Ontario Medical Association talks the success of using Igloo Software in its digital transformation

San Antonio, TX – Two years ago, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) said it was time to get with the times and evolve its internal communications platform to be more collaborative, effective, and easy to use, so it turned to Igloo Software’s solution service and everything changed.

Before OMA decided to use Igloo, Matthew Radford, director of employee communications and engagement, said the OMA first identified that it needed to start looking at internal communications because there wasn’t a formal function where employees were able to come together to collaborate.

“One of the initial pieces that we saw was we had an intranet and it was web 1.0…it had to be updated and all the technology was very outdated. It was a very stale site and had no interaction capability,” Radford said during an interview at Igloo’s ICE conference in San Antonio, Tx. He added the OMA started with a communications audit to figure out what type of platform it needed.

“We wanted to see what the current state was and where we could improve. So one of the things that came out of that was the need to hire a professional to look after the internal communications,” Radford said. Radford has been with the OMA since 2006.

The OMA represents more than 40,000 physicians, residents, and medical students. Radford explained the organization is a professional association for members that represents its members’ interests with the government in negotiating physician fees and advocating for Ontario doctors.

Radford said the OMA has about 300 employees, including employees from OMA’s subsidiaries, so the need for an internal communications platform was really needed to get everyone connected.

Once a request for proposal was sent out, Radford said the OMA narrowed their selection down to five vendors, of which Igloo was a part of.

He said the OMA formed a group of eight members to narrow down which vendor the team wanted to go with. That team included himself, a representative from human resources, a representative from the technology department, and other departments at the OMA.

“We had people looking and scrutinizing and evaluating from all lenses within the organization thus to make sure we weren’t hitting a blind spot,” Radford said.

The OMA team went with Igloo and had a “jump start package,” which included a roadmap catered to the OMA’s needs.

The OMA did a soft launch of the intranet solution on Feb. 2, 2016 and went live in March.

Radford said that throughout the entire process Igloo was very hands-on and helpful with the transition.

“In the few interactions I had with tech companies the ink would dry on the contract and then the service level would steadily decline. With Igloo it was the opposite. The ink dried and the service level went even more. So they really were in every sense a partner through this,” Radford said.

He also added that the system was an easy transition and was easy for non-tech savvy users, to transition so there was more integration and involvement.

Radford did note that the OMA, at the time, went through some changes internally, and that resulted in changes to its website structure. Despite these changes, Radford said “it helped that we were already on Igloo,” because the software catered to OMA’s changes.

“It was very user friendly. I’m not a tech person, I have no coding background, and I have had no problem, [and] other members of my team are not tech people and they manage everything,” Radford said. “It’s been very easy that way.”

Radford noted that moving forward all OMA has to do is keep up with Igloo’s iterations of its software, which he said is good. He added that the team watches out for changes to the software, which Igloo provides every month, and OMA sees how they can incorporate changes to their system.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Shruti Shekar
Shruti Shekar
Shruti Shekar is a video producer and reporter for IT World Canada. She was formerly a political reporter at The Hill Times and was based in Ottawa. Her beats included political culture, lobbying, telecom and technology, and the diplomatic community. She was also was the editor of The Lobby Monitor, and a reporter at The Wire Report; two trade publications that are part of The Hill Times. She received a MA in journalism from Western University and a double BA honours in communication studies and human rights from Carleton University. She was born in India, grew up mostly in Singapore and currently resides in Canada.

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