The work carried out by charitable organisations frequently requires very specific technology requirements. Solutions may need to be customisable, but licencing fees and long-term running costs should be low. New software should integrate seamlessly with existing databases. In Scotland, The Robertson Trust recently faced all of these challenges when it updated its ageing systems. Done in collaboration with Capgemini, the story of its successful transition to Salesforce.com technology features in Computing. You can read the full story at Computing.co.uk here.
Established in 1961, The Robertson Trust (TRT) is an independent grant-making organisation that provides financial support to charities across Scotland. The Trust derives most of its income from Edrington Group, one of the largest private whisky companies in the world.
Speaking to Computing, Katie Campbell, head of finance and IT at the Trust, was delighted with the new system. Until recently, the organisation was using an Access database to capture information about its grants. “It’s our key data, but it was sitting on that platform and it was very antiquated and not flexible, so we decided to find a better platform to use going forward.”
Existing grants management solutions were considered, but initial costs and a lack of conviction led to the Trust seeking alternatives. Not only was the Salesforce.com solution customisable, Salesforce.com offered several free licences for not-for-profit organisations!
I asked Capgemini project manager Zulfy Ali about our role in this work: “Starting in January 2014 and working closely with the Trust’s project manager and user base, we provided end-to-end project management and execution of the implementation. We came to work with the Trust as a result of an existing relationship with Edrington Group. The main challenge was dealing with the ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’ from the Trust’s perspective. This meant allowing the Trust the time and space to tweak and refine their requirements from the solution as more of its capability came to life even through to the end of delivery.
“Another challenge was providing the client the requisite levels of comfort as they moved towards far greater levels of automation. The client was very supportive in making big decisions rapidly and showing bravery in adopting new ways of working.
“Working with TRT we learned to adopt an agile, iterative approach to delivery, keeping the client intimately engaged throughout all stages.”
You can download the full case study on our work with Salesforce.com and The Robertson Trust here.