Arizona Baptist Children's Services

"Everything is backed up, so we can protect our data. Office 365 keeps you password protected, which is great for us."

— Daniel Yu, IT director

Helping Families and Staying Secure with Office 365

With only a two-person IT department serving more than 200 employees and 600 volunteers, Daniel Yu, IT director for Arizona Baptist Children's Services (ABCS), has his work cut out for him. At ABCS, busy is in the job description. The organization works in a variety of areas, supporting the neediest children and families in its community. 

ABCS, with offices across the state and operations in Mexico, offers counseling and pregnancy services, classes on budgeting and personal finance, and foster care services. It also works with the state of Arizona to facilitate adoptions, among other things. 

Since 1960, ABCS has expanded its services rapidly, just this year donating more than 10,000 items such as diapers, formula, and clothing to members of the community who come to it for help. ABCS also boasts an annual attendance of more than 2,500 people at its parenting classes, has worked with more than 200 foster children, and has facilitated 21 adoptions to date. 

Adriana is a prime example of the organization's impact. Pregnant with her fourth child and desperate for help, Adriana turned to ABCS: "We have been able to get clothing, wipes, formula, and baby food, [and] they have helped me get into a domestic violence shelter. With this help, now I have my own place. … They have been awesome people who have helped me and my family a lot." 

Serving with Efficiency and Security 

In order to accomplish their goals in the field, many of the organization's staff work offsite with laptops. According to Yu, ABCS staff members rely on Microsoft's Office 365 Nonprofit donation to access and share documents when they're away from the office. He says, "One of the key features of our Office 365 donation … is OneDrive for Business. We use it to sync our documents used by our remote users, which allows them to work in the community efficiently." 

ABCS staff laptops also hold highly confidential information about clients that falls under HIPAA compliance regulations. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting confidential patient data and requires technology holding this data to be secure. 

In order to stay compliant with these HIPAA regulations, Yu and the rest of ABCS rely on Office 365: "OneDrive is HIPAA compliant, and since we work with the state, there is information we need to keep secure." Yu also touted Office 365's other security features: "Everything is backed up, so we can protect our data. Office 365 keeps you password protected, which is great for us." Yu also personally uses TechSoup’s educational resources. He says TechSoup's blog posts and articles "give us ideas of what other people do so we can do new things to improve our services." 

Combined, these educational resources and Microsoft donations have helped ABCS save more than $1,000 a month in IT costs, freeing up much-needed funding for operations. With more money saved and the organization's information secured, ABCS can continue improving the lives of people like Adriana safely and efficiently. 

This story originally appeared on the TechSoup Blog. It was written by Wes White of TechSoup.