2016 Technology Innovation Award

At Digital Ball® 2016, Accenture announced the winner of the 2016 TechBridge Technology Innovation Award:


Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (ACSS) was chosen out of 43 nominees by a panel of Atlanta’s leading technology professionals to receive more than $30,000 in TechBridge services, software and cash to implement its technology vision.

ACSS will use the award to implement a system that will track and report program data, streamline documentation and eliminate the clutter of physical papers and files enhancing their ability to track client data to better produce reports for program outcomes, donors and supporters as well as internal evaluations.

Since 1982, Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency has been empowering homeless individuals to achieve economic self sufficiency and address barriers to employment by helping them set and achieve short- and long-term career goals, obtain and retain employment, and ultimately, become productive, taxpaying citizens of our community.

Proposed Project

The creation of a customized CRM solution to store, track, and report client-level data would allow ACSS to go beyond capturing demographics and outputs. The customization would enable the tracking of client-level data including assessments, career interests, certifications and degrees, and work experience to greatly improve efficiency in targeting clients for vocational training and job opportunities.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness

ACSS’ goals are to increase the number of individuals served by 200% and increase job placement effectiveness by 20% over the next three years. Significant staff time is currently spent entering data in multiple, separate systems, extracting data from one or more systems for analysis and reporting, and combining data points to tell the full story of efforts and outcomes. The proposed implementation is projected to decrease staff time by 30% for managing scheduling and processes; by 40% for tracking assessment, graduation, job attainment and job retention; by 30% for identifying clients for specific training and job opportunities; and by 50% for compiling reports.

Innovative Use of Technology

ACSS’ CareerWorks program has the capacity to serve 400 participants annually in its traditional model. Their job placement rate is 71%. To achieve their goals, ACSS plans to establish ten E-Learning Sites within partner locations to deliver classroom training remotely. Through distance learning, ACSS can train more individuals through their job readiness curriculum and assist them in obtaining employment without increasing already strained resources. Moreover, the increased economy of scale can reduce Cost per Person from $1,936 to $985—a 50% decrease.

We also congratulate our two finalists:

MAC is an interfaith ministry supported by congregations and businesses. They provide emergency assistance to the working poor of midtown and downtown Atlanta to prevent homelessness and hunger during periods of crisis. MAC seeks to uphold the dignity of each client by providing financial assistance and food on an emergency basis, addressing the needs that many people have for counseling and referral, and striving to reach the source of the problem presented by clients with a commitment to meet the immediate needs in a humane and compassionate manner.

Proposed Project

MAC’s current system for client, volunteer and donor records is fragmented into different systems for intake/referrals, accounting, fundraising, etc. MAC wants to consolidate all of their operations into Salesforce which will enable tablet-based data capture from clients, real-time statistics that can be shared with funders and board members, automatic follow-ups with clients, integration with financial software; and client-approved electronic information sharing with other service organizations.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness

Six staff members answer well over 10,000 phone calls/year including phone interviews with clients, providing information on other agencies, and scheduling. With this implementation, MAC will finish calls quicker, thus improving service and assisting more people. Client information will be scanned which will provide added security of personal information and eliminate the need to make paper copies.

Eliminating duplicate data entry into two systems will save MAC about five minutes per client which equates to a savings of 3,295 hours/year in data entry. Reducing unnecessary paperwork will give the staff more time to spend working with clients for improved case management. All funds saved will go directly to assistance, including phone/internet bills to bridge the digital divide, MARTA tokens to get jobs, and increasing MAC’s service area and number of individuals served by 20%, or 1,307 more emergency situations.

Innovative Use of Technology

The TIA will bring innovation to every aspect of MAC’s work by transitioning their paper card intake to tablets using Salesforce, by using Salesforce Chatter to create a community network of emergency service providers, by connecting their board and community partners in real-time to deliver Dashboard updates of MAC’s daily activities, by helping MAC launch a new assistance program for internet/phone service as a means to bridge the digital divide for the working poor, and by using technology innovation to reduce environmental impact.

FOCUS understands and supports the unique needs of families with children who are medically fragile or have significant developmental or physical disabilities. FOCUS offers comfort, hope, and information to parents; accessible recreational and social programs for children and teens; and fun, inclusive activities for the entire family. A non-profit founded by parents in 1983, FOCUS continues to embrace and strengthen metro Atlanta families.

Proposed Project

A mobile app would resolve the lack of streamlined and secure communication between parents and FOCUS. With an app, FOCUS parents could register, pay, receive text notifications, and sign-in for programs, volunteers could register, complete paperwork, receive online training, and receive text notifications, and registered children would get the opportunity to play games that would introduce the programs they’re registered in and prepare the child’s schedule.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness

FOCUS is very program-oriented and must improve their use of technology in order to grow and serve even more children and families. A technology overhaul will directly impact the parents and children they serve, resulting in less admin time for staff. It will allow more time for personal interactions with families, easier registration for events, and more accessible online training for more prepared volunteers.

FOCUS now reaches 3,000 families each year. The main goal of their new strategic plan is to increase the number of families reached by 50%—especially in the southern and western areas of the city. The key objective which can help them reach this goal is to leverage technology to increase mobile access and connectivity for clients and volunteers while improving program management capabilities for staff.

Innovative Use of Technology

A mobile-friendly website with an integrated program application to capture client and volunteer information will enable FOCUS to automatically update their online database. Outlook and Quickbooks will allow them to easily generate reports and send reminder texts. This solution would bring FOCUS into the present and prepare them for a more successful future.

2016 Technology Innovation Award Judging Panel
An esteemed panel of judges from both the nonprofit and for-profit business communities will assess the candidates.

Greg Casagrande InComm TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Greg Casagrande
Host since 2015 | TIA Judge since 2015
Larry Clark TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Larry Clark
Host since 2007 | TIA Judge since 2006
Nancy Cox Worldpay TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Nancy Cox

Martin Davis Southern Company TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Martin Davis
Southern Company
Tom Hall Genuine Parts Co TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Tom Hall
Senior Director Business Solutions Delivery
Genuine Parts Company
TIA Judge since 2015
Trey Keisler GE Power & Water TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Trey Keisler
CIO – PGS Field Services
GE Power & Water

Host since 2015 | TIA Judge since 2015
Lance Luther Accenture TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Lance Luther
Senior Executive – North America Products Technology Lead
TIA Judge since 2013
George Lott Weather Channel TechBridge Atlanta Digital Event Series Host George Lott
The Weather Channel
Ramesh Munamarty Verint TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Ramesh Munamarty
Verint Systems Inc.
Host since 2015 | TIA Judge since 2015
Eric Pearson IHG TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Eric Pearson
Host since 2014 | TIA Judge since 2014
Michelle Arlotta Routh The Coca-Cola Company TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Michelle Arlotta-Routh
CIO, Coca-Cola North America
The Coca-Cola Company
Jikin Shah SunTrust Bank TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Jikin Shah
SVP – IT Executive, SunTrust Accelerator
SunTrust Bank, Inc.
TIA Judge since 2013
Brian Sondergaard Fiserv TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Brian Sondergaard
CIO, Financial & Risk Management Solutions
Host since 2015 | TIA Judge since 2015
Joe Surber AGL Resources TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Joe Surber
AGL Resources
Host since 2009 | TIA Judge since 2012
Julie Untener NCR TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture Julie Untener
TIA Judge since 2014
Julio Carillo Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta TechBridge 2016 Technology Innovation Award Accenture 2015 Technology Innovation Award Winner
Julio Carillo
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta