comSpark Podcast - S. Madi Fusco, VP of Business Services at Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

comSpark Thought Leader

S. Madi Fusco, VP of Business Services

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio


Vernon Wilson

comSpark Executive Host Committee

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Vernon Wilson: Hello, we're here today with Madi Fusco, who is the Vice president of Business Services at the Council on Aging. The Council on Aging is a nonprofit company with a mission to help individuals with disabilities and older adults remain independent and in their own homes. They have 330 employees, approximately $75 million in revenue and locations and Tri County and Wilmington. They Service Ohio from Cincinnati to the Lima area. My name is Vernon Wilson. I'm a member of the comSpark executive host committee and I will be your guest moderator today. Let's get started. Madi, as the business needs change, how do you balance maintaining quality with meeting challenging timelines

Madi Fusco: At COA, I think what we've learned over the last few years is that we've really had to change our approach to planning and execution. We no longer have that luxury to plan and then execute. You're actually doing them simultaneously. So, what we do is we've changed our approach so that we spend a lot of time in what I call the question. We spend a lot of time defining that future state, what's the vision, what is it going to look like, make sure everybody on the team understands that. We also make sure they understand what their role is in achieving that vision and then we plan and execute from that point on as we go. So, we're constantly going from planning to execution almost simultaneously. That's the only way we found that we can meet those deadlines.

VW: How does your company approach end user support through the service desk?

MF: So, if you were to ask my team, they would tell you that I am customer service oriented. I drill it, I preach it every day. That is the number one thing for me is that my team knows that customer service is, is where they have to put their focus and they also know that IT can't act in a vacuum. So, they have to be partners with our program staff and other staff in the area. They have to approach everything as a team and they also know for me that IT is something that can be outsourced and because it can be outsourced, they have to add value and the way to add value is to have that customer service, to have that customer focused, to be a partner, a true partner in the work that they do. We also are strong in believing that if I tell them that they are to be customer focused, I measure it, I'm going to measure it. I'm going to hold them accountable to it.

S so we set standards, we give them major work objectives that are around their customer service, around those service level agreements that say, you know, you're going to respond and in so much time you were going to measure satisfaction of our clients. And then we hold them accountable to it. So, at the end of the year when we're doing performance evaluations, we come back around to those things that we think are important, like customer service and that's how they're evaluated.

VW: So bring your own device. What are your thoughts?

MF:The short answer is that we just can't do it in our industry. We can't in our industry, it's just too risky, you know, we're dealing with clients. They have protected health information, you know, we fall under those HIPPA and high tech rules. And it's the security protocols that we have to put into place, require that, you know, we protect those devices and so forth and the, and the bottom line, if I think of the worst case scenario, we get sued, we're in about an a legal battle and all of a sudden the phone becomes a part of that case.

Nobody wants to put their personal device through something like that or their personal life for that matter. So for us, we look at it as a mechanism to stay compliant with all of those HIPPA and high tech regulations. They look at it as a risk mitigation and so we simply don't allow bring your own device and we supply them all. We consider it a cost of doing business. That way we can secure them. It also allows us to take the phone and turn it into a tool. So we can take that phone and put applications on it that helped the care managers do their jobs. We can design that phone as a tool the way that we want it to be designed. So at the end of the day, it's a good business practice for us not to allow BYOD.

VW: What would you recommend to a company that has no security or governance plan and where would you start?

MF: From my perspective anywhere is a good place to start if you have nothing. So the first messages get started and get started anywhere. The honest answer or the maybe the more appropriate answer is for me, you have to start with assessing what you have and what you don't have. That's the start of a good plan. Once I understand what those gaps are and prioritize those gaps, now I've got a plan. I also say that it's really, really important for companies to decide what does that end state look like? What is your vision for security? How much do you have to spend on it? What level of risk and reward is right for your company? Because without that, quite honestly one can wander. It's like Alice in Wonderland, right? You can go down a very deep, dark and expensive hole.

VW: Thank-you for your time today.