Transforming Collaboration for Enhanced Efficiency and Secure Connectivity

By: Core BTS | March 13, 2024

Efficient and effective collaboration has never been more critical than it is today. For some organizations, remote work was part of day-to-day operations long before it became part of the headlines. The question is: How best can we modernize the remote workplace?

Such was the case with Keystone Human Services (KHS). For more than 50 years, this global organization has provided support and guidance while creating thriving communities for those with disabilities. More than 2,200 staff members are working on the frontlines with various services. They also offer technical assistance to governments, regulators, and other organizations to promote inclusion.

As a non-profit with limited budget available, KHS had to rely on limited IT staff. Side effects of this were the use of antiquated technologies that included manual processes and little to no cybersecurity. The lack of internal resources led to a revolving door of vendors that could not achieve the necessary digital transformation.

Enter Core BTS

Our relationship with KHS began with a discussion about accelerating the organization’s adoption of Microsoft 365 to support increased workforce collaboration, efficiency, and connection. Deep discovery conversations followed, culminating with the choice to partner with Core.

"We chose Core BTS for many reasons – not only for their breadth of experience, but also for their depth of experience. It was clear they shined above the other vendors we were considering." -Craig Girsch | Chief Technology Officer | Keystone HumanServices

Our strategic solutions included:

1. Implementing device management and modernization.

KHS was experiencing issues with old technology involving employee workstations, poor mobile device experiences, and security vulnerabilities. Many employees worked remotely or in the field, so operational efficiency across devices was critical. To address these challenges, we:

    • Configured Microsoft Intune across all Windows Devices which enabled KHS to manage Windows devices within Microsoft Cloud completely.
    • Introduced a repeatable PC imaging solution with Windows Autopilot to allow the provisioning of Windows 10 and 11 devices in the field.
    • Improved frontline workers’ mobile device experience by forcing logouts after each use. This eliminated security issues on shared mobile devices.
    • Created app protection policies to enforce specific requirements for all managed and unmanaged mobile devices.
    • Made best practice recommendations around previous Intune Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management implementation.

2. Enabling zero trust security

Robust security is essential for any organization. One of the most significant improvements Core made for KHS was the implementation of Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Conditional Access. 

This significantly increases their security posture and compliance, substantially reducing the attack surface and protecting their data. A welcome side-effect was that the implementation of MFA met a requirement for their cybersecurity insurance, resulting in premium cost savings. 

Self-service Password Reset was also enabled and enforced for all users. This allows them to change or reset their password without involving an administrator or the help desk. This decreased user downtime plus reduced help desk calls.

3. Improving collaboration and communication

Before partnering with Core BTS, KHS used Zoom and Ring Central for communication. Core transitioned them to Microsoft Teams for an all-in-one solution centralizing communication and collaboration.

Collaboration often involves file sharing. KHS file storage was scattered among Rackspace, Box, Egnyte, and on-premises solutions. Streamlining file access was a must for operational efficiency. To that end, Core migrated their files to SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams, ensuring user permissions were validated appropriately. 

4. Ensuring compliance

To ensure KHS’s Exchange Online environment met both security and HIPAA compliance protocols, Core performed an assessment. We recommended an encryption strategy to safeguard their email platform and improve overall security.

A Complete Transformation

It’s not just about tech; it’s about people, and the digital transformation at KHS has also been transformational for their frontline workers. Equipping staff with updated devices that can be managed in the cloud infrastructure, they can work faster and more efficiently with tools that also improve the quality and speed of care they can provide.

For example:

  • Enabling device provisioning with Windows Autopilot streamlined a 14-page manual process to free up time better spent serving individuals and their priorities.

  • Added security measures, including 13 new conditional access policies and three new app protection policies, to ensure information was adequately and securely stored and shared.

  • Streamlining file shortage meant duplicate solutions, such as on-premises storage, and multiple other solutions could be eliminated to save money.

Implementing Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive improves overall operational efficiency, enhances collaboration and communication, and empowers frontline workers.

This seamless environment means all employees in every facet of the business – whether remotely or in-office – connect and share information securely and access files from anywhere on any device. This provides a better, more secure employee experience: quick access to data means they can deliver the best possible care. 

Chart a Clear Path Forward with Core BTS

We’re a full-service digital transformation consulting firm that meets you where you are on your digital journey to solve your most pressing challenges. Hungry for challenges and armed with a team of experts, we partner with you to develop cutting-edge solutions that help you reach your defined business outcomes. 

The problems faced by Keystone Human Services are the same as those faced by many organizations in every sector. To learn more about how we modernized this remote workplace and the technologies used, read the complete case study.

Core BTS is a digital transformation consultancy that helps organizations simplify technical complexity, accelerate transformation, and drive business outcomes.

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