When the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in a London coffee shop back in 1824, the men present knew they were creating the world’s first animal welfare charity. But they couldn’t possibly have imagined its future size and shape. Queen Victoria gave permission to add the royal R in 1840, and today the RSPCA is a household name not just in the UK but around the world.
The RSPCA operates in England and Wales in a wide variety of locations including 5 hospitals, 16 animal centres, 4 wildlife centres, 5 regional offices, a central support centre near Horsham in West Sussex and approximately 100 homeworkers plus of course 500 uniformed Inspectors. A total of 1500 staff are employed by the National Society.
Business information manager Alan Moynihan says the RSPCA’s migration to G Suite was triggered by circumstances. “There was a lot of pressure to be more flexible and cost efficient. We found our legacy system was forcing us to say “no”, whereas we want to be saying “yes”, and our technical strategy is focused on using cloud-based solutions.
“It was a one in 15-year opportunity to look at what the business needed beyond email and focus was on solutions that could help the RSPCA take a big step forward. The Google solution allowed our systems to flex and suit the needs of the organisation. It’s fulfilled our short-term needs, and it’s also fully scalable.”
Alan added that another advantage of G Suite is its cost model. “Instead of a spikey, capital-intensive overhaul every seven years, the costs are predictable – they depend on how many user accounts or users you have.” What’s more, he says, there are no longer any barriers to sharing. “You can now share rather than send: collaboration is something we promote, and it’s a powerful feature. People can now work on one document together, and they’re starting to recognise how powerful G Suite is.”
The switch to Google was supported by their partner, Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS). Training was given to super users, and the organisation also invested in an e-learning package that employees could follow in “bite-sized” chunks as needed. The CTS migration tool was used to ensure mail, calendar and contacts data was successfully migrated into G Suite. The RSPCA has c150 people using BlackBerry devices, which will eventually be replaced by smartphones that allow them to use Google applications on the go, “Mobile, flexible access is key.”
“This is just the beginning though”, says Wendy Thorley, Head of Information, Systems and Support. “Although the project was focussed on replacing our legacy system, there is much, much more that can now be looked at afresh. The exploitation begins now. The opportunities to assist the whole Society to collaborate, communicate to achieve ever higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness delivering animal welfare are enormous”.