We are committed to helping organizations everywhere stay connected and productive. Read more

Diona LogoGraham Stubbs, CEO of Diona, a Microsoft partner, has a great perspective on the primary challenges facing health and human services agencies and their employees today—and how Diona’s innovative mobility solutions can help: “People expect the same level of service from government that they receive from their banks, their hotel booking websites and their Uber service,” Graham said. “At the same time, governments around the world are under pressure to do more with less, improve outcomes and deal with the technology expectations of new employees. Diona was founded on the premise that we could help solve these problems through mobility.”

I met with Graham at the IT Solutions Management for Human Services Conference (ISM), which I wrote about here. Diona was founded in 2012 by Graham and two other veterans of the health and human services (HHS) IT industry. The company has a clear mission and goal: to change lives by creating technology solutions that transform how people’s health and human services needs are served; and, by 2020, make social program delivery though mobile solutions the norm for agencies around the world.

It’s an ambitious objective but well within reach, especially since Diona recently became a Managed Services Provider (MSP), which means they now offer the integration portion of their solution on our Microsoft Azure Government cloud, providing the secure, FedRAMP– and HIPAA-compliant environment needed by HHS agencies. Here’s a recap of my discussion with Graham:

Andy Pitman: What are the main challenges related to delivering services through mobile solutions facing HHS agencies and their employees?

Graham Stubbs: Mobile technologies change fast and requirements in HHS are constantly changing and adapting. So, how do HHS agencies keep pace and develop the skills to deliver transformative mobile solutions to their clients and employees that can be implemented with the least amount of risk and maintained over time? We believe the answer is in taking a configurable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product approach. Solutions should be designed specifically for the HHS market and cater to their unique and always changing needs.

Pitman: What are the significant opportunities to help HHS agencies better serve their citizens and empower their employees?

Stubbs: Mobility is transformational for HHS agencies. Mobility transforms how citizens engage with HHS and how agency workers get their work done. Mobility puts powerful capabilities into clients’ hands, allowing those who can self-serve to do so without the need to wait in line or be placed on hold. Inefficient tasks previously undertaken by clients in engaging with government are made easy. For example, using a phone to take pictures of supporting documents to support a claim removes the need for mailing, scanning, faxing or hand delivering documents. With more self-service options for clients, HHS agencies also save on stationery, printing and mailing costs—and that’s before measuring call-center savings. Mobility tools also empower HHS caseworkers to leave their desks and spend more time out in the field, with their clients, doing the work that matters most. Caseworkers also can be more engaged and make better-informed decisions in the field, with access to essential information—when and where they need it.

Pitman: Can you describe the solution that you are offering, and how it helps agencies?

Stubbs: Diona Mobility is a family of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) enterprise solutions that brings together devices with agency case management and eligibility systems:

  • Diona Mobile Visits, which is a secure tablet or phone-based solution that enables caseworkers in the field to do their job while engaging with clients.
  • Diona Mobile Investigations provides investigators with a secure mobile information hub to help manage their investigations while in the field.
  • Diona Mobile Self Service is a solution that turns mobile phones into tools that help agency clients help themselves and avoid unnecessary trips or calls to the HHS office.
  • Diona Mobile Uploads enables clients of HHS agencies to securely use their mobile phone to photograph and submit copies of documents in support of their cases.

We’ll continue to invest and develop the Diona Mobility family of solutions, based on market needs and customer input.

Pitman: What are the ROI and benefits that agencies have realized?

Stubbs: One of the largest U.S. HHS agencies is uploading approximately 13,000 document images per week into our Diona Mobile Uploads solution and more than 500,000 document images have been delivered successfully. Estimates indicate that this agency is saving between four and 15 minutes per document of internal staff time, and there are other savings, such as the cost of stationery, printing and storage/archival costs associated with paper-based documents.

Pitman: How is what you’re doing helping agencies improve delivery of services to citizens—any specific examples?

Stubbs: From a single, intuitive and friendly interface, clients can get a unified view of interactions with their HHS agency. With case details at hand and important notifications and messages delivered directly to mobile devices, clients are better informed.

The staff time saved by using the Diona Mobile Uploads solution allows agency employees to spend more time supporting clients. One of the largest but least tangible benefits is the amount of time that citizens save because they no longer must photocopy or scan documents or take time off from work to deliver their documentation to agency offices—and everyone has felt the pain of when a paper document goes missing.

Pitman: How long does it take for agencies to benefit from Diona’s solutions?

Stubbs: Diona project implementations can take days or weeks rather than months or years. This is the benefit of starting with a configurable COTS product specifically designed for the HHS market. New functionality can also be implemented quickly without the need to reinstall or redeploy the apps.

Pitman: How does the cloud fit into your solution and why did you choose Microsoft Azure Government?

Stubbs: By deploying the Diona Mobility solutions in a cloud environment, such as Microsoft Azure Government, agencies can benefit from robust infrastructure capabilities, on-demand scaling and cost efficiencies. When we looked for a cloud hosting partner, we needed a solution that is easy to understand and deploy, and meets the stringent requirements of our HHS customers, who deal with sensitive data on a daily basis. Azure Government meets all the necessary FedRAMP and NIST security standards, and ticks all the boxes in terms of the functionality, platform support, security certifications and network connectivity requirements that our customers must comply with.

You can learn more about how Diona is helping governments help people by visiting www.diona.com.