Coffee, Care and Connectivity at Cisco Live 2023
Insights 4 minutes read

Coffee, Care and Connectivity at Cisco Live 2023

Published on
February 12, 2024

Igniting creativity, delivering practical knowledge, and fuelling the digital future were at the forefront of Cisco Live in December 2023.

Interactive customers Greg Wratt, IT Manager of UCC Coffee, and Tim Humphries, CEO of Homestyle Aged Care, joined a panel at the event to discuss these themes in more detail. They also delved into how and why they have enhanced technology in the workplace and the role Interactive has played in modernising their businesses.

Let’s recap the key takeaways:

1. Foundational network: the first step on the roadmap to success

Digital transformation isn’t possible without a foundational network system, which underpins everything from employee experience to customer service.

When Greg Wratt joined UCC Coffee in mid 2022, the business was running Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) across six offices. This solution was no longer sufficient due to the evolving needs of the organisation. Dialling into video calls had become the bane of people’s lives and staff were looking for every opportunity to avoid network congestion.

After a conversation with the team at Interactive, a managed SD-WAN solution was presented as the best fit for the organisation’s growing needs. This solution provides customers with greater control by enabling them to have substantial ownership over their networking protocols.

"Interactive’s service has been a dream. We went from 30Mbps speed at some of our sites to 500Mbps, and it’s costing us less than before" Greg Wratt, IT Manager , UCC Coffee.

“The highlight of this transformation was the ease at which everything happened. Interactive would just call me to let me know the work is done, and as a result our staff are much happier to come into the office where they can work effectively.”

2. Every organisation needs to be data-driven

Whilst the foundational network is the roadmap to technological transformation, data is the vehicle that drives the change towards modernisation.

There are pressures from a regulatory and enhanced customer experience perspective that urge organisations to improve their quality of data management and storage. As an example, the introduction of electronic care planning by the government increased pressure on the aged care industry to upgrade IT infrastructure.

When Tim Humphries joined Homestyle Aged Care in January 2014, the organisation was not focused on enhancing IT infrastructure across its sites. To make matters even slower, all work was tracked using pen and paper, the old school way. This led to issues such as misplaced notes and transcription errors.

This challenging regulatory environment meant that Homestyle Aged Care needed to build from the ground up. The organisation was looking for a technology partner with a deep understanding of the aged care sector, as well as a flexible approach to IT solutions and cloud migration.

“It’s important to make sure data is stored safely and can be accessed easily when needed, and Interactive has delivered exactly that,” said Humphries.

“From a resident care perspective having access points for our network covering all of our homes meant residents could stay in contact with their families during the pandemic lockdowns. From an employee point of view, we are now moving towards consolidating our data in one place, so it is easier to communicate at an executive level.”

3. Managed Service Providers (MSP) to support day-to-day requirements

During the panel discussion, both Interactive customers highlighted the importance of a competent MSP, to support higher growth and innovation, and simplify complex IT challenges. As a result, executives and leadership can redeploy their time to focus on business outcomes.

For example, Interactive’s experts have onboarded as part of UCC Coffee’s in-house IT team, providing an extra pillar of support.

Similarly for Homestyle Aged Care, the ongoing partnership with Interactive has enabled employees to focus on their mission.

“Interactive has been a leading partner from the very start of our migration and enabled staff to deliver exceptional care to our residents whilst getting the most out of our IT systems,” said Humphries.

Learn more about Interactive and Cisco

That’s a wrap! We really enjoyed having two of our distinct but equally forward-thinking customers share their challenges, triumphs and digital transformation experiences.

Find out more about how Interactive can help you with Cisco hardware maintenance and support here.

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