How a Nonprofit’s World-Class IT System Was Born
In 1997, the Center for Reproductive Rights turned to the founders of Owia Technology for help establishing its IT infrastructure. It’s been a productive business relationship ever since!
For more than 20 years, The Center for Reproductive Rights has fought for women’s fundamental human right to reproductive freedom. The nonprofit organization has leveraged the legal and human rights tools at its disposal to ensure women everywhere have access to the best reproductive healthcare available, and to fight for their right to decide whether and when to have children. With such an important mandate, the Center was in need of top-of-the-line IT infrastructure and services at its branch office in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in New York City to continue its work transforming the landscape of women’s reproductive health and rights globally.
Back in 1997, the Center was unsatisfied with the service provided by their support firm. Based on the recommendation from their board of Directors, Darryl Anderson was chosen as interim Director of IT and helped steer the Center through a difficult system migration project that replaced every desktop, server, and networking device in the environment. The project also included converting hundreds of legal documents to a new format, developing custom training materials, and delivering the training on the use of the new systems to the entire staff. The following year, Darryl assisted in the selection of permanent staff and it’s been a productive business relationship ever since.
“Because ours is a legal organization, everything is done via technology. Recently, one of our servers went down and the hardware had to be replaced,” said Paul Rudy, Systems Manager, The Center for Reproductive Rights. “I turned to [Owia Tech CEO] Darryl Anderson and he corrected the situation for us.”
The situation: A nonprofit organization with a limited IT budget in need of modern, secure, reliable technology infrastructure and ongoing support services.
“I’ve known Darryl for years. We were former colleagues at a company called Tech Foundation. When I started working directly with the Center, I needed someone in D.C. that I could call. Because I knew him already, and I know how good he is and how smart he is, I knew I could turn to him when I had a problem.”
The Owia Technology solution: Set up and configure a Dell server and virtual machines, install Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, establish a virtual private network between New York City and Washington, D.C., and perform site-to-site replication.
“Our network is fairly stable so we don’t need the Owia Tech team to be on-site on a daily basis because our network is generally stable. But if and when issues do arise, they are remarkably quick to respond,” Rudy said. “Even when there isn’t a problem, and I want to discuss an idea about how to improve or enhance our IT systems, Darryl is incredibly supportive. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of.”
It’s the personal trust, experience, and bond Rudy has with Anderson that are the reasons why the Center has trusted Owia Tech since the late 1990s.
“I don’t often recommend people. I worry about how it would look if you recommend someone and that person turns out to be a failure, it reflects on your judgment. But I would have no absolutely zero concern with Darryl,” he said. “I would stake my personal reputation on Darryl.”
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