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Pro2col 2020 Charity Round Up

Pro2col 2020 Charity Round Up

At Pro2col we’ve worked hard to give back to our community, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team have taken part in local, national and international charity initiatives. Find out what we’ve been up to in our 2020 charity round up video.

Little John’s House Donation

Essential items delivered to Little John’s House in Romania

Throughout the Christmas season Pro2col have been collecting donations of items which are desperately needed by Little John’s House, a charity based in Romania providing care for children and young adults with special needs.

The organisation is in need of basic items such as toiletries, sweets, second hand clothes, toys, tooth brushes, colouring pens and pads for Christmas parcels for deprived families. The donations will be made into parcels for families with children with special needs, who still get very little support from the state or their local community. This appeal for donations is made more urgent by the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Romania and the vulnerability of those who rely on Little John’s House.

About Little John’s House

 

Little John’s House is a product of Mags Zahariah who travelled to Romania in the early 90s. She had planned to help care for children living in poor conditions in orphanages across the country, but ended up staying for ten years to set up the charity.

Situated in the heart of Transylvania, Little John’s House was established in 1993 as a secure and safe home for children and adults with special needs. Originally the property was purchased for Ionut Balan (Little John) who suffered from hydrocephalus, a condition causing excess fluids to increase pressure on the brain. He sadly passed away in 1997 but he was an inspiration to everyone who met him and his memory lives on at Little John’s house.

Six young people currently live happily full time at Little John’s house. Alongside that the charity runs outreach programmes to support children from the surrounding areas, the Romanian state-run orphanages and those in psychiatric homes.

 

This is a truly special place which inspired numerous volunteers over the years and helped many children and their families. This is also a cause especially close to Pro2col’s Ailsa Gibbs who knows Mags personally. 

“My amazing friends Mags and Liviu set up Little John’s House in Romania over 25 years ago and I have had the privilege of seeing their work in person over a couple of freezing Christmas visits.  Nobody leaves Little John’s House untouched by the love and kindness shown to children and young people who have had the toughest of starts.  Like so many charities, they have really struggled with fundraising this year so I am delighted by the response from the Pro2col team and our local community”. 

At such a difficult time for many, the Pro2col team wanted to make this donation as easy as possible and thanks to a generous discount from FAR logistics, the palette of donations (pictured) will soon be arriving at Little John’s House.

Team Willow

Virtual Marathon 2020 raises £1,893 for the Willow Foundation

On a very windy and rainy Sunday in October Pro2col MD James ran the London marathon for the Willow Foundation, although the race was very different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were invited to run, jog or walk from anywhere in the UK and record their times virtually having 24 hours to race the 26.2 miles.

This year has been tough for many people, but particularly for charities who have seen repeated disruption to their normal schedule of fundraising, having a knock-on effect for those who rely on them. This makes the amazing total of £1,893 raised by James especially important.

About the Willow Foundation

The Willow Foundation is the only national charity who have been working with seriously ill 16-40-year olds to provide uplifting Special Days. Since 1999 Willow have facilitated more than 17,000 of these special days which include day trips to the zoo, hotels, rugby matches and afternoon tea in London.

Often it is not the activity itself which makes these days so memorable, it is a chance to return to normal life, even if it’s just for a day, and for others it is their last chance to fulfil a dream. No matter the person’s condition special days aim to lift the spirits of ill young people and their loved ones, and be a source of much-needed strength in difficult times.

However due to the pandemic and related restrictions, over 700 young people have had their special days postponed. However, in the meantime special positivity packs have been given to those who missed out, providing a source of happiness even in such uncertain times. That is why the fundraising gained through the marathon is especially needed now to keep putting a smile on the faces of people who have had it particularly tough this year.

 

Office Move

The Big Move- Pro2col moving to a new office

We are delighted to share with our network that we have recently moved to our brand-new office space in Christchurch to accommodate our continued growth. We are looking forward to settling into our new space as this is an essential upgrade from our old space which was just a little cramped to say the least.

Alongside our charity and environmental focus here at Pro2col we are proud to have an employee wellbeing strategy which goes above and beyond standard practice. The new and improved office space offers us the opportunity to welcome more of our staff back in a physical capacity after months of homeworking. With this in mind we have worked towards making a COVID-secure space, ensuring that all our staff to feel safe coming into the office for some much-needed human interaction after lockdown has ended.

This is an especially important moment for MD James who has built Pro2col from the ground up:

“I’m delighted with the significant investment we’ve made in upgrading to a more professional working environment for the team. It boasts views over the beautiful town of Christchurch, is three times larger than our previous office, providing great scope for further growth. It’s a space I know the team will feel proud to work in when they return and we look forward to welcoming our customers and suppliers in 2021”.

Pro2col has worked extremely hard over the last 11 years to build a community among the businesses on Tuckton High Street. Making a positive impact within the local area is a foundational part of what Pro2col does, we are not just about managed file transfer.  In the last year the team have all got on board in some capacity to contribute to initiatives such as beach cleans, charity runs, school outreach and most recently a huge donation for local food banks. This is all part of our Corporate Social Responsibility focus where we aim to set an example for other businesses, showing that growth is still possible whilst also giving back.

