Integrated communications is vital to the operation of the Make-A-Wish foundation. With 62 chapters and 27,000 active members, it grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Through these wishes, children gain confidence, learn about subjects that intrigue them or simply have a day of fun.
As it shifted toward an increasingly mobile workforce, the foundation realized the reliability of its communications technology was lackluster. It had become both costly and inconvenient to operate a dispersed, often mobile workforce while using outdated and unintegrated technology.
The solution was the Mitel MiVoice Business communications and telephony platform with the MiCollab mobile collaboration app. Both were found through the help of Pacific Office Solutions, formerly Trans-West Network Solution.
Discover the communications challenges Make-A-Wish faced and how it leveraged these new solutions to manage all the elements needed to make wishes come true for critically ill children.
Why are business communications important for Make-A-Wish?
“It’s really important for us to communicate with all the people involved in the wish process, (including) the wish family, the volunteers, all the people planning and orchestrating the whole process, as well as our generous donor community.” –Bill Baumbach, CIO of Make-A-Wish America
Seamless communications ensures Make-A-Wish not only operates smoothly as a foundation, but successfully executes wishes as well, which range from riding a firetruck to flying hundreds of miles for a family getaway. The process of fulfilling a wish requires a large workforce in constant contact as they plan and bring together a wish.
With employees and volunteers increasingly working from home and on mobile devices, the foundation realized that choosing one seamless business communications solution would provide better collaboration and response times.
In addition, the foundation needed a cost-effective solution that made the most of donors’ dollars and streamlined deployment at Make-A-Wish’s many locations.
Why did Mitel win out over competing providers?
"Mitel came in with very competitive pricing, a better solution and ease of use. All these things just make my life easier." –Daniel Rivera Manager of Technical Services at Make-A-Wish America
Make-A-Wish quickly realized a Mitel solution would not only effortlessly integrate with its existing Mitel PBX system for voice communications, but also make it possible to easily migrate to a cloud-based solution.
The applications offered by MiVoice Business and MiCollab brought Make-A-Wish up-to-date, providing the ability to easily forward calls, check availability and have audio and web conferences.
Not only did Mitel’s modern technology appeal to Make-A-Wish, but simplicity of installation and ease of use meant deployment at all 62 chapters would be cost-effective and efficient.
How was the deployment process?
"What we've been able to do is onboard locations at our pace... Deploy the technology solution, train, bring employees on board and get those cost savings while keeping our existing investment intact." –Jeff Pick, Director of Technology at Make-A-Wish America
Deployment began at Make-A-Wish’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, taking only a few days to complete. Employees quickly saw the benefits of the mobile applications, especially since many work remotely.
The nationwide installation process was supported by Trans-West Network Solutions, guiding Make-A-Wish in choosing the correct Mitel technology and successfully integrating and training their members.
How have communications improved since deployment?
“Now when (employees are) calling someone at headquarters, they’re not just calling and hoping someone answers. They can look at the (Mitel) software and see if someone is available or in a meeting. If they’re not available, they can send an instant message or simply leave them voicemail. They’ve got much more control and understand the (person’s) availability now.” – Daniel Rivera, Manager of Technical Services at Make-A-Wish America
The advantages of having a modern communications solution were immediate for Make-A-Wish, with employees and volunteers gaining the ability to identify callers, track phone activity and collaborate from remote locations with conferencing applications.
These improvements aid the foundation's ultimate goal, which is giving children facing serious illnesses the opportunity to have a life-changing experience they hadn’t dreamed possible.