The Queenslanders with Disability Network's (QDN) motto is 'nothing about us, without us'. The not-for-profit organisation’s aim is to empower people with disabilities, along with their friends and family members, to have a say on the issues that affect their lives. To be able to do this, it’s essential QDN’s systems are accessible for all members to have their say.

QDN is an advocacy group that supports those with disabilities living in Queensland, Australia. Its work includes managing an emerging leaders programme, peer support groups, and a member hub. QDN also assists in making policy submissions, advocacy, and consultations.

Previously, the organisation’s membership application process had been manual and paper-based, and quite inaccessible for much of its membership. It also had a legacy operating system, which was out of date and unable to offer the visibility, nor the speed required, to best serve members.

For accessibility reasons, it was essential to keep the paper-based member application system in place. However, the organisation needed to be upgraded to an efficient digital process as well. The legacy systems required a complete overhaul to improve efficiency and to future-proof the organisation as it develops and grows.

Datacom migrated QDN’s system to Microsoft Dynamics 365. We also leveraged Microsoft’s 'nonprofit accelerator', which is tailor-made for not-for-profit organisations. Using the accelerator reduced the time it took to roll out the updates. It also enabled a 50 per cent reduction in production costs and reduced ongoing licensing costs. There’s also no longer a need for on-site technicians, developers, or physical storage costs.

QDN’s new software experience provides better visibility across the organisation and gives users access to Microsoft Office 365 features and integrations. It can now better track and serve its membership in more meaningful ways.

Increased security is a key advantage of the upgraded system. Now that QDN’s software and hardware are hosted in a cloud-based system, it’s protected by a stringent security protocol, with essential data stored in high-security data centres. Data can only be accessed by the people who need to see it.

“Our legacy, paper-based system was in great need of an upgrade. Datacom’s efforts have not only driven us forward in efficiency and [our] ways of working, but the visibility tools allow us to better serve the people who matter most: our members. It’s also future-proofed us and allows significant flexibility for future updates to our process,” says Michelle Moss, director of policy and strategic engagement, Queenslanders with Disability Network.

The overhaul of QDN’s systems and processes has not only lightened the admin load for its staff, it’s increased support for members. QDN’s membership application process is now accessible both digitally and in paper form. Further, its up-to-date systems allow the organisation to be more effective, efficient, and impactful, allowing the organisation to offer the best possible outcome for its members.

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