Case study: move to the cloud has the Pharmacy Guild of NZ on cloud nine

We talk to Emma Houltham, Office Manager of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, and Delia Gill, Managing Director of IT Engine about how a move to the cloud has given everyone involved an unexpected lift.

It’’s the string of added benefits you were never expecting that make an improvement to your business and your bottom line all the more sweeter.

This was the experience of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand when they embarked on a journey of improvement to their IT infrastructure that began with a chance meeting on a flight from Wellington to Auckland, and ended up positively impacting all areas of their business and the people they support, thanks to a move to the cloud.

A chance meeting

“”During my flight I had a lovely chat with a lady who worked with the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand. She told me they had ‘a few problems with the IT’ at the Guild and suggested I might have some solutions”,” says Delia Gill, Managing Director of Wellington-based IT solutions company IT Engine.

That chance meeting marked the beginning of great change for the Guild, from a situation where their IT system was costly, slow, restrictive and unreliable, to one that’’s more affordable, faster, flexible and robust since moving to the cloud.

“”Prior to the change, it was not uncommon for the IT system to completely go down for periods of time, or run painfully slowly at certain times of the day”,” says Emma Houltham, Office Manager of the Guild. “”Other small but frustrating interruptions, like delays to the appearance of email wording as staff were typing caused by our email running through an exchange elsewhere, had become a common annoyance to be put up with.””

A complex and sensitive environment

The Guild is a reputable membership organisation that provides support and services to the majority of community pharmacy owners across New Zealand, including leadership on all key issues facing the community pharmacy sector, and a range of business services and tools. To do this effectively they run a number of large databases, a CRM and a web-based ordering system, all of which contain important and sensitive information to be used in reporting and communications, including to the government agency PHARMAC.

A positive change

After commissioning an independent audit of their current IT system, the Guild decided to seek the services of IT Engine, who were assisted by business solutions provider Enabling, to devise and implement a range of much-needed solutions.

The Guild was educated and supported during a move of its IT operating systems to the cloud, with the introduction of the Microsoft Azure platform and Office 365.

A resulting 65 percent cost saving for hosting each month would have been enough to make the Guild happy. In addition, they are now seeing faster response times when using all software, experiencing no down times or slow periods, and even seeing their emails appear as they type them – a simple change that has everyone celebrating.

“”With the change, staff productivity has been positively affected thanks to being supported by a better system that does not slow down or stop staff from doing their work”,” says Emma. “”Our members are also better supported because we are now able to be respond more quickly and reliably, which is so important.””

Be inspired

If you are a small to medium business and can see room for improvement to your IT systems that could have a positive and ongoing impact, this could be the chance meeting that marks the beginning of your own great change.

Words and interviews by Kim Knight.

This case study originally appeared at

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