Part of a strategic grant from Microsoft Philanthropies, Azure is a key driver for this social good, offering more predictable delivery, reliability, and scalability. Not only are tasks such as onboarding much faster, but operations has the ability to is transition into a highly agile DevOps model. Learn more about how WE.org with the help of the Microsoft Cloud is able to create movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world.
"Our goal is to change the world through everyday actions."
The organization is dedicated to changing the world one person at a time. It provides youth across the globe with the inspiration, information, and tools to do just that.
Today, WE is 1,200 employees strong across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Much of its growth can be attributed to its dedicated employees, including Erin Barton and Dan Kuzmicki. Erin Barton was a WE youth member when, in 2000, she became the first full-time, year-round employee hired by the nonprofit.
Five years later, fresh out of college, Dan Kuzmicki joined WE as a database administrator. "Back then we had 20 people in a single building," Dan says. Today, he serves as Director of IT and Enterprise Services, while Erin's role as Chief Development Officer puts her in charge of partnerships globally. Both Dan and Erin have seen many growing pains and technology transitions along the way. "WE was the equivalent of a startup when I started," remembers Dan. "It was a small group of passionate individuals looking to make a difference in the world."
WE has grown and evolved substantially since its launch as a nonprofit and social enterprise. Fundamentally, the organization empowers youth to support whatever cause they are most passionate about – whether that be bullying, hunger, homelessness, accessibility, literacy – or countless other causes that motivate youth to take action. It runs three main programs that work together to maximize its global impact: WE Villages, WE Schools, and WE Days. Me to WE—the nonprofit's social enterprise arm—helps support these programs while giving the organization a way to offset operating costs and reinvest in its growth.
Optimizing operations in the cloud
From the service desk to the DevOps, web, and analytics teams, WE is driving toward becoming a smarter organization, leveraging technology and metrics, and moving everything to a single, unified cloud platform. "Azure has been a game changer for us," says Dan. Not only are tasks such as onboarding much faster, but the operations team is transitioning to a highly agile DevOps model. Part of a strategic grant from Microsoft Philanthropies, Azure is a key driver for this change, offering more predictable delivery, reliability, and scalability.
To other companies thinking about their own digital transformation, Dan advises, "Stop thinking about it and start the journey." In the nonprofit sector especially, he has seen organizations spend two years or more thinking about whether they should migrate to the cloud or upgrade CRM solutions, for example. "It's painful to watch," he says. "My advice? Start the journey as quickly as possible." The horizon of technology is changing so fast. Companies must adapt and pivot quickly, changing their business models in order to do so.
With the help of a Microsoft, WE has its sights set on achieving more. Dan concludes, "We are truly thinking differently about what's possible."