“Working from home has opened up new ways of working and flexibility for our teams – we can work from anywhere in the future!”

Adoption Focus is an adoption agency that helps local authorities place children in new families. In recent years, the team has grown in both size and geographical location and the organisation has offices in Birmingham, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire. This growth, coupled with an aging, problematic and costly server, saw the agency seeking new IT solutions.

We gained a firm understanding of how they operate and how their IT needs to enable them to not just do their jobs, but to do them more efficiently. After all, at Code 56, we exist to enable the extraordinary.

It quickly became apparent that key requirements were:

  • Data security and ability to assign files to team members to control data access
  • Enabling remote working and making it easier to work from anywhere, with flexibility to expand in the future
  • A seamless transition that kept everyone up and running throughout the migration
  • Secure, automated, offsite backups
  • An intuitive and simple to use system for a diverse range of users, from those who love technology through to those that loath it
  • Automatically saving files and maintaining a version history
  • Ability to have multiple users accessing a document at once.

Always ones to challenge the status quo, instead of simply replacing the server with a newer model we helped Adoption Focus transition to a new cloud-based system that would meet all the above criteria and more using OneDrive and SharePoint. We also set up the team with new laptops and researched the best models that suit the workflow and requirements of the team. As well as security and encryption to protect extremely sensitive data, large considerations here were size and weight as the team often work remotely so need their laptops to be portable. To help build confidence with using the new systems and to mitigate any internal resistance to changes, we implemented the system gradually and started with a small test team before rolling out to all employees.

We then, where required, worked with the individuals within the organisation to determine what each person needed in terms of layout, file structure and access and helped to ease any apprehensions about using the new system. The result being that they were each delivered IT that worked for them that they could use with ease immediately – no matter where they work from.

Anna Sharkey, CEO of Adoption Focus

“It is no overstatement to say Code 56’s work enabled us to survive lockdown. I’m not quite sure what would have happened without them! Alongside the practicalities of our team being able to continue working from home, we’ve been able to carry on with our online training and events without disruption.

We’ve also been able to continue to hold sensitive and confidential meetings such as panel reviews to assess prospective adopters knowing that they are secure, meaning that the process of adoption hasn’t been impacted or slowed down.

We are a charity, so our budget is critical. Code 56 helped us save money firstly in not having to replace the server, both now and then again every few years, but also to get the best price possible for our laptops. The further upshot of that is happier staff not having to carry around slow and cumbersome pieces of kit!

We are largely a team of social workers, not IT experts. Owen completely understood the level of competency and ranging levels of IT confidence and capability, and at no point did I feel either blindsided by lingo or patronised. He was affable, calm and reassuring from the outset. He never once gave the hard sell but simply outlined the solution, highlighted the benefits and then offered more!

I was impressed from the start when he took the time to meet with me and the team to get a thorough understanding of our organisation and exactly what we were looking for. It was instantly apparent that for Code 56 it’s not just a case of doing the job, it’s about going above and beyond to find solutions.

The Code 56 team were always on-hand to offer support, help with questions and make sure the team was ok – and did so in an incredibly timely manner. We were always made to feel important, and never felt we were being pushed down the queue. Nothing was ever a hassle, and they were always happy to take all questions.

We’d heard horror stories from other companies about transitioning to cloud-based solutions so we were geared up for issues, missing files and problems implementing among the team. We experienced the complete opposite. The transition was in no way disruptive, downtime was minimised and file transfers happened effortlessly and seamlessly – everything just appeared and we knew exactly where it was! Working from home has opened up new ways of working and flexibility for our teams – we can work from anywhere in the future!

We were never told things wouldn’t work for us. Code 56 always found a solution. And then offered more.”