From E-mail Rollouts To Biometic Scanners: Technology Transformation at the Calgary Drop-In Centre

Sierra Systems, an NTT DATA Company was featured in the March Edition of Canada Business Chief Magazine. The article features Helen Knight, Director of IT, and Paul Twigg of Sierra Systems/NTT DATA Services, exploring their technological transformation of the Calgary Drop-In Centre to better the lives of its staff, volunteers and the city’s homeless community.

An excerpt from the article:

[Helen] Knight stresses that the essence of her technological transformation at the Drop-In is the empowerment of its staff and volunteers. “I’m not here to replace anybody,” she insists. “I’m here to take away busy work and pain. I think technologists get into a lot of trouble when they feel so confident that they reach past their level of expertise and start making policy decisions, or feel that just because they can prove something with data, that it’s the right and humane thing to do,” she reflects.

“I fully accept that my skill-set ends at the technology, and that the front-line workers are the experts in client care” [Paul] Twigg, who has been working alongside Knight and her team to bring Sierra Systems’ expertise to bear on the challenges of technological transformation at the Drop-In, agrees. “It’s not about cool tech. It’s about giving a person experiencing homelessness a bed, a sandwich, a laundry service and everything else that comes with it,” he emphasizes. “All non-profits require technology. They just haven’t been able to invest in it because the charity funding model makes it difficult to put money into technology even though it will save money down the line.”

Read the complete story here.

Read more about our work at Calgary Drop-In Centre.