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Tech Systems Review (OLD)

Joseph and Dyan, co-founders of [people. power. media] approached Catchafire hoping to streamline their unorganized tech systems. They needed a professional to evaluate their current tech tools and provide programmatic recommendations that would make their organization more effective.

The challenge

Managing a media organization and developing content with only two people is challenging. [people. power. media] needs to develop an efficient system for project management and capturing and managing specific information from donors, subscribers, contacts, friends, etc. Currently, they have too many systems and tools (i.e. MailChimp, Facebook, Twitter, Excel, PayPal, webmail, etc.) and no strategy for harmonizing them.

OBJECTIVES

  • Evaluate current technology resources and needs
  • Determine what technology services, applications and infrastructure people. power. media should consider to address organizational needs
  • A list of prerequisites and an expected budget for each of the recommendations

The match

  • Joseph and Dyan post a Technology Expert Advice Project.
  • Bharath applies for project.
  • After a two-way interview Joseph, Dyan and Bharath accept the match.

“The first reason I applied is that I wanted to help out an organization in any way possible. The second reason is that I wanted an opportunity to work on projects that would help me professionally. This project with [people. power. media] appealed to my professional interest.”
-Bharath

The solution

  • Bharath discusses the organization's needs and technological challenges with Joseph and Dyan to understand exactly what they want to get from the project.
  • Once Bharath understands their problem at a high level, he creates a survey to evaluate what the organization’s current tech setup looks like, understand their day to day processes and build on them.
  • Bharath gains understanding of the gaps and redundancies in PPM’s current setup. He suggests alternatives and provides a cost analysis of new tools to see how much it would cost PPM to use his suggestions.
  • Bharath helps Joseph and Dyan understand how his recommendations will help with their short term, mid term and long term processes.

The Result

Bharath creates a matrix that aligns their required processes with recommendations of the tools he feels are the most useful to them. Bharath’s suggestions to implement google applications such as gmail, google docs, and insightly saves Joseph and Dyan time and money while allowing them to collaborate with others much easier.

“One of the biggest concerns that we had was that our email accounts were over the capacity limit. Sometimes we couldn’t send or receive emails because of our webmail’s restrictions. Bharath recommended transfer from our domain host’s webmail to google functionality. It has been working really well for us, we can store all of our contacts simultaneously in gmail and insightly and integrate that with google calendar. We can also use our e-mail with our smartphones so at all times, we can correspond professionally and manage all information across these integrated applications. We don’t have to cross reference different things all the time. It saves us a lot of time.
-Joseph & Dyan

“Bharath was really great, he lives in a completely opposite time zone yet he would always respond to our e-mails right away and make time to skype us when we felt like we needed time to talk it over.”
-Joseph & Dyan

The Impact

With a fresh technology system in place, Joseph and Dyan can devote more time to creating compelling media content rather than data management. Having an integrated suite of google applications enables people. power. media to manage all of their contacts, relationships and fundraising which is crucial to their success.

“Being able to share and collaborate through the Google doc system has totally changed our lives. There is only a small cost associated with web hosting email but everything else is free. Saving us time and frustration. Being able to manage things really quickly and easily its really invaluable for the amount of information we’re trying to save.”
-Joseph & Dyan

“It’s been funny to us to see how many people’s work has become easier and working with us has become more streamlined, they are learning new tech tools (google docs/drive) through us. We aren’t the most tech savvy but people are seeing us as innovators and cutting edge because we run our business using these tools.”
-Joseph & Dyan

"I have found this project to be very rewarding both personally and professionally. On the personal side I enjoyed working with Joseph and Dyan and creating a connect with them and their organization It felt good to help those that help others.On the professional side I was able to better understand what it meant to be an IT strategist and how to go about helping companies and organizations streamline their IT operations.”
- Bharath

Bharath’s 20 hr project resulted in $10K saved for [people. power. media]

The Organization
[people. power. media]'s mission is to empower marginalized communities by creating media that amplifies their voices to inform the public and influence public policy.
The Volunteer
Bharath is a Senior Practice Consultant at EMC Consulting India He heads all testing strategy and delivery efforts for the application development team in the Cloud Computing and Application Modernization domains. Additionally, he leads the Organizational Effectiveness group that aims to improve Service Culture within the organization. He is also part of the Innovation council that is aimed at increasing innovating from the group. With a Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology and Florida Institute of Technology, Bharath has completed management courses from Harvard University and is currently pursuing a full time MBA with the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.