Success Story: College Summit

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October 22, 2014

College Summit is “the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of low-income youth by connecting them to college and career.” Working successfully with 40,000 high school students each year, College Summit uses custom curricula, data and technology to help low-income students get to and through college.

The Challenge – Outdated Systems and IT Staff Constraints

College Summit was working with older, on premise software systems, slowing productivity and limiting space for file storage and backups. These issues were beginning to impact the mission and needed to be addressed. Staff turnover in the IT department also created the need for more capacity at the IT Leadership level. With so many overlapping needs and concerns, it was important for College Summit to find a technology partner that could help them at every level of need, from help desk support to strategic technology planning.

The Solution – Interim CIO Staffing Support and IT Planning

College Summit needed to temporarily fill an IT leadership role in the organization after their IT Director moved on to another opportunity. They called on Community IT to help facilitate the transition and provide helpdesk support and server management. Our team worked with College Summit to provide interim CIO staffing, develop the annual IT work plan & budget, guide the projects to completion and then interview and hire a full time IT Director. The primary goal of the IT Infrastructure improvement projects was to provide ubiquitous access to information, reduce the complexity and management time of IT systems and improve the designed uptime. This requirements called for a plan to the transition to the Cloud. Community IT started by deploying centralized workstation management software which ensured that systems were kept up to date. With over 90 staff across 12 locations, centralized management had been a complex endeavor. Once the computers were up to date, Office Pro Plus was centrally deployed. Once a good foundation was in place Email was migrated from 2 on premise Exchange servers to Exchange Online and Lync was deployed. SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business are also now available, providing more capacity for staff to work from anywhere.

Results – A Successful Transition Offers Greater Capacity and Better Reliability

College Summit’s software and staff transitions proved to be a great success for their team and for Community IT. Moving to Office 365 and Office 2013 has improved the efficiency and reliability of their entire system. During the interim CIO engagement Community IT also worked with College Summit leadership to hire a Systems Analyst to support the ongoing business processes. New staff in the IT department combined with careful planning throughout the process yielded overall cost savings for this while providing a solid foundation for budgeting and project planning going forward.