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Reflections on Gratitude: Partners In Health (Part 2 of 5)

What are you grateful for? At Perficient, we’re thankful for everything our partners do in the field to improve and save lives. This week, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the work of Partners In Health, an organization that provides healthcare services and resources to the most impoverished and underserved regions around the world. PIH is a long-standing partner to Perficient and recently was featured in a Microsoft campaign that highlighted their efforts to bring unified collaboration and cloud technology to their 18,000 colleagues in 10 countries.
We sat down with Dave Mayo, PIH’s Chief Information Officer, to get an update on the organization’s work and fulfillment of their mission to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need. For the next week, we’ll highlight parts of our interview with Mayo to reflect our gratitude for the work they’re doing.

Perficient: How have the technological advances been helpful to your organization on a global basis?
Dave Mayo: PIH is so diverse. We’re in 10 countries right now. Our mission is to serve the poorest and most impoverished folks in the most remote regions, and we have areas where we need to have our clinicians in the field be connected. The Skype for Business platform is going to be that tool. It’s not fully deployed yet; we’re taking the crawl, walk, run approach. We’ve updated power and internet in our main headquarters in all 10 countries so that we can use Skype for Business, and we can leverage a lot of the Office 365 suite there.
We have future plans, both from a change management perspective and from an infrastructure upgrade perspective. From a collaboration standpoint, it can take 30 hours to get from Boston to Lesotho or Malawi, and that’s just getting to the headquarters. Getting to a field hospital or a clinic could be another 10- to 12-hour drive. The ability to collaborate with our colleagues with a tool so powerful as Skype for Business – it’s a total game changer for us.
Perficient: What is the team in the field saying about the improvements to collaboration?
Dave Mayo: The feedback from the team is that everybody wants it. Everybody wants a tool that they can use to improve collaboration. That’s the recurring theme, and we have a lot of work to do on our end, both from a PIH perspective and with the help of Perficient, to ensure that we have the fundamentals in place so that we can continue the adoption of Office 365 and Skype for Business throughout the rest of the countries.
We’re fully deployed and functional in the US, but it’s a continuing project. The folks in the field that have good power and internet – it’s well received. Now, we’re trying to work to ensure that everyone at PIH has that opportunity, but that’s not a small feat.
When we first partnered with Perficient, we had 8 countries, and we were really in bad shape. We didn’t have a common email platform. We didn’t have any way to communicate via the only real communication platform, which was email. We really didn’t know how to get information to all of the teams and all of the countries across the board. We were spread across multiple platforms that had issues. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t, and because of the donation of Office 365 and the expert work of the Perficient team, we were able to step back and understand who we are and how we work. Then, putting together the roadmap of how we were going to get this platform into everyone’s hands was an amazing undertaking. We hit the ball out of the park on the initial implementation. We definitely have more work ahead of us – more specifically in the international space – but we’re in a much better spot. We get feedback from clinicians in the field that they feel connected. I’ve talked with clinicians, business folks, and technical folks in the field, and we’re at a point where the walls are coming down, and we can leverage tools like Skype for Business. It’s exciting.

This is part 2 of a week-long series on PIH’s work. Check out more about our work with Partners In Health here.

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Jane Louis, Microsoft Marketing Manager

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