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Case Study: Preservation of Affordable Housing

Preservation of Affordable Housing optimizes their IT processes with a true technology partner.

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Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) needed a third-party IT provider to enhance their ability to conduct business across the organization. Unfortunately, they experienced unforeseen problems with the vendor they chose. Email migration led to unacceptable delays and outages, while a lack of support at numerous POAH locations resulted in limited accessibility.

To address these and other IT issues, POAH hired Brad Blake as Vice President of IT. Blake considered building a data center to manage the IT infrastructure, but the goal was too ambitious for the nonprofit’s budget. Given strict Massachusetts privacy laws regarding management and retention of personally identifiable information — as well as outmoded hardware and the need for remote access to data — Blake decided to find a partner that could provide broader support and help improve security for a reasonable price.

“I was blown away by the resources mindSHIFT put toward our email migration. I knew right then we had picked the right partner.”

Brad Blake
Vice President of IT
Preservation of Affordable Housing






Rather than hire another third-party vendor, Blake had his sights set on a partner that could manage POAH’s core IT services, learn their business processes and keep them up to date on new technology.


Blake chose mindSHIFT, a Ricoh company, when he learned we were a leader in cloud services and already had support in most of the areas where POAH had major developments. With our Cloud and IT Services, Blake saw immediate results when a nine-person mindSHIFT team migrated POAH's email boxes to a hosted cloud solution in just one weekend. The team continued their work to increase efficiency, strengthen security and improve accessibility by:


  • Implementing a more secure archiving and a backup solution at a mindSHIFT data center for both disaster recovery and to help POAH comply with Massachusetts privacy laws.
  • Managing POAH’s active directory, server infrastructure, spam filtering, antivirus updates and patching.
  • Leveraging the cloud to deliver high availability of data.
  • Keeping POAH current by systematically removing outdated hardware and introducing a new life-cycle process to replace devices after five years.
  • Rolling out a SharePoint® intranet site for internal collaboration across the organization.

About Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)

POAH is a Boston-based nonprofit that has been dedicated to helping people with affordable rental housing for 15 years. POAH owns and operates close to 9,000 homes in nine states and the District of Columbia. To help fulfill its mission, the organization revitalizes properties and works to transform neighborhoods, often taking on problems that others have found too complex to manage.



As Blake had hoped, mindSHIFT consistently offers invaluable insights into new technologies. Blake can rely on the mindSHIFT support team for day-to-day IT management, and the executives at mindSHIFT are open to Blake’s technology and innovation suggestions as well — making the relationship a true partnership.

As a budget-conscious VP at a nonprofit, Blake is happy with mindSHIFT’s transparency when it comes to costs. Everything from running back-end systems to security solutions to convenient cloud connection and collaboration is covered with one monthly fee, making pricing easy and affordable. Plus, POAH gets the bandwidth they need to keep processes running smoothly.

Learn how our Cloud and IT Services can help your nonprofit improve connectivity, enhance accessibility and protect sensitive information.