Proving the worth of an Orchestral experience.

Where are they?
Office in Central London, but working across England.

What do they do?
Seek to enable the widest range of people to have inspirational experiences of professional live orchestral music.

How big are they?

Fewer than ten full time staff.

What did they receive?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional Server with 9x User CAL, Small Business Server with 4x additional User CAL, Office Professional Plus 2007 and Windows 7 Enterprise upgrades.

The outcome?
The new CRM system has provided the starting point for Orchestras Live to centralise, analyse, retrieve and interpret data and project evaluation material, enabling better measurement of effectiveness against target outcomes. IT systems are now robust and appropriate for remote working.
An IT revamp for Orchestras Live wasn’t merely a case of acquiring newer software. Rather, it was part and parcel of a cultural shift within the organisation as it asked itself the question: ‘how can we most effectively prove the value of what we do, and help our partners to communicate the difference we make to people’s lives by working together?’

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Back in 2008, Orchestras Live asked Charities Evaluation Services to advise them on how to restructure their business plan to reflect an approach based on outcomes rather than outputs. Staff also wanted to move from administrative systems and processes that had developed ad hoc to an entirely computerised ‘single system’ that would interlink everything, providing an all-encompassing knowledge-base for each project. The idea was that this would incorporate not just the ‘internals’, such as email trails, documents and financial information, but a wide range of other associated material – details of the demographic profile of the participants, interviews, press reviews, MP3 and videos – and crucially a mechanism for Orchestras Live and its partners to measure results against the target outcomes for each area of activity.

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From here, they employed an IT consultant (who works for IT for Charities) to draw up a detailed brief, separated into Orchestras Live’s requirements for the ‘single system’ and also a robust underlying IT infrastructure. Through attending the Microsoft / NCVO IT conference for charities, Nancy was introduced to the software donations programme run by CTX, and also attended a workshop on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional could be tailored to meet an organisation’s needs.

The key outcome is that Orchestras Live now has everything in one place, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and intuitive to use. Staff can see the big picture – or drill down in fine detail. They can answer complicated queries posed by third parties, exporting data to packages such as Excel if required. IT systems are far more robust, and by outsourcing the maintenance and backup of IT to an external supplier, staff can get on with the core business of the charity.

“We came in on budget and on time,” reports Nancy. “And the system is great. We set a very high bar, but still achieved more than we imagined. It allows us to bring huge added value to our partners.”


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