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How Improving Field Ops with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Is Helping to Save Lives

Justin Smith
Group Marketing Manager

Most of us have experienced an IT-related problem at work—maybe an interruption (the network is down) or a mild annoyance (the printer isn’t printing). Most of the time, we can say, “Well, at least no lives are at stake.”

But that isn’t the case for CARE.org (CARE). When their IT systems aren’t working properly, human lives are at risk.

With a mission to end poverty and support social justice worldwide, CARE is recognized for its “unshakable commitment to the dignity of people.” The organization focuses on women and children in impoverished areas—the most vulnerable populations in the world—by providing community-based programs that facilitate equal rights, education, healthcare, and agricultural and economic opportunities.

CARE serves multiple “customers,” including 63 million people who CARE field staff have helped through programs designed to combat the effects of disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and war. But their customers also include donors and the government. As a nonprofit, CARE must satisfy strict audit compliance requirements. If they fail to meet those requirements, their nonprofit status could be revoked—in essence, halting the relief efforts that so many rely on.

CARE’s staff most often works in remote, precarious, and dangerous environments, so they need the ability to manage budgets and staffing on location. To be successful at the local level, CARE knew that they would need to update their out-of-date, legacy PeopleSoft Financial and Supply Chain Management application and replace their private cloud with a better solution.

After a rigorous vetting process, CARE decided to work with Oracle Gold Partner Astute Business Solutions to upgrade their legacy PeopleSoft application to the latest version and replace their underlying technology platform with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

I sat down with Mamuka Khantadze, Senior Director of Digital Operations at CARE, and asked him a few questions about how CARE, as he said, “got out of the data center business,” and back to delivering on their mission.

How did the CARE IT team spend their time before upgrading to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

CARE field staff weren’t the only ones caught up in administrative tasks. Our IT resources were tied up managing the day-to-day availability and performance of our private cloud infrastructure. They had no time to provide the modern finance and HR productivity tools the field staff needed.

What did you do?

Business continuity for our field staff was paramount. This meant we couldn’t entertain an extended system cutover. Astute put together a phased implementation strategy and was able to “lift and shift” our legacy application globally to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure over a long weekend. Our field staff experienced no disruptions to their community programs.

How did the move to Oracle Cloud impact PeopleSoft administration?

Using Oracle Cloud productivity tools like Oracle Cloud Manager to automate application lifecycle management tasks, and Database Cloud Service to automate database management, we reduced our overall infrastructure upgrade and maintenance efforts by 50%. We can deploy new releases via the cloud, which means that field staff can immediately take advantage of new functionality and the IT team won’t get behind on future upgrade cycles.

Has patching in PeopleSoft changed?

Having integrated Oracle Cloud Manager, (it works out of the box within the PeopleSoft environment on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure), we can take full advantage of automation. PeopleSoft patching is at a click of a button; even database patching is automated via the cloud service. All these automations allow us to be more consistent and more reliable in administering the systems.

How would you compare CARE’s previous environment to your current one?

Before migrating to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we had hosted PeopleSoft on private cloud. Our capacities were earmarked and not flexible.

We were unable to scale up or down depending on how much processing need there was in the organization. This was especially a problem during the financial year close. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enabled us to be more flexible and elastic when it comes to adjusting our processing power or spinning up another application server. Now it’s just a matter of minutes instead of hours or days compared to the past.

Has the PeopleSoft upgrade and move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure impacted global field staff?

Yes. As a non-profit organization that fights global poverty, every process efficiency we can gain allows our field staff more time to deliver a better project in the field.

Our goal was to not necessarily just save costs from an operations perspective but to reengineer some of our business processes that were very labor intensive in nature.

For example, as part of the benefits of our migration and PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade, we are deploying a new module for time entry and expense processing that will allow our people that travel to spend less time on internal business processes like logging daily travel and more time on helping the poor and fighting poverty.

View this webcast to hear more about CARE’s story and how, with the help of Astute Business Solutions, they made the move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure from an on-premises environment and upgraded their legacy PeopleSoft application over the course of a long weekend.

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