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Empowering A Global Children's Charity To Work From Anywhere

Empowering A Global Children's Charity To Work From Anywhere

How Plan International, the global children’s charity, adopted Teneo’s Work From Anywhere IT services to reduce costs and improve user experience across its remote locations.

At a glance

THE CHALLENGE: Tackling infrastructure modernization while balancing costs, improving organizational efficiencies and user experiences across geographically dispersed, remote locations.
THE SOLUTION: A hybrid infrastructure model combining SASE components SD-WAN and WAN Optimization, with Teneo support and Managed Service.
THE RESULT: Successful infrastructure transition, significant cost savings per month, better performance of critical apps, happier heavy data users, and a confident Head of IT Infrastructure.

About Plan International

Founded in 1937, Plan International is a development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. The non-profit organization strives for a just world, working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners. In 2021, they reached 26.2 million girls and 24.1 million boys through their work.

The Plan International global family is active in 78 countries worldwide, organized into national offices, which engage in activities including raising funds, recruiting supporters, and campaigning.

Bhavin Patel, Head of IT Infrastructure, has worked at Plan International for eight years and has seen four restructures. Contributing to the central strategy, Bhavin has a team of seven infrastructure staff: two in The Philippines, one in Guatemala and four in the UK. Bhavin relies on third-parties for relevant expertise.

10 years of innovation & optimization

Plan International has worked with Teneo for 10 years, in which time technology has changed dramatically. They’d originally faced poor connectivity in their remote locations, consequently finding themselves unable to complete important, everyday tasks.

Satellite connectivity was also very expensive in some areas, such as West Africa, where there’s limited infrastructure.

To help remedy this issue across the network, Plan International engaged Teneo’s assistance with WAN Optimization, which they consumed as a Managed Service. This enabled them to achieve application performance that was up to eight times faster.

Critical applications include training, HR, and SAP for finance, which are extremely bandwidth-hungry. With Teneo’s help, they were able to reduce the 55 minutes it would take for a 400MB procurement report to open on a good site, down to 14 minutes. They also saw a 50% reduction in email volume, as well as vast improvements when accessing SharePoint files.

An improved strategy

In the last five years, however, technology has evolved. In locations like Vietnam, Egypt, India, and Latin America, bandwidth is now much more affordable. This prompted Plan International to evaluate their infrastructure modernization strategy across their 161 international sites, seeking ways to deliver improved organizational efficiencies and user experiences.

One of Plan International’s strategic goals is to maximize income, and one of their strategic enablers is to ‘Think Digital’. This includes moving to tablets in the field and delivering better data, as well as providing a portal and mobile app to sponsors. For the sites with latency and heavy use of media, optimization is critical to support these initiatives.

This led the team to explore additional components of a Secure Access Services Edge (SASE), such as SD-WAN, in combination with WAN Optimization. With Teneo’s assistance to define their required features, Plan International was able to identify a more cost-effective option – and one that would deliver maximum throughput.

A strategy was identified that would result in significant cost savings per month. It saw the Plan International team transition to a new SD-WAN platform, replacing their previous WAN Optimization solution like-for-like, but 65% less expensive, on selected sites that were utilizing VSAT as well as those requiring extra resilience.

Meanwhile, as WAN Optimization was still an important and robust technology on other sites, Bhavin was reluctant to keep his environment running unsupported. So, for the last 3 years, he’s relied on Teneo’s support, which delivers access to our Service Desk 24x7x365, proactive and predictive monitoring, an annual tune-up service, and hardware support.

“I knew that, for many sites, we no longer needed to incur the full cost of our existing network infrastructure,” said Bhavin Patel, Head of IT Infrastructure. “As an international charity, keeping costs low is incredibly important to us.”

Child data users, who deal with sensitive information relating to vulnerable children, and management staff producing large reports, have seen the greatest benefits since these changes were implemented.

down quote up quote Before working with Teneo, very often our team would have to wait up to 55 minutes for a report, which was significantly impacting productivity. By working with Teneo to implement a solution, we’ve increased productivity and have saved both time and money.
Bhavin Patel
Head of IT Infrastructure, Plan International

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Service value

To help Plan International to Work From Anywhere, and meet their strategic goal to maximize income and “Think Digital”, the Teneo team added value through several key areas.

Support and expert knowledge

To help Plan International build their business case for change, Teneo facilitated a discovery workshop and produced an extensive report to help the organization determine what they wanted from a solution.

Bhavin commented, “Carrying out this strategic work to define key advantages of potential solutions saved significant time and effort.”

Enhanced performance

Teneo also assessed the connectivity scenarios to help define the best options. A trial was then carried out in October 2020 to test optimization levels with the proposed change in infrastructure. Findings concluded that performance was in fact better with the recommended solution, and statistics were even further boosted for O365 and finance systems.

Global agility

Teneo has helped Plan International to stay agile across the globe throughout the partnership. Bhavin commented: “The commitment from the service team is exceptional, and I appreciate the honest answers that Teneo provides. They’ve been especially helpful with shipping and clearance in Africa. The team are also great fun to work with!”

down quote up quote Teneo’s Work From Anywhere IT services represent really good value. They know our business well and they have thorough knowledge and experience. Like many of us, I’m in meetings 3.5 days out of 5 so I don’t have time to chase partners. I rely on reporting from partners like Teneo, as well as new ideas and innovation.
Bhavin Patel
Head of IT Infrastructure, Plan International

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Embrace innovation with confidence today.

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