Missions on the Move

How the Right Technology Can Keep Global Organizations Connected

A whitepaper by Geni Whitehouse

It is hard enough to communicate with team members across the room, but many of today’s NGO’s and multi-national non-profits must stay connected with people around the world. They often cross geographical, cultural, and political boundaries to reach those in need. They manage people who speak different languages, manage funds in multiple currencies, and manage applications on diverse technical platforms. As they spread their cause globally, these organizations encounter hurdles and difficulties of every sort in an environment of increasing government oversight and shrinking budgets.

As Richard Gere learned during a New Delhi awards show, a single cultural misstep can ruin your relationship with an entire country. Likewise, a single operational misstep can be the kiss of death for an organization striving to make a difference in a given country. No one wants to miss a delivery, deploy the wrong supplies, or send electrical equipment to a location with no electricity. It is the mission of these organizations to get the right aid to the right people in the fastest possible way. To do so, they must wade through a ton of details, manage paperwork, and disburse funds while keeping everyone informed. Fortunately, today’s software can help global organizations maneuver around the roadblocks that are likely to appear on the way to global success.

Let’s take a closer look at global organizations and their relationship with information— how they access, share, and use it. In each area, we’ll examine the ways in which technology can help these organizations stay connected and avoid the kinds of operational faux pas that can prevent them from accomplishing their mission.

Accessing information

In order to use or share information, you must have access to the system that contains it. In many cases, field workers and aid recipients are in remote areas with limited or spotty internet connections and unreliable access to power. Unless you plan to drive around the globe in a mobile IT van, you will have to rely on local connectivity to keep the information flowing. And that isn’t always easy. You can’t rely on either a centralized network or stand alone software applications to meet your needs. In order to get information to and from workers in these conditions, you will need a number of different deployment options. You want a centralized, robust database that can send and receive information in a number of different ways.

You might encounter any of the following infrastructure scenarios at a field or regional office:

  • 1. Reliable Internet access, acceptable bandwidth, and a reliable power supply
  • 2. Reliable Internet access, acceptable bandwidth, and an unreliable power supply
  • 3. Limited Internet access, insufficient bandwidth, reliable or intermittent power supply

Rather than delivering a one-size fits all solution, your provider should offer deployment options that best utilize the resources available at a given location. Ideally, you want a solution that can be deployed via the Internet and also offers Portals and Terminal Services, as well as replication capabilities.

Download the full whitepaper to continue reading.



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