In just three months, Swedish Platinum Citrix Solution Advisor AceIQ developed a complete workflow management, billing, CRM and training system that is helping deliver care for the disabled to Ukraine.
The entire project is the brainchild of Carina Ryder, co-founder of Swedish care company Assistanspoolen. On a trip to Kiev, Ryder encountered a single mother living with her epileptic, disabled daughter in a single, small room. To wash, the woman had to carry her 21-year-old down a flight of concrete stairs to the shared shower. She hadn’t strength for the return and relied on the goodwill of neighbours to get back up to their room.
“The situation just grabbed me. I had to do something,” Ryder recalls.
Ukraine has no system of personalised social care and only a limited social safety net. Ryder saw an opportunity to bring Swedish expertise and experience to the country by launching Assistanspoolen’s commercial service of assistance for the disabled, care for the elderly, nannying, and domestic cleaning in Ukraine.
From the commercial operation, she would reserve 4% of turnover to provide free care for disadvantaged people like the single mother she had met.
For the project to work, Assistanspoolen needed to create an entire management system to run the new Ukraine operation. In Sweden, the business had grown around a mix of paper forms and separate IT systems. That approach would not allow Ryder to manage a new, fast-growing business in another country.
A software project with heart, but limited time
The answer came when a journalist friend introduced her to AceIQ’s CEO, Håkan Andersson. Not only did Andersson immediately know how to help, he fell in love with the idea.
“I’ve worked with Citrix technology for 21 years, but I had never seen anything close to this: the human values, the people, and just so much heart involved. I knew exactly how we could use Citrix to help,” he says.
“This would have been an impossible project without Podio, ShareFile and NetScaler,” he recalls. “We were starting with absolutely no code and no budget for physical server infrastructure.”
Comprehensive and scalable workflow management
Assistanspoolen’s staff, its cleaners and caregivers, receive their daily job list through an app on XenMobile-managed smartphones provided by the firm. At each customer location, the staff member scans a QR code logging their attendance and providing information specific to the customer. This could be updated medical guidance for an elderly resident or special care instructions for a valuable piece of furniture. Scanning the code also enables customer billing and payment to the staff member.
The QR scanning system will soon be replaced with proximity authentication provided through Beacons. These will provide more discreet tracking and access to localised information for staff.
Ryder’s ethos runs deeper than caring for customers. The smartphones also give staff access to the Assistanspoolen Academy where, in addition to training on the correct use of cleaning chemicals, personal development programmes like Life Leadership help them build core life skills and keep themselves fit.
In the future, Citrix Ready workspace hub will be used to make it easy to “roam” the workplace from the mobile platform on to a larger screen. This will make it easier for training purposes as well as more comfortable in parts of the daily work.
“With Citrix, we have everything in one place,” Ryder explains. “[The solution] works so smoothly, and it’s extremely open. It makes it easy to adapt the system as our processes change and evolve.”
That means the solution will easily cope with Assistanspoolen’s ambitious growth and future franchising plans.
A national medal of honour
Ryder’s investment in Kiev has already received recognition at the highest level. She was recently awarded a medal of honour for her contribution to Ukrainian society, in a ceremony at the National Opera House of Ukraine. The Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine was in attendance.
Andersson has been so impressed by Ryder and her mission, he has found himself volunteering additional advice and support is setting up Assistanspoolen’s Ukraine operations. Of the system the AceIQ team created he says, “Citrix has been the enabler for the change Assistanspoolen is delivering. It has broken down the traditional barriers between product siloes. This would never have been possible without Citrix.”