MTC ditches legacy systems, goes wall-to-wall cloud

Not-for-profit MTC needed new infrastructure and systems in order to continue its growth and be more productive.
Written by Krishan Sharma, Contributor

MTC's 32 branches across the country were running on severely outdated technology, and the organisation was desperate for an IT transformation that would ultimately lower costs and allow it to invest those savings back into community initiatives.

MTC Australia has three main divisions: Employment Services (to help job seekers); Education & Training (to help students get qualifications for work); and Youth & Community (investing money into social/community initiatives for young people). CIO Branko Ceran says each division operated without an integrated computer system.

“At best, they had Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets,” he said.

MTC Australia CIO Branko Ceran

“The head office had a finance and payroll system but it was well past its usefulness and wouldn’t suit our growth plans and long-term strategy. Similarly, our productivity software was a mish-mash of different versions of Microsoft Office. All systems and files were on-premises running on very old servers.”

The transformation began in December 2012 with the rollout of a cloud powered employment application. In less than four months, Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 were deployed across the entire organisation, making MTC one of the first in Australia to use Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite according to Branko.

In the space of just twelve months, MTC replaced a number of ageing platforms with PaaS and SaaS products for finance, payroll, HR, education and training, and IT management.

MTC also replaced the organisation’s PABX system with VOIP using Microsoft’s Lync service, enabling the organisation to run all telephony, video conferencing, and instant messaging through one system.

But MTC isn’t about to rest on its laurels. Planning is underway to replace a number of other platforms throughout the financial year including CRM, e-learning, records management, and contact centre systems.

Branko says that the technology overhaul has already resulted in financial savings for MTC but advised other organisations not to let economics be the main driver for cloud adoption.

“It’s easy to see the financial savings and new capability. But ask yourself, what are the impacts for both staff and customers going to be - what’s in it for them? How will this change the way the organisation works from a people and process perspective? How will this change IT on all levels - infrastructure, hardware, software, vendors, training, processes, IT systems, projects, and information/data? Is there a need to integrate across clouds for, say, Business Intelligence (BI) and CRM? Will there be sufficient network bandwidth?"

The key question to ask yourself though, says Branko, is: “ultimately, what is the experience of the customer and staff going to be?”

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