Digital Transformation

How Easterseals moved from third party IT system to Microsoft Cloud with AQL’s services and solutions

Embracing Digital Transformation Case Study

The Company

The client is America’s one of the oldest and largest non-profit organization serving the children, disabled, and their families through early learning & development services and exclusive mental healthcare services. They are well established in the state of Illinois with number of early childhood centers in Chicago and suburban Cook County. These centers provide the highest level of comprehensive education with focus on ensuring the child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth. The company wanted to embrace digital transformation for reorganizing its entire system from existing Google infrastructure to Microsoft ecosystem. However, it still required IT expertise and resources to get the maximum ROI on its technological investment. 

The Challenge

The company’s home and community-based services were centered around 5 core areas: Learn, Live, Work, Play, and Act. Managing and making sure each core area worked smoothly required the organization to regularly several processes around it. Information was stored in documents scattered across multiple tools and databases. Moreover, the staff relied on excel spreadsheets to enter copious amounts of data related to several business processes, which was quite overwhelming, exhaustive, and time consuming. 

Also, document sharing was often done through email which was slow and resulted in information loss as well. The only mode of member communication was through print and email newsletters which lacked any sort of collaboration.  

Finally, accessing required information was difficult because most of it was spread across disparate sources, either on individual workstations or on the server. 

The company was looking for an organization-wide software solution for managing non-profit programs, donors, and volunteers. Investment in Office 365 seemed a feasible option given the functionality and interface it had to improve data collection, storage, and analytics. 

The Solution

With lack of skilled IT professionals and low budget available, the organization soon figured out the need for a third-party support to help them accomplish their digital transformation goals. AQL Technologies was the unanimous choice because of its 15 years of proven success in the areas of innovation, strategy, design, implementation, hosting, development, and governance services. At AQL, we soon began the project with thorough assessment by collaborating with key stakeholders. In no time, we were successful in demonstrating the perks of Microsoft cloud adoption in bringing business agility and innovation. 

A migration plan was strategized to migrate all the services and infrastructure to Microsoft cloud. Traditional Microsoft software suites including Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook were first migrated to Microsoft cloud. Later, the rest of the services, applications, and infrastructure were migrated to the Microsoft public cloud. Documents and files were transferred from legacy file shares to SharePoint online providing easy information access. 

Once successful migration was accomplished, frequent virtual sessions, in-person classes, meetings, and other collaborative events were conducted to demonstrate the working of Office 365 applications to key stakeholders in the company.  

Cloud based collaboration was achieved by adding tools like Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint online, allowing for increased accuracy, efficiency, and productivity through accelerated communication and information exchange.  

A suite of comprehensive solutions was created and configured using Microsoft Power Platform and integrated with SharePoint and Teams to enable information creation, accessibility, sharing, and update. These solutions included: 

  • Early Learning Center Audit Application: This application provides an intuitive & user-friendly platform for Easter Seals staff to manage center visits, monitor on-going operations, and check for any prevalent issues. 
  • Timesheet Management System: The application allows both the HR team and reporting managers to monitor time spent by each employee on specific task while managing employee attendance & payrolls. 
  • Mileage Reimbursement System: The mileage reimbursement system provides a single platform for employees and volunteers of Easter seals to enter travel details, calculate mileage travelled, and measure the amount to be reimbursed.  
  • Support Plan List: This application lets employees manage and resolve issues related to program management, environment safety, or human resources, and more.
The Results

AQL’s Microsoft Office 365 support provided an efficient, secure, and easily approachable workforce. This helped foster an atmosphere of digital best practices and efficient IT delivery which was predominant in driving the company towards achieving its goals of being the most reliable organization for the disabled. 

The new modern workplace gave stakeholders the ability to perform complex processes/tasks/actions with unparalleled efficiency and agility. This resulted in improved productivity, collaboration, and enhanced services. 

  • With applications being available on cloud, uptime increased which in turn resulted in a time saving of almost 10 hours a week. 
  • Documents were now accessible anytime, at any place without wasting time looking at different places. Employers even got version control over shared documents. 
  • The company was able to save on third party licensing costs, extra labor costs, and even got a faster employee payroll & audit process through automated data entry and reporting. 
Customer Testimonial

“AQL ensured our success with digital transformation with increased user adoption and seamless connectivity. Microsoft Office 365’s collaborative ecosystem helped us keeping our staff engaged and maintain an atmosphere of connectivity.”