The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons

The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS) is a non-profit member-based organisation serving over 3000 dentists and dental surgeons in the Australasia region. The organisation develops and delivers programs aimed at enhancing its members’ clinical skills. They also support a network of peers and mentors that seeks to promote the importance of oral health in members’ communities.

The key to success for RACDS is secure and reliable connectivity. Members need to access the RACDS’ website from anywhere, and staff need to be able to support membership involvement through their internal platforms.

As Director of Corporate Services at RACDS, Michael Feliciano faced a common challenge. As part of RACDS’ internal governance practice, they had to review their external contracts, including their MSP. On inspecting the market offerings, they found two key issues:

  • they weren’t getting a level of service that reflected the value of what was available.
  • their ICT infrastructure was reaching end-of-life – fast.

Michael knew there were opportunities to create efficiencies by investing in the right IT infrastructure to service their extensive member base.

Diagnosing IT decay

As it stood, employees were starting to struggle. Working from home was not always easy, and the number of support tickets was growing as their systems aged.

It was clear to Michael that these issues were slowing down their capacity to work. So he chose to invite new MSPs to tender for their contract.

The sheer number of active members serviced by RACDS also came with a heavy responsibility to ensure that their contacts and other sensitive details are stored securely.

Michael explained: “We wanted to engage with a company that could do the hard IT work for us.”

Then, the COVID-19 shutdown effectively banned all non-essential workers from heading to the office. Suddenly working from home was mandatory, and it was imperative that staff could provide member services whilst out of the office.

RACDS starts building for success

First Focus responded with a plan that helped build confidence and productivity with the IT systems. RACDS received a comprehensive overhaul of their IT infrastructure, including new a private cloud computing environment, a cloud backup solution, enhanced cybersecurity including multi-factor protection, upgraded internet connection with 4G backup, as well as upgraded user hardware.

These changes meant that RACDS could start working from anywhere, accessing internal data securely and remotely.

While the IT infrastructure upgrades helped enhance staff productivity, it was the detailed project delivery and ongoing support that helped give the RACDS the confidence to rely on a single provider for their IT needs.

‘It was just tick-tick-tick, job done. We don’t need to wait.’

Michael said that it was this flow of positivity that made the decision to switch providers easy in the first place.

According to Michael: “What drew us to First Focus was the technical capacity, the proactive service, and the fact that they don’t work with commissions or a sales quota.”

“I thought ‘this seems to be a good company.’ We can trust their suggestions are in our best interests because that’s how they keep our business.”

‘There’s no quota agenda, no commissions, no sales push. I feel comfortable accepting recommendations knowing that they’re needed, and not being pushed.’

Michael explained that it was the combination of proactive communication and support that helped enable the fast rollout of network upgrades, highlighting how the support RACDS received after deployment helped keep people focused on their work, not on IT fixes.

“We were confident First Focus could deliver. Each job demonstrated their responsiveness, with the resolutions coming quicker than we expected.”

“We’re now in a far better position.”

Our staff now are far more comfortable with their IT infrastructure.

A secure and productive IT environment

RACDS staff are now able to work securely both in the office and remotely. Lodging support tickets is easy, and for more extensive concerns, Michael has ready access to a technical account manager who can make professional recommendations on the spot, or even bring in a team of professionals to assess any issues that come up.

Michael says: “I’m not an IT expert. The industry evolves very fast. First Focus helps future proof us, with proactive reviews that show us what best practice looks like.”

“They’ve taken the important IT matters off my agenda, letting me focus on more critical tasks.”

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