Respect

Together we can end domestic abuse

Respect is a pioneering UK domestic abuse organisation leading the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people using violence in their close relationships.

 

From training frontline workers, accrediting services to supporting perpetrators to change and male victims to access the support they need through their helplines, Respect are committed to furthering work to prevent abuse and keep victims and survivors safe.

The Challenge

 

While Respect had been an earlier adopter of Microsoft Office 365, they were acutely aware of the risks that cloud based solutions could introduce when it comes to data security and compliance. Especially for staff working remotely and accessing charity data on their own personal devices.

 

In addition, the charity had grown rapidly and needed a dedicated proactive IT support and strategic service partner. A single supplier to help maximise the adoption of the right technologies to support the modern workplace and build a sustainable roadmap to support the charities long term objectives.

Ippo Panteloudakis, Head of Services at Respect explains that:

“The team grew from 14 people to a team of 32 people in less than a year. Our IT infrastructure was no longer fit-for-purpose and we needed to outsource the management of our IT. Sourcing equipment for new staff, ensuring that our data was safe and dealing with day-to-day hardware problems became an unmanageable challenge.”

The Solution

 

Academia is uniquely placed to help charities with their IT support due to a combination of vendor accreditations and highly qualified team of engineers. The company is therefore able to offer leading brand technology at the best possible price, whilst ensuring this is supported to the highest possible standards.

 

Ippo says:

“Academia provide a cost-effective, all-round solution to fully manage our IT infrastructure. We now have an outsourced function that works for us.”

 

Utilising the fantastic discounts that Microsoft offer Not for Profits, Academia were able to deploy enhancements to the Office 365 platform, enabling multi-factor authentication, enforcing minimum criteria for any device accessing charity data, and full device management for remote workers. All while minimising the disruptions to the end user throughout and providing custom training to bolster user adoption.

Ippo says:

“Academia staff quickly understood our needs and formulated a comprehensive IT support, security and maintenance package that we could afford and ensured our regulatory compliance. Charities are often late in technological advancement, missing out on opportunities and productivity. Academia staff have worked hard to ensure we have the IT infrastructure to work efficiently and achieve our goals.”

Outcomes and looking forward


The pandemic has seen a swift increase in domestic violence in the United Kingdom, and Respect have been at the forefront helping those families/individuals affected. In an article by the United Nations2 it was recently reported that:


“In the United Kingdom calls, emails and website visits to Respect, the national domestic violence charity, have increased 97 per cent, 185 per cent and 581 per cent respectively. In the first 3 weeks of COVID-19 lockdowns, 14 women and 2 children were murdered in the country.”

 

Having made the transition to cloud, Respect were able to continue to operate throughout lockdown with the peace of mind that their IT services were in safe hands. Academia’s highly accredited IT specialist now manages all levels of support for Respect’s IT systems, working closely with both end-users and management as well as third-party suppliers to deliver outstanding support. On working with Academia Ippo mentions that:

 

“I would recommend Academia to any charity, small or large, that needs a robust IT function that comes with a professional and friendly service.”

 

In the recent addition of the Charity Digital Skills Report 20201, it was revealed that since the start of the Pandemic over 27% of UK based charities have had to cancel their services as they did not have the necessary skills or technology to effectively support their operations.

 

Now more than ever it is critical that Charities embrace digital technology and don’t get left behind.

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“Respect is a medium-sized charity with a staff team that doubled in a year. Our IT needs grew equally fast and it was no longer sustainable to maintain this responsibility in-house. We awarded our IT contract to Academia as it was obvious that they were head above their competitors.

 

Academia staff quickly understood our needs and formulated a comprehensive IT support, security and maintenance package that we could afford and ensured our regulatory compliance. Charities are often late in technological advancement, missing out on opportunities and productivity. Academia staff have worked hard to ensure we have the IT infrastructure to work efficiently and achieve our goals.

 

I would recommend Academia to any charity, small or large, that needs a robust IT function that comes with a professional and friendly service.”

 

Ippo Panteloudakis
Respect Head of Services

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