Google Cloud Results
Stronger security with auto-locking Google Chromebooks
• Provides peace of mind for users and staff with automatic locking on Google Chrome devices
• Assembles new anonymized datasets on elderly care ready for researchers costs
• Creates a single, easily managed and easy to use communications solution
Every day, more than 4,000 people visit Civitas Vitae Angelo Ferro, a community spread over 12 hectares in Padua, Italy, that integrates support for the elderly and disabled with care for children. It is one of 13 centres across northeast Italy run by OIC Onlus, a pioneering non-profit foundation founded in the 1950s that brings the elderly and the very young together, rather than keeping them apart.
“By putting together different generations you can generate new energy and strong, social bonds,” says Andrea Cavagnis, President at OIC Onlus. “We now have 2,300 guests at our centres, where we put nursing homes, creches, and sport facilities alongside each other to create a space where different generations meet and help each other.”
Over decades, communications and administration at OIC Onlus became fragmented, with digital solutions confined to key areas such as Human Resources, while much of the guests’ experiences were managed on paper. Guido and his IT and digital transformation team now look to use technology to develop automation in OIC Onlus buildings, improve connections between the foundation’s 1,700 staff and medical experts, and even help in the guests’ wider lives.
“We chose Google Workspace because we get everything within one global system. All the tools are in one box and users can easily pass information between different applications. It’s a complete, integrated solution.” Guido Masnata, Director of ICT, OIC Onlus
“We give older people digital support, too, helping them learn to use smartphones and tablets to be in contact with other people,” says Fabio Toso, General Director at OIC Onlus. “There is a lot of immigration in our region, and giving people the possibility to keep in touch with their relatives is very important.”
To update the organisation, the digital transformation team decided to bring communications, administration, and more together under a single, cloud-based platform that would be easy to maintain and simple to use. Google Workspace was an ideal fit.
“As a charity, we use Google for Nonprofits, but the great support and savings we receive through that project was not our primary driver for choosing Google Workspace,” says Guido. “We chose Google Workspace because we get everything within one global system. All the tools are in one box and users can easily pass information between different applications. It’s a complete, integrated solution.”
Simplified services, single solution
Long-established organisations often struggle with a legacy of fragmented communications built up over time. For OIC Onlus, extensive paper-based administration at its 13 care centres was only part of the problem. Information sharing, email, and organisational tools all operated through diverse solutions that made it slow for staff to access archives and share information between centres.
In addition, the foundation planned to open up the potential of digital communication for its guests and deliver extensive digital transformation for its care facilities, to prepare OIC Onlus for the future. The team looked for a centralized, low-maintenance, easy-to-use cloud-based solution that could simplify communications and adapt to new demands.
“Our 1,700 employees come from more than 29 countries and we show them how to use Google Meet in their personal lives as well as how to keep in touch with their families abroad, or share photographs with Google Drive.” Guido Masnata, Director of ICT, OIC Onlus
To do that, OIC Onlus switched to Google Workspace with support from leading Google Cloud Premier Partner Noovle and Google for Nonprofits. “We set up Google Workspace as the general instrument for the whole OIC Onlus organisation and its satellites,” says Guido. “To complement that, we have adopted around 400 Google Chromebooks. They’re inexpensive, so we can simply replace them if we need to without a heavy investment in hardware or time lost to repairs. Now we are eliminating all PCs so that the only credential our employees need is one Google Workspace account for everything.”
By bringing everyone on to Gmail, Google Sheets, Docs, Google Meet, and Drive, Guido and his team provide a complete communications environment that delivers the level of security guests expect. “I totally trust Google with data security,” says Guido. “Previously we had people entering from a number of different passworded systems. Now it's just one, and we manage levels of access for it from the centre.”
“We’ve also created a setup with Google Workspace and Google Chromebooks that makes every Google Chromebook leave the network after ten minutes of inactivity, to protect vulnerable guests from unauthorised access. We can even lock Google Chromebooks so that they will only work when they’re used at one of our facilities.”
“We use Google Chromebooks and vertical software to monitor everything for the guests, from drugs, to meals, to activities, so that every guest is a specific project, with individual care. Google Workspace makes it easy for us to share that information safely and make plans.” Chiara Cavazzini, research project leader, OIC Onlus
“Our OIC Onlus digital transformation is not only a technical company project, it is social, too,” says Guido. “Our 1,700 employees come from more than 29 countries and we show them how to use Google Meet in their personal lives as well as how to keep in touch with their families abroad, or share photographs with Google Drive. We show guests in their 80s how to use Google Docs to plan holidays with their children. It’s not just about work. Our team of four is the centre of a small solar system.”
Integrating with specialist systems
In parallel with Google Workspace, OIC Onlus uses specialized software to collect data on guests and manage their care. “We manage very critical data for private and public healthcare systems,” says Guido. “That means integration is very important, so we work with our software supplier to integrate with Google Cloud APIs, generating notifications in Google Calendar, for example, to flag appointments or medication needs on Android devices held by carers, and to share examination results over Google Drive.”
“We use Google Chromebooks and vertical software to monitor everything for the guests, from drugs, to meals, to activities, so that every guest is a specific project, with individual care,” says Chiara Cavazzini, research project leader at OIC Onlus. “Google Workspace makes it easy for us to share that information safely and make plans.”
“It helps researchers, too, because we have assembled an enormous amount of anonymized data about the use of food and drugs in an elderly population. In a recent collaboration with the university in Milan, we looked at the impact of specific foods like red berries. The data helps us judge how to use food instead of combinations of drugs to keep people healthy.”
Putting social at the centre
Thanks to Google Workspace, OIC Onlus is eliminating all of its on-premises servers and moving all ICT into the cloud. In the future, the company plans to put Google Calendar at the heart of a new approach to domestic services for self-sufficient people, reminding them to take medicines and creating appointments. “We’re especially interested in the Google Home equipment,” adds Guido. “Vocal commands could be very important in the future. We know people find it easier to use a touchscreen than a laptop. Vocal commands could be easier still.”
Guido concludes: “The keyword for all of our work is social, and Noovle has understood that from the beginning. From buying Google Chromebooks, to working with our vertical software supplier on Google API integrations, we have an excellent relationship.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.