The Situation

One significant change following the outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand is that businesses are required to take record of those who visit their premises and save their contact information.

When considering the most suitable contact tracing solution, Tompkins Wake’s IT Manager, Matthew Vaughan, had identified key concerns they were looking to overcome, Ease of use was essential, it needed to be easy for staff and visitors to use. Safety was another major concern, we did not want to create a hygiene risk, for example having many people touch the same pen. Time was important as we needed our solution up and running quickly, in addition to considering whether there would be a large ongoing cost.”

The Solution

The team at IT Partners proactively reached out to Tompkins Wake with a potential solution to help them overcome these challenges. The recommended solution utilises QR codes, smart phones, and an array of Microsoft365 systems. This includes Microsoft Forms, SharePoint, Teams, and Outlook, as well as additional design and implementation know how.

Matthew explained that “After the solution was demonstrated, I felt confident in this recommendation and could easily see how it would integrate seamlessly into our current systems.” It was particularly attractive because of “The delivery time frame, it is built into Microsoft 365, and our established relationship with IT Partners; meaning we didn’t have to engage with another vendor.”

This turnkey solution was designed to meet Tompkins Wake’s end to end needs. This included the delivery of custom QR code entrance/exit signage, user guides, and staff communication templates. Matthew indicated that “This was essential, it enabled us to deploy the solution at 4 different sites within 72 hours.”

The implementation of this solution was managed seamlessly, with Matthew emphasising that “It was great to have daily catch ups; having a dedicated Microsoft Teams project channel with IT Partners staff was also useful. I liked that all relevant information was dropped into our SharePoint tenant, ready to go. It was evident that there was excellent internal communication between Bevan, Art and Owen on the IT Partners side.”

The Outcome

After deploying the solution, Matthew indicated that “The staff uptake was pleasing, and the feedback has been positive; with many finding it a straightforward solution to use. Adoption is also high, as we are successfully capturing all those who enter and exit the relevant buildings.”

One of the key benefits of this solution is that it is built into your Microsoft 365 environment. Rather than implementing another cloud-based system, that is underutilised, comes with additional costs, and exposes you to further security risks. Matthew highlighted this benefit, “Managing the number of systems we have is really important, there was no additional infrastructure overhead cost. Not to forget that this enabled Single Sign On to be implemented for staff when completing the register, leading to time and efficiency savings.”

This solution supports Tompkins Wake’s ongoing investment in Microsoft 365, highlighting the opportunities available in their modern workplace journey. “The contact tracing solution has provided a solid example of what is available in the Microsoft Power Platform, and what can be achieved with tools such as Power Automate. It is such an exciting feature, and opened possibilities for further developments in this area”, says Matthew.

Delivering this level of custom solution is made possible by the ongoing partnership between IT Partners and Tompkins Wake. “It shows the strength of our relationship, which exists at multiple levels of the business. The knowledge IT Partners have of our infrastructure and sites made this seamless, no further explanation was required”, emphasises Matthew.