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McKenzie Aged Care takes critical communications to the cloud with Cisco Webex

McKenzie Aged Care takes critical communications to the cloud with Cisco Webex

CloudHealthcareTop Stories

Operator of 17 homes in three states engages Peak Insight to transform its video conferencing, project management and staff co-ordination capabilities.

Peak Insight, an award-winning Cisco collaboration, contact center and connectivity provider, has announced McKenzie Aged Care has deployed Webex by Cisco to support hybrid and flexible working, streamline project management and co-ordinate team activities across the group.

McKenzie Aged Care is one of Australia’s leading privately-owned aged care and retirement providers, operating 17 nursing homes in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It employs over 2,200 staff, including 120 in central corporate support functions such as finance, HR, procurement, IT and service desk.

The aged care sector is heavily reliant on face-to-face contact in its day-to-day operations. One of the highest priorities is making sure that everyone is contactable at all times, which requires highly available and fault tolerant communications infrastructure.

McKenzie Aged Care deployed a Cisco voice telephony system group wide in 2019 and wanted to layer cloud-based videoconferencing on top to transform the way staff engaged with each other and with the central business support functions.

It also wanted to uplift its project management capabilities, reducing reliance on face-to-face meetings and email, and create specific spaces where project teams could collaborate, co-ordinate, communicate and centrally store all related documentation.

These needs became particularly acute at the start of the pandemic. Support staff were restricted from visiting aged care homes. There was an immediate need to co-ordinate with many stakeholders on crisis calls, liaison with government health officials, and to determine Covid-safe protocols for its homes.

McKenzie Aged Care engaged Peak Insight to assist in the product selection and implementation, and through that process chose Webex by Cisco. Peak Insight was well-known to McKenzie, having previously handled its group wide telephony upgrade. Its professionalism, skill and ability to deliver professional-grade solutions led to its selection for the video conferencing upgrade.

Peter Corrigan, McKenzie Aged Care GM Information and Communications Technology, said: “We were looking for a video conferencing platform that was stable, reliable and secure, and something that we could leverage with our existing investment in our telephony platform, and that was Webex by Cisco. It’s really extended our telephony system to become a true unified communications platform.”

The solution has improved the ability for staff to meet flexibly and to be contactable over video. Staff can now initiate or join video meetings with colleagues from any corporate-issued device.

It has also led to smarter project management practices within the group, helping keep projects on track in a challenging operating environment.

Sam Deckert, Peak Insight Founder and Principal Consultant

“During the pandemic, our portfolio of projects could have come to a grinding halt. Using Webex by Cisco enabled us to forge on,” said Sandy Foote, McKenzie’s Group PMO Manager. “It enabled us to communicate across the business quickly and to make better decisions together as a team.”

Webex is expected to enable McKenzie Aged Care to permanently cut its travel budget by two-thirds since more meetings can run online.

It is also now being used to enable remote recruitment and onboarding, and to record e-learning content that is used to train staff on upcoming system changes.

Sam Deckert, Peak Insight Founder and Principal Consultant, said: “Working with McKenzie Aged Care, we understood that they were looking to simplify the complexity of their existing on-premises video conferencing environment by moving to cloud infrastructure and a simplified vendor engagement, having a single vendor that could be relied upon to deliver all of their critical communications needs.”

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