street:
The Air Ambulance Service
Second runner-up, The Air Ambulance Service is a UK charity operating two regional air ambulances to provide a rapid response for trauma and medical emergencies over an area of 3850 square miles. It also runs the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) – a national service, flying critically ill children from one hospital to another for specialist care.
Top IT challenge… “An array of equipment from two sites that merged earlier this year, chosen to keep costs as low as possible, with no consideration for growth”
Web-Scale Wish… “A converged infrastructure that’s reliable, easier to manage and cheaper to run, enabling us to divert money elsewhere and so fly more missions and save more lives.”
See how the Web-Scale wish came true for The Air Ambulance Service: