The Cloud Comes to Japanese Nonprofit


If cost and time savings are the main reasons that drive organisations to the cloud, it is the tiny, lean nonprofit that stands to benefit the most. e-parts Japan, ailed by an aging IT infrastructure, discovered just that when it adopted Office 365.

The two-person operation, supported by interns and volunteers, oversees an extensive range of services, including the provision of computer refurbishment training to people with disabilities as well as IT support to other nonprofits. Achieving this mandate was becoming problematic due to limited resources, and the team knew optimising their efficiency was a must. Its outdated IT systems, the high number of apps and ever-increasing volume of data, however, stood in their way, while downtime was becoming increasingly unacceptable.

Having their apps in the cloud created a dramatic drop in costs and pressure was taken off the staff from having to tend to IT maintenance and management issues. For a small organisation, being able to reduce even a few hours of work was a big deal. This produced a change in their operations: time previously spent on IT tasks were redirected towards priorities that are the essence of their work, namely programming and fundraising.

The shift to cloud technology also modified the face of their work in other ways. Previously, time and costs had to be spent on travelling to conduct workshops. Now, e-parts Japan staff use Skype for Business to conduct instant messaging and video conferences with other nonprofits. The organisation’s executive director Kazuhiro Aida said, “Skype for Business has saved money and travel time, and we now stay in frequent contact with more communities.”

In addition, Office 365 consolidates functions such as meeting scheduling, emailing and document-editing, so that functions are simplified and the staff now need only a single platform for all their needs. The solution also helps automate regular back-up of sensitive documents.

e-parts Japan was featured in Microsoft’s recent #UpgradeYourWorld campaign, which identified nonprofits to receive donations of financial support and technology.

Find out more about how Microsoft enabled e-parts Japan here.


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