A technologically advanced nonprofit
Goodwill of North Florida was established in 1940, and ever since has been providing job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs. This respected nonprofit sells donated items online and at its 23 stores, then uses the income generated ($29 million in retail revenue in 2013), along with donations and grants, to fund jobs programs and several lines of business, including retail, laundry services, landscaping, and Christmas decorating. Each year, Goodwill of North Florida provides 52,700 people with job-training and placement services, and connects more than 11,500 people with meaningful employment, providing tangible proof of the organization’s belief that “Work is the Cornerstone of Life.”
Goodwill’s original IT infrastructure was essentially a small group of servers located in a wiring closet in their main office. iVenture began by managing Goodwill’s server environment in-house, and then later managed virtual servers that were hosted by a large national hosting company, with whom Goodwill had a terrible experience. Coupled with this, Goodwill’s in-house IT couldn’t keep up with the organization’s growth as it added new locations and employees. “We were having a lot of issues with the servers going down,” says Jim Wadsworth, COO for Goodwill of North Florida. “Fortunately, iVenture was managing the backup of those servers. If we hadn’t had them doing that, it would have been a disaster. This really cemented our relationship, and made it an easy decision to go with iVenture’s private cloud.”
iVenture worked with Goodwill in steps to transition them from the former provider to iVenture’s managed services and fully hosted private cloud. These were major changes for Goodwill, and showed that not all cloud providers are the same, particularly in terms of being able to give local attention to IT customers. Most importantly, these steps have enabled over 600 employees to place total faith in Goodwill’s IT, knowing their systems will be available, expandable, and flexible as their needs evolve.
These changes and Goodwill’s ongoing relationship with iVenture have allowed, according to Wadsworth, “Each of our locations to be much more independent. We are able to monitor users and utilization much more effectively, have better reporting, and our systems are reliable and compliant with regulations.”
Further, Goodwill has been recognized by its affiliate organizations and by others as a technology leader, including an award for “Best Use of Cloud” from the Jacksonville Business Journal for Goodwill’s embrace of iVenture’s private cloud.
“We’re more advanced in our technology than most organizations of our type,” Wadsworth notes. Among their forward-looking changes: a move to an all iPad-based point of sale system; a solid infrastructure for their hosted Job Junction application, which sees 60,000 applicants every year; and iPad-based time clocks and ticketing systems for inspections, accident reports, and maintenance issues, all of it backed by iVenture’s cloud and managed services that are provided by the highly skilled iVenture team.
“They are highly reliable, their service is impeccable, they’re very professional, and they address our needs promptly,” Wadsworth says. “We’ve never felt more secure than we do now.”
Chief Operating Officer
Goodwill of North Florida