On Carina Ryder’s first visit to Kiev, Ukraine, she encountered a single mother living with her epileptic, disabled daughter in a single, small room. To wash, she had to carry the 21-year-old down a flight of concrete stairs to the shared shower. She didn’t have the strength for the return and relied on the goodwill of neighbors to get back up to their room.
“The situation just grabbed me,” Ryder, co-founder of Swedish care company Assistanspoolen, says. “I had to do something.”
Ukraine has no system of personalized 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.
She would reserve 4 percent of the business’ turnover to provide care for single mothers and other disadvantaged groups. With clear demand and no competition, Ryder anticipated rapid growth so that the 4 percent would soon make a substantial difference in helping society.
In Sweden, Assistanspoolen used a mix of separate, standalone IT systems and paper forms. To cost-effectively manage and quickly build a business in Ukraine, the entire system would need to be digitalized. Ryder turned to Platinum Citrix Solution Advisor AceIQ.
AceIQ’s CEO Håkan Andersson explains, “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.”
In just three months, AceIQ developed a complete management, billing, CRM, and training system using Citrix Podio, XenMobile, and other services through Citrix Cloud.
“With Citrix, we have everything in one place,” Ryder explains. Caregivers and cleaners receive their daily job list through an app on smartphones issued by Assistanspoolen. Developed on Podio, the system tracks employees’ workflows through the day, enabling payment for staff and billing for customers.
The Citrix-enabled smartphones provide training materials such as videos for the use of hazardous chemicals. Importantly for Assistanspoolen’s ethos of giving back, the phones also access the Assistanspoolen Academy, where programs like Life Leadership help staff develop themselves beyond the requirements of the job at hand.
The centralized system makes billing, payment, and project management seamless, helping reduce Assistanspoolen’s management costs and enabling it to meet its ambitious growth targets. The business will have 600 caregivers and cleaners by the end of its first year.
Recognition for Assistanspoolen’s initiative has come quickly. In a ceremony held at the National Opera House of Ukraine with the Swedish Ambassador in attendance, Ryder was awarded a medal of honor for her contribution to Ukrainian society.
“We couldn’t have launched or had these big goals without Citrix,” Ryder says.
Currently, when a caregiver or cleaner arrives at a customer’s home, they scan a QR code at the premises that logs their presence and provides information specific to the job, such as up-to-date medical care guidance for an elderly resident or a last-minute cleaning request.
AceIQ will soon update the system, replacing the QR scan with proximity authentication provided through Beacons. These will provide more discreet tracking and access to localised information for staff.
The Citrix architecture is key to Assistanspoolen’s current and future plans.
On the ground, XenMobile secures customer information so that even if a smartphone is lost or stolen, confidentiality is protected.
In the future, Citrix 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.
At a management level, NetScaler ensures that Ryder and her senior colleagues can access information wherever they are, in Ukraine or Sweden.
And for the future, Citrix Cloud provides easily scalable computing resources that will meet Assistanspoolen’s targets for Ukraine and beyond. Operations in more countries are already being planned, and Ryder has developed plans to franchise the operation.
“The Citrix solution works so smoothly, and it’s extremely open,” Ryder says. “It makes it easy to adapt the system as our processes change and evolve.”
Andersson concludes, “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.”