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Going Digital For Good

11 Sep 2017
Going Digital For Good

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor launches a Home Visiting CRM system at the Early Learning Initiative, National College of Ireland Home Visitors from the Early Learning Initiative at National College of Ireland (NCI) today demonstrated a new digital ‘CRM’ (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Made possible by investment from Microsoft and tailor-made by partner company, eBECS, in collaboration with NCI’s own IT team, this bespoke app is built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM platform. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM can be configured “out of the box” to reproduce specific business processes: it is designed around the fact that each business is different and every customer journey is unique.

For the Home Visitors, that ‘customer’ is the parent and child they are engaging with. Stock management of books and toys for home visits are now calculated at a touch of a button. Home Visits can be captured in real time using mobile devices, through an on-demand cloud based platform. Rich data analytics functionality permits a deeper interrogation of observations and interactions. CRM will allow the Early Learning Initiative to follow children’s development as they move from pre-school into education, ensuring they have the supports they need to succeed.

Dr. Josephine Bleach, Director of the Early Learning Initiative (ELI) explained: “Home Visitors will have less administration, and so can fully focus on the family they are visiting. The information collected can be analysed, understood and fed back into the programme more quickly. Home Visitors make over 5,000 visits each year to more than 200 families and pre-school children in the neighbourhood. There are no words to describe the dedication of our Home Visitors to the children and parents they work with. Our home visitors drove this project, engaging with new technology and learning considerable IT skills to realise its successful implementation.”

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of State for Higher Education, said: “Parental involvement is key to children’s academic success. I am delighted to celebrate the launch of an innovative system that further increases the quality of the Parent Child Home Programme. It will have a positive, measurable impact on the provision of early education to children in the North East Inner City, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning.”

President of NCI, Gina Quin, welcomed the minister’s words, adding: “For a decade, The Early Learning Initiative has been at the heart of NCI – and, indeed, the heart of the North East Inner City Community. Always innovative, always setting new standards of excellence, ELI builds models of best practice and creates well-founded programmes to address systemic issues that affect families and young people in marginalised communities. None of this would be possible without corporate support, including many of our neighbours here in the IFSC. In particular, this project shows cooperation between NCI’s own IT department, eBECS and especially Microsoft, whose support made it possible for the Home Visits to ‘go digital’. This is ‘technology for good’.”

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