A database without limits: SaaSam simplified Blind Low Vision NZ’s Accessible Formats Service

Blind Low Vision NZ offers an Accessible Formats Service who produce and transcribe braille, tactile graphics, collage, electronic text (etext) and large print for blind and low vision users.

Clients of Blind Low Vision NZ can request books which may or may not be in the existing catalogue. If the book is not in the catalogue, authorisation from various parties is required - including the author and copyright owner - before the book can be created and despatched.

ABOUT THE CLIENT

Blind Low Vision NZ is New Zealand’s main provider of vision rehabilitation services and supports 4 out of 10 people living in NZ who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. Their purpose is to empower and support people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision so they have the same
opportunities and choices as everyone else.

They equip people with the skills needed to participate fully in society, which includes support in living independently and getting around, help with technology, ways to continue reading and communicating, and advice on staying in or looking for work.

Blind Low Vision NZ’s vital work helping people with sight loss is only possible thanks to the generous support of the public.


THE CHALLENGES

For many years, Blind Low Vision NZ had been using an in-house library and production system that had been adapted for their requirements. The motivation to look for an alternative stemmed from frustration in not being able to search through the data to find relevant information when required.

There was no means of tracking a request through the different stages to completion. Data from various systems needed to be merged to be able to produce meaningful reports. The responsibility for backing up and maintaining the system used internal resources that could be better utilised in other areas.

THE SOLUTION

With the new Agiloft system hosted in the cloud, Blind Low Vision NZ can easily track workflows from the initial request for a book through to its delivery. 

Staff can easily review the status of the request and view the associated emails, comments and additional details. Agiloft’s powerful search tool allows easy retrieval of information by typing in any of the client or book details.

Now that most of the information is stored in one system, reporting has become a much simpler exercise. In addition, there is no need to worry about the administrative overheads associated with maintaining an in-house system.

The client quickly became familiar with the capabilities and flexibility of the software, prompting requests for more functionality to be incorporated. Minor changes can be made quickly by Blind Low Vision NZ staff, with SaaSam being tasked with the configuration of more complex requirements.


At a glance

INDUSTRY: Not-for-Profit

Challenges:

  • Poor accessibility of information
  • Incomplete visibility of process status
  • Labour intensive reporting
  • Overhead to maintain a system in-house


The Implementation:

  • Customised tables and fields
  • Iterative design and delivery approach
  • Highly responsive to evolving requirements

Solution Benefits:

  • Fully extensible
  • Flexible to implement
  • Data all in one system
  • Powerful search capabilities

THE RESULTS

Blind Low Vision NZ are continuing to improve the way they work and adjusting the system to support these processes.

Fully extensible – Agiloft was configured to hold all of Blind Low Vision NZ’s existing information using familiar terminology and sensible validation to ensure that the data captured is meaningful
and usable.

Flexible to implement – When the requirements are not fully identified at the beginning of the implementation, Agiloft makes it is easy to reconfigure as requirements evolve.

Data all in one system – With the relevant data linked and visible in Agiloft, Blind Low Vision NZ staff
can respond more rapidly to requests from their clients.

Powerful search capabilities – Searches are easy to build and very flexible to use rendering data accessible and meaningful.