Home carers take to the cloud

9 Dec 2011

Oliver Clancy, IT Direct; Michael O'Hara, DataSolutions, and Bob Power, Comfort Keepers, at the announcement that home care provider Comfort Keepers has implemented the SilverLine cloud platform

DataSolutions’ SilverLine division has implemented an innovative cloud platform for nationwide carers network Comfort Keepers that allows its carers to ensure the people they help remain independent.

Comfort Keepers operates 11 offices around Ireland and helps people remain independent by providing care to those for whom daily tasks have become too difficult to manage.

With an expanding business, providing for an increasingly remote workforce and the need to replace old systems, Comfort Keepers was faced with having to upgrade its entire IT infrastructure. Consulting with IT Direct, it made the decision to move to the SilverLine cloud environment, which is powered by the Fort Technologies integrated cloud business management platform.

Smarter care

SilverLine allows Comfort Keepers to safely adopt a cloud strategy by working with their known, trusted and local IT partner who can continue to manage both the on-premise and cloud-hosted services.

“Comfort Keepers is an example of an organisation that utilises the smartest IT infrastructure for the benefit of their clients. They were faced with the challenge of cost effectively connecting multiple locations and allowing their employees to work remotely,” Oliver Clancy, IT Direct, explained.

“We chose the SilverLine platform as it was easy to use, secure and provided the best value. As all the data remain in Ireland, Comfort Keepers always know the exact location of their data, removing any potential compliance issues in the future,” Clancy said.

A full network solution was provided with critical business applications now being hosted in the cloud. These include Microsoft Office, Comfort Keepers telemonitoring system, Logical Office CRM, account and payroll software, file storage and print management.  

With a very mobile workforce, employees who move across sites now have access to the same information and applications, no matter where they are from day to day.

“We have grown by 20pc since this time last year and with this growth set to continue, we have had to invest in our IT systems. We assessed our options and a cloud computing solution became the obvious choice,” Bob Power, managing director, Comfort Keepers, explained.

“SilverLine provides us with all of the flexibility of cloud computing, allowing us to continue to grow and scale our business, and eliminate system slowdown due to the increased demand.”

Flexible working

Comfort Keepers’ telemonitoring system shows the arrival and departure time of carers who log in and out from the clients’ homes using a freephone number and will raise an alarm if a login is not received.

The telemonitoring system itself is complex and needs to be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Moving to SilverLine ensures high availability for this mission-critical application and the added benefit of facilitating remote monitoring, no matter what day of the year it is or what conditions may prevent employees from getting to the office.

“Comfort Keepers was the first care service in Ireland to use telemonitoring technology nationally,” said Michael O’Hara, managing director of DataSolutions’ SilverLine. “It quickly grasped and understood the benefits cloud computing offered the business.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years