Customer Success Story: Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly

How Chi Networks Helped Non-Profit Little Brothers Reduce  IT Costs by 41%

Surprise and delight are factors you look for in a good vendor relationship. Do they surprise and delight you with the level of service provided? We certainly get that from Chi Networks! They really are good, as they say, at Keeping I.T. Simple.

Simone Mitchell-Peterson, Executive Director
Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly

Client Challenge


Managed IT services are no longer limited to for-profit businesses. Non-profits like Little Brothers are using them to control costs and enhance productivity. The transition to managed IT services, however, can be a challenge. Although it brings enormous benefits, non-profit organizations do entrust control of their internal operations to professionals whose expertise can be difficult for them to evaluate. From this standpoint, managed IT services can be a leap of faith.


Simone Mitchell-Peterson,
Executive Director
Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly

Like many non-profits, Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) – a national network of volunteer–based organizations committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly – grew into the information age largely by depending on the limited skills of volunteers to manage its IT needs. “When I came on board” says Simone Mitchell-Peterson, Little Brother’s Executive Director, “we only had one part-time employee managing our IT, supported by a technology committee comprised of volunteers who worked in the IT industry.”


Over time the organization’s IT requirements grew and a choice had to be made to as to who could be responsible for managing Little Brother’s growing IT infrastructure. According to Mitchell-Peterson, “we were at a point where we definitely needed real-time response to fix problems when they occurred – we had a business to run.”


Chi Networks Solution


LBFE chose to transfer responsibility for its IT infrastructure to Chi Networks and its Ultimate Managed Services and Data Armor® Managed Security services. It was the right choice. It enabled LBFE to best leverage its volunteer skill sets without overextending their limited IT expertise.


The transition from a local, in-house IT infrastructure to Chi Networks’ Ultimate Managed Services was seamless. Day-to-day operations were channeled through Chi Networks team members who took complete responsibility for all IT operations, with Chi Network’s 24x7x365 Help Desk fielding all calls for tech support. Chi Networks’ Enterprise Network Operations Center (ENOC) took responsibility for monitoring all of LBFE’s systems – a critical component to providing truly managed services. LBFE was also running legacy applications on Microsoft Windows 2000 that were prone to failure. ENOC quickly identified and resolve this problem before most LBFE users were even aware of them.
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Chi Networks did more much more than simply support LBFE’s systems. Ultimate Managed Services so to it that all backups were automatically verified and servers/desktops were put on regular maintenance schedules to ensure maximum uptime. Chi Networks technicians created a communications system that kept LBFE staff informed about the latest changes with LBFE systems.


Discussions among Chi Networks senior engineers and senior LBFE executives about LBFE business priorities led IT refinements that further increased the productivity of LBFE staff members.


Success with Ultimate Managed Services™


Focusing on LBFE’s core mission is easier for its staff today because the non-profit’s IT systems are being monitored, protected and continuously improved. Chi Networks’ Ultimate Managed Services enables LBFE to use its computer systems to increase productivity as opposed to generating technical support work for staff and volunteers.


After a year of working with Chi Networks, and after gathering actual and estimated Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) data, LBFE constructed a comparison between internal management (by recruiting its own IT staff ) and management with Chi Networks. The cost difference between the two options was startling. By working with Chi Networks, LBFE had reduced its costs by 41% in the first year alone.
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Working with Chi Networks removed many distractions and costs. For instance, LBFE did not have to recruit or train staff to ensure that their skills were kept up to changing industry standards. Also avoided was the overhead of payroll taxes. And, in the event of an emergency LBFE knew that its data was secure with Chi Networks had  data secured.


“Surprise and delight are factors you look for in a good vendor relationship. Do they surprise and delight you with the level of service provided? LBFE certainly gets that from Chi Networks”, says Mitchell–Peterson.


“It speaks to the partnership,” she continued “The Chi Networks staff reaches out three to four times per year, and keeps me informed from a strategic point of view about what our system needs are in the foreseeable future, it’s this kind of 24-7-365 care that helps our executives rest easy at night, knowing our IT needs are covered across the board.”