Microsoft, Maori developer form closer links

Memoranda of understanding signed between Whanau Tahi, Microsoft and Medtech

Whanau Tahi - the development arm of Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust – has signed memoranda of understanding with Microsoft and health software company Medtech, which “recognise a closer working relationship” among the organisations, says Whanau Tahi principal and Waipareira deputy CEO Steve Keung.

It represents a rare opportunity for such companies to work closely with a Maori organisation, he says.

The focus of the new relationship is the Whanau Tahi Navigator Solution, a CRM-type system designed to enhance communication among all parties concerned in delivering social service to the families for whom the trust coordinates supporting services.

The Navigator, based on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform, “breaks down the silo walls” between service providers, Keung says and introduces flexibility unusual in not-for-profit organisations, which usually retain providers on fixed contracts which focus them on their individual role.

It also facilitates choice in service provision for the client, he says; if they have an unsatisfactory relationship with an existing provider, the communications and record-keeping technology enables them more easily to seek another provider further afield.

The Navigator is up and running now, says Keung, but the closer relationship with the software providers will facilitate a planned move to take advantage of trends associated with the CRM and MedTech’s GP clinic support software, including mobile and social media applications.

Waipareira CEO John Tamihere says the special relationship Whanau Tahi has with Microsoft and Medtech will give Waipareira an edge in data collection, solutions and analysis.

“Waipareira has invested a considerable amount in the development of the Whanau Tahi Navigator system,” he says.

“With the help and support of Microsoft and Medtech, this will enable Waipareira to keep looking for solutions, which can only be beneficial for whanau.”

Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston says Waipareira is not afraid to think outside the square.

“Microsoft is pleased to see our platform being used in such an innovative and worthy way to bring about much good in the community,” he says.

Medtech executive director Russell Clarke agrees: “We see great synergies in having our two systems working together for whanau and we’re glad to be supporting the launch of Waipareira’s 25-year strategic plans” he says.

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