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LEVO helps Australian Red Cross build powerful new digital engagement portal

LEVO helps Australian Red Cross build powerful new digital engagement portal

AustralasiaCase StudiesDigital TransformationTop Stories

Australian Red Cross is benefiting from the creation of a self-service personalized portal and bespoke e-commerce platform created through a partnership with LEVO, a technology specialist with a proven track record of delivering enterprise digital experience platforms and transformation projects.

Australian Red Cross is a legendary force for good in so many people’s lives. Founded in 1914, just nine days after the start of World War I, the organization is a cornerstone of philanthropy and community delivering vital services to millions.


People are at the heart of Australian Red Cross. Its programs are run and managed by volunteers with oversight from Red Cross employees. Over 2.5 million people have volunteered with the organization since its inception, and its network of stakeholders extends across partner organizations, emergency services, donors and customers. More than 200 services are delivered nationwide.


The rise and power of digital engagement meant that the Red Cross knew it had to find better ways of reaching present and future generations. However, as is common with so many established enterprises, its digital ecosystem had grown over time, driven by different needs and departments.

The result was redundancy, lack of a single standard and confusing touchpoints. Many of the products and services lived in isolation and the experience for the end-user often seemed fragmented.


The organization was determined to build a central, unified experience for all its stakeholders – an experience that was best-in-class. They knew that executing on this vision was vital for the organization to meet the challenges of a digital world and reach the next generation.


The goal was to create MyRedCross. Just as COVID arrived, LEVO was brought in.


The solution


Technology doesn’t work until people make it work. When it came to MyRedCross, people on both sides of the technology equation were critical to its success: the people who would use the technology and the people who would need to be on board to successfully implement technology across an organization.


LEVO’s proven structural mapping is a discovery methodology that can turn seemingly intractable politics and non-communicative silos into a harmonious diplomatic machine. To make MyRedCross a reality, the LEVO team needed to bring the organization on a journey of discovery that put the stakeholder first by seeing everything from his or her point of view.


LEVO rapidly conducted discovery workshops that brought everyone together and helped point the extended Red Cross family in the same direction, aligning priorities. One early challenge was around confirming taxonomy because there was confusion around how specific stakeholders, services and categories were named and defined.

Donna Jiang, Senior Project Manager at Australian Red Cross, said: “People became so excited by the transformation, they jumped on meetings early.”
With the arrival of COVID, one challenge became even more urgent. The Red Cross made 98% of its shopping revenue from 180 bricks-and-mortar shops selling pre-loved items. With lockdown and social distancing restrictions, it suddenly became clear that making online a premier destination for the shopper was more important than ever. To do this, the LEVO team enabled a bespoke e-commerce platform, launched in time for Christmas.


An even more important element of the project was unifying the digital experience by recognizing that a single stakeholder may have several different identities (for example, volunteer, shopper, donor) when interacting digitally with the Red Cross. A key goal of MyRedCross was to create a self-service personalized portal that would seamlessly engage with these multiple-identities.


According to Danijel Andric, Interim CIO at Australian Red Cross, this ambitious goal was to provide a unified touchpoint that supported all stakeholders throughout their lifecycle. After all, today’s client could be tomorrow’s volunteer or donor and vice versa and providing every individual with a consistent digital experience.


“The 360 degree view of the stakeholder is essential,” he said. “Going to a single portal and observing how you interact with us is the true value of this platform.”


Many organizations strive to achieve this yet come up short. MyRedCross is a notable exception.


The outcome


While the long-term benefits of MyRedCross will be realized over time as ease of engagement and positive user experience deepens stakeholder experience, efficiency gains are already being seen.


Consolidating back-end data processes in a secure infrastructure and automating a range of administrative functions such as volunteer on-boarding have sped up processes freeing manual resources to focus on other more valuable activities.


“We have seen some obvious quick win benefits by moving to a Platform-As-a-Service. You are unshackled,” said Andric, noting that four channels have now been consolidated into one.


Even more important, the speed of the implementation has made the organization see what’s possible and increased the appetite for even more participation and innovation.


“Once people see it, they want to become part of the journey,” Andric said.
According to Andric, critical elements of digital projects, especially potential dead ends, often seem intangible to outsiders, but those who have undergone a Digital Transformation process know why avoiding these pitfalls are critical.


“A proper blueprint can save months of effort,” Andric observes. “There will always be changing priorities, but you need to tie everything into the big picture.”


That’s what LEVO did. “They have been instrumental,” he said. “LEVO has the architectural foresight to navigate these steps.”


Part of the advantage was that he knew that LEVO had a wide scope of experience to draw from and specific experience around Episerver implementations across a range of organizations.


“I really enjoy vendors who have done something a hundred times like LEVO.” Andric said that the key to the partnership was how the organization and LEVO could openly talk about objectives and pain points.


As a volunteer organization focused on supporting the community, Australian Red Cross doesn’t have infinite resources, and, according to Andric, “it is critical that resources are well used.”


One key LEVO benefit is providing a workable path to on-going innovation built around this focus. This path is frequently overlooked when the focus is on the technology, but it involves true engagement with the people of the organization and supporting them to see what digital can deliver when the road map, the values and vision meet the right technology.


“Everyone sees what’s possible now. LEVO has proven they’re a true adviser,” said Jiang.

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