With this in mind, we look forward to engaging with the business community further in Christchurch and continuing to follow our company motto of ‘doing things right, doing the right thing’ and making a difference wherever we can.

Food Bank

Huge food bank donation from the Pro2col team

Throughout October the Pro2col team and neighbouring businesses collected supplies for the food banks St Joseph’s Church in Christchurch and Immanuel Church in Southbourne.

Both food banks are passionate about helping people at crisis point in their lives and supporting them through to the other side.

Many food banks across the UK are expecting an increase in demand so Pro2col decided to chip in and help those in need. Ailsa Gibbs, who drove this donation initiative said:

“The team at Pro2col were inspired by the example of Marcus Rashford to ensure that no child goes hungry during these difficult times. More families are reliant on foodbanks as a result of the pandemic and going hungry doesn’t just impact children’s welfare today, it can affect their long-term welfare and future prospects”.

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Pictured: Pro2col’s food bank collection 

As harvest festivals are cancelled and older volunteers are placed in the at-risk category, food banks face shortages in donations and manpower. This is especially concerning given that statistics from The Trussell Trust which show food banks were already experiencing increased usage, even before the pandemic. They’re now predicting a 61% increase in demand for food parcels across the UK.  Pro2col wants to support the work many organisations and individuals are doing to prevent people from going hungry.

Ailsa said: The team all recognise how fortunate we are to have security in these difficult times and have pulled together and donated so generously to support our local community”.

Four common MFT automation case studies

The four most common MFT automation and workflow automation use cases

This year alone we’ve helped countless businesses with MFT automation workflows – sourcing the right managed file transfer solution and building their workflow automation. In this blog we’ve summarised four of the most common MFT automation examples we deliver, plus the benefits of MFT automation.

Business growth is hindered by manual processes or outdated, inefficient scripts. They are time intensive, costly and more susceptible to human error. Ultimately these processes generate little job satisfaction and employees’ time could be much better spent on tasks that add more value to their customers or service users.

Sophisticated automated file transfer is far more efficient in comparison. The quicker response times can give organisations the competitive edge, reducing costs and increasing margins.

MFT automation will encrypt and transfer data between systems and endpoints, eliminating the need for manual processing, scripts and multiple FTP servers. From simple transfers to complex multistep workflow automation and transfers from remote systems, most MFT solutions have an easy-to-use tool to build and schedule workflows. For example, monitoring folders to execute workflows when new or changed files appear. The scheduler allows you to set specific times to execute workflows, such as night time to minimise load on the server, or delay sending if users are on leave or absent.

 

Most common workflow automation use cases

We asked the Pro2col technical team to tell us the most common automation use cases they see, working with organisations from all industry sectors.

1. Securely pushing and pulling files to and from S3 and blob storage.

We’ve recently set this up for a customer for long-term archiving of financial data, and for a healthcare organisations for simple retrieval of patient data held across multiple disparate systems. This functionality is either enabled via an additional cloud connector module, or through capabilities native to your file transfer solution.

Managed file transfer solutions now have an increasing number of connector to cloud storage sites, including: Amazon S3, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Box, OneDrive, Oracle Cloud and more.

The benefits of automating the integration of cloud storage into business processes are clear. Reduced manual intervention, near to real-time file based workflows, notification and audit trails are some of the most obvious, reducing processing time and therefore providing significant ROI. Whilst the same could be achieved by orchestration, Managed File Transfer provides a competitive, feature rich, competitively priced option for file-based workflows.

Managed file transfer solutions are also increasingly facilitating cloud-to-cloud workflows, so that businesses can link together best in class cloud technologies.

2. Collecting files from a defined location, extracting data from Excel and inputting it into a database.

We set this up for an insurance broker recently, who wanted to automate policy updates between their customer and the insurer. This is delivered using advanced workflow capabilities with conditional logic.

3. Extracting files and converting them into different data formats.

This is another common insurance use case. The workflow would pull customer information from a CRM system (eg: Salesforce) into a JSON file, move it to a secure folder location, convert it to a CSV file then email it to a specific person or department. When someone makes an insurance claim, this process is executed to provide the claims handler with the complete customer record. This is delivered using a Salesforce cloud connector, a secure folder module, folder monitoring and advanced workflow capabilities.

4. Integration with cloud-based applications (eg: ServiceNow, Jenkins).

We’ve recently worked with a help desk to replace an outdated script with seamless integration with ServiceNow via a cloud connector. ServiceNow is a ticketing / job management tool. When an email request is submitted to a defined inbox, the automated workflow executes. It collects the email, converts the content into a ServiceNow ticket and sends an automated email back to the sender with a ticket number.

As you’ll see from these examples, automation can take different forms: System-to-system automation, triggering regular batch transfers and onward data gathering processes; person-to-system automation, such as web form data capture or order management with automate onward processes; and system-to-person automation which can manage the secure distribution of data. Whichever use case fits your business, we guarantee you will soon reap the benefits.

 

We are currently offering up to a 10% discount on modules that address these or other automation use cases. Please get in touch to discuss your particular use case. Alternatively if you need help building your workflows, download our template. Our expert engineers have put this together to help you organise your file transfer automation workflows and file recipients before building or moving legacy workflows across.

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