by Dawn Wolf, Diocese of Sioux Falls
Greetings from beautiful South Dakota and the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls! My name is Dawn Wolf, I am the Director of Information Systems and my diocese has been a member of DISC for about 10 years. There are approximately 40,000 Catholic households, 150 parishes, 26 schools in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Our technology office is a team of three and we serve the technology needs of the diocesan administration building (approx. 65 staff), the priests, the parishes, and 5 remote counseling offices. We support networks, computers, printers, phone systems and even cell phones. The job is never boring! We are solution providers and that requires an incredible amount of knowledge in so many areas.
That is why DISC is so valuable to me and my diocese. I get to meet other professionals and ask specific questions about specific topics and gain honest information when my diocese is considering an implementation. My diocese gains much by my attendance at a DISC conference and as a DISC member. Here are just a few ways I have been able to quantify that value:
Top 10 Things the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls has gained by being a member and attending DISC
- Attendees advised me on how to use my vendors better and ask for more services like customized PCs and servers for no additional charge. The latter resulted in significant time savings
- A tip from a fellow DISC member, pinpointed reliable & free remote assistance options. As a result, the Diocese will save at least $500 annually in licensing fees.
- We are saving $40 per PC on antivirus software due to the discount DISC has negotiated.
- We are saving $400+ per PC on MS Office licensing due to a tip I received regarding Microsoft’s Open License program.
- DISC shared resources result in incredible labor/time savings because I don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing policies and procedures.
- DISC’s bbs, QuickR, and DISC membership saves on outside consulting expenses because I can get help/ advice from other members on an incredible range of topics.
- I learned about a good free solution for content filtering for parishes, schools and admin offices-saved $500-$2,000 annually
- Attendees recommended several free training sites and resources for myself and my users-saving the Diocese $1,000-$3,000 annually.
- The “Video Conferencing” session at DISC 2009 provided me with the unbiased case study of 8 different video conference solutions – saving our Diocese time and money!
- You can’t put a price tag on being able to speak with someone who has gone through a migration from one platform to another. ie. Novell to Microsoft … Priceless!!
Frankly, one of the busiest times of the year for my office is when I return from a DISC conference because I am excitedly exploring and implementing some of the solutions that I learned from other members. For instance, this past year after attending the DISC round table sessions, I was able to offer a proven remote access solution to our remote counseling offices so they could centralize all insurance claims for the organization.
The bottom line is that DISC makes me look good and I get more chances to be a “superhero” to those I support. We all deserve more of those “superhero days”!