Changing the world is nothing new for Open Minds. For over a century, the company has specialised in working with high-needs mental and physical disabilities, offering individualised care, resources and knowledge to those who desperately need it. Through one of multiple tailored options, individuals learn to make positive life changes to enhance their wellbeing and mental health. Support workers spend the majority of their time on the go, conducting inhome visits, facilitating shared housing, and assisting in community-building activities. They seek to give people in their rapidly expanding network the confidence and practical tools to be active, vibrant participants in their world. But to accomplish that goal, they needed a system that allows them to keep up.
With a large organisation— spread over 35 locations across Queensland, New South Wales and beyond—there are numerous challenges. Keeping up with identified need areas proved nearly impossible, due to administrative demands on staff and prohibitive expansion costs. Workers spent sizeable chunks of time away from clients, often commuting back to office spaces just to type up case notes. Additionally, any adjustment in office locations or business management proved to be a lengthy, unwieldy undertaking.
“There was lots of cable involved,” IT Manager Fiona Foley explains. As a business that prides itself on catering to individual needs, the inability to adapt their outreach quickly or efficiently became a damaging roadblock—until Open Minds chose to partner with Macquarie Telecom.
Macquarie Telecom and Open Minds have come to enjoy a long relationship, with Macquarie providing critical agility to Open Minds’ work across the board. By making day-to-day operations fully mobile, Macquarie has allowed Open Minds’ workers the flexibility to adapt to clients’ needs in real time, while still remaining plugged in to their larger network. And by instituting a dependable SD-WAN system, Macquarie cuts costs for the organisation while simultaneously increasing their potential reach.
Open Minds says they love working with Macquarie Telecom because of the individualised, personalised care they give their clients, mirroring Open Minds’ own business model. “You have to work with a company that wants to understand you,” Fiona Foley affirms. “That was absolutely critical. Ben from Macquarie comes to see us and we have coffee every week. He understands what our business is doing and brings their technical guy in regularly to give us that extra high level overview of what they’re doing at the moment. So it’s a real collaboration.”
Workers record all their case notes on their smartphone, using a voice-to-text app called Visicase. Employee communications take place entirely via phone, which, in addition to increasing mobility, has allowed Open Minds to reduce office space, cut overheads, and devote more space to meeting locations. Care workers can easily meet with clients in their homes, assist them in shared housing, or work with them out in their community—whatever best fits their specific needs.
The implementation of SD-WAN has further decentralised Open Minds’ structure— another way Macquarie Telecom’s technology complements Open Minds’ approach to business. Since the transition, the company has saved $30-40K per new office on setup costs alone. Workers can quickly and easily set up new remote sites and houses as the situation warrants, efficiently establishing a base from which to serve their clients. By drastically reducing the time, energy and costs involved in setups and teardowns, Macquarie helps Open Minds to free up significant resources. Open Minds then funnels these resources into helping even more Australians lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Ever since they partnered with Macquarie Telecom, Open Minds has experienced steady growth and a significant reduction in overhead costs. App-based admin and team communications have allowed staff increased flexibility and tools to meet their goal of individualised care for even more individuals. Further, SD-WAN has enabled the company to shift all platforms over to an SaaS model, making for an even more reliable and user-friendly system moving forward. With their shared vision for a connected, supported Australia, Macquarie Telecom and Open Minds are changing their world one decentralised office at a time.
How Macquarie Telecom helped Open Minds mobilise to make a difference.
With a large organisation spread over 35 locations and multiple states, Open Minds had numerous challenges. Costs were becoming prohibitive and demands on staff were taking them away from the people who needed them the most. With their shared vision for a connected, supported Australia, Macquarie Telecom and Open Minds worked on changing that.
"You have to work with a company that wants to understand you. That was absolutely critical. It’s a real collaboration."