[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Hiroshi Ando, Sr. Marketing Manager from the Windows Server and Management Team]
I am very happy to announce the launch of the Extreme IT Makeover, a joint program between Microsoft and HP where both companies work with their large community of Partners to help not-for-profit small organizations take advantage of better technology to accomplish their missions. Once the not-for-profit is identified, everyone donates to the cause. The necessary server hardware/software is donated by Microsoft & HP, the integration and deployment services are donated by the partner. Truly a winning situation, with the not-for-profit and, more importantly, those they help being the ultimate winners.
The first Extreme IT Makeover recipient is Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) Washington which supports 1,600 member families through its online resource library, advocacy, and in-person mentorships. Its clinical programs serve 22 children and youth in Bellevue, Washington, and its respite programs reach 100 students in Bellevue and a satellite site in Tacoma, Washington. Before the Extreme IT Makeover, they relied on six old donated computers and had no central storage both of which created daunting business issues. FEAT relies on fundraising, donations, and grants, so acquiring IT has always been a challenge.
Nominated by Steve Banks, owner of Banks Consulting Northwest, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist and a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), FEAT was selected to be the first recipient for an Extreme IT Makeover. When they found out they had been selected, “We were ecstatic. We were figuring out where we could cut things from our budget to buy new hardware,” says Brenne Schario, Executive Director, Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Washington. “It was the answer to our prayers!’”
Representatives from Microsoft and HP worked with Banks to outfit the FEAT office with a new IT infrastructure. Banks deployed Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials on an HP ProLiant MicroServer, four HP Elitebook laptops running Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Office 2010 business productivity software. Then he added an HP ProLiant ML110 server running Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 to the SBS 2011 Essentials environment which hosts Office 2010, accounting, and fundraising software that staff can access from eight HP thin clients.
Thanks to the Extreme IT Makeover, FEAT has a solid IT foundation for growth. “Now that we have reliable computers and secure data and we can share documents online and access information quickly, we feel ready to bring on more staff and open a second location in Tacoma,” concludes Schario. “At the end of the day, FEAT is all about supporting more families and helping more children with autism reach their full potential. Microsoft and HP are helping us make that possible.”