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Indigenous medical service benefits from IT health check

Posted on 1/05/2015 3:51 PM

The Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service continually strives to develop services to better the health and social wellbeing of the Illawarra Indigenous community. Under-performing IT systems, however, presented an obstacle to their mission.

Our Client

The Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Health Service (IAMS) provides a wide range of medical and community focused services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It has come a very long way in the twenty years since humble beginnings in a small tent in Coomaditchie. With funding grants, IAMS continually expanded its client services and outgrew a number of premises along the way. It now has facilities in both Wollongong and Dapto, from which it serves the local Indigenous community.

Business Problem

Jodie Duncan, Deputy CEO at IAMS, explains that IT systems were letting the service down: "With rapid growth and constantly moving premises, our IT had become a bit of a mish-mash. It was little wonder we were having problems with it."

Systems were generally slow, causing frustration for an organisation that relies heavily on secure access and storage of client files and medical records. To make matters worse, network outages were becoming more and more frequent, in particular for remote sites. Future growth of medical services would only compound the issues, with existing infrastructure already unable to cope.

"We had to fix our IT, as a matter of urgency," says Duncan. "We approached Novo IT for advice, since we didn't have our own experts."

Novo IT Solution

Novo IT made a thorough assessment of IAMS' IT performance, and designed a new virtualized infrastructure in line with the Service's current and future business needs. VMWare vSphere was the software of choice for virtualization.

Duncan says, "IT has certainly changed since our last upgrade more than 10 years ago. Novo IT guided us to the latest technology, and made sure it suited our needs and budget."

The existing SBS 2003 server was upgraded to SBS Premium 2011, and virtualized to provide additional, easily scalable processing power. Novo IT virtualized and upgraded two existing Citrix Servers to XenApp, for reliable remote network access. SharePoint, based on SQL server, was virtualized to enable storage, access and sharing of data across the network. Client files, mail and information systems were then migrated to the new infrastructure. Symantec backup imaging was deployed for secure data backup.

Novo IT Managed Services Team came on board to provide ongoing management, maintenance and support for IT systems. Any issues that arise will be detected immediately, and dealt with before they can disrupt the organisation.

Client Outcomes

With a new, highly available IT infrastructure in place, network access was transformed. Both office and remote workers were delighted to be using the latest versions of software, without the fear of network outages.

Duncan says, "It was so much easier to deliver client services, without the technology hassles and fear of outages."

Business continuity was restored. The secure backup solution minimised risk of data loss, which might have devastated the medical and community health service provider. 

"Thanks to Novo IT," says Duncan, "We can now concentrate on our mission of improving the health and well-being of the local Indigenous community."

To find out how Novo IT can manage technology to support your business needs, call 02 9249 0900, email or visit​


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