Avanade rolls out Microsoft stack for RSL Queensland

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Avanade rolls out Microsoft stack for RSL Queensland

The Queensland branch of the Returned and Services League (RSL) has selected multinational Microsoft partner Avanade to transform the non-profit organisation with a suite of Microsoft products.

The organisation was founded in 1916 to support those returning from war and now offers a range of services to all returning men and women.

Coming up on its 100th anniversary, RSL Queensland started plotting how to overhaul the organisation's operations by transforming its technology environment towards the end of 2015.

RSL Queensland had two primary goals in mind: to build and maintain a sustainable revenue stream out of its popular charity lottery, and to evolve its services to the standard expected by its younger members while remaining accessible across the entire membership.

RSL Queensland chief executive Luke Traini told CRN that the organisation realised how reliant it is on information to run its business, especially when it comes to its lottery.

The lottery is one of the largest charitable lotteries in the world with over 900,000 participants, and almost completely funds the RSL.

"The realisation was that even though we run a lottery, the types of services that the RSL, or any organisation provide these days are heavily reliant on information and technology systems to be effective and so we needed a large investment in technology to enable the service delivery parts of our organisation to both scale and to deliver new and novel services to our younger veterans," Traini said.

Following a tender process, RSL Queensland selected Avanade to roll out a Microsoft stack across the organisation and its 200+ staff. In addition to help from Avanade, RSL Queensland also hired a team of 50 IT professionals to work on the project.

At the core of the new platform is Dynamics 365, which RSL Queensland uses to run a customised lottery application, and stored information in a data warehouse on Azure.

Dynamics 365 is also used to underpin the technology for service deliveries for veterans such as managing membership, advocacy and case management.

The organisation also rolled out a suite of collaboration tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, which Traini said allowed enabled RSL's staff to work digitally. RSL Queensland was also one of the first organisations in Australia to deploy Microsoft Teams, which Traini said had replaced two or three apps previously used for communicating.

While the new Microsoft stack was only rolled out to RSL Queensland staff, the branch hopes the platform will be made available across the organisation nationally. The platform is expected to go live in December this year.

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