NIACRO is a voluntary organisation which has been working for 35 years to reduce crime and its impact on people and communities.

NIACRO began in November 1968 when a group of people met in Belfast to consider the possibilities of setting up an organisation to "work for the welfare of the offender". Three years later, the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders began its work. Its grant from Government was £3,000 and there were two staff. Now the turnover is £3,500,000 and there are almost 100 staff


NIACRO identified a business case to upgrade their ICT hardware, and application software that was reaching its end of life. They asked Denis O’Hara to help manage the procurement process and later to project manage the implementation. After consideration it was decided to replace twelve servers with two on premise virtualised servers.


  • Replace existing server farm with virtualised infrastructure
  • Improve the resilience of the Niacro systems by providing fail over and improving backup and recovery.
  • Implement upgraded software application suites for office functions and databases
  • Procure and implement a new unified communications system for improved collaboration within the organisation and with external stakeholders.
  • Implement upgraded training suites in the Belfast main office and in the regional offices in L’Derry and Portadown for the benefit of service users.

To achieve these objectives Denis O’Hara carried out the following 

  • Developed and advised on a core strategy by considering cloud versus on premise virtualisation
  • Managed the implementation as Niacro’s representative with the external hardware and software suppliers.
  • Established the ground rules for the an appropriate backup and recovery strategy
  • Developed the detailed Invitation to Tender for the open procurement of a new unified communications system consistent with the implemented hardware and software
  • Assisted Niacro in the selection of a preferred UC supplier using objective criteria.
  • Led in the negotiations with the preferred supplier to a best and final offer stage.
  • Project managed the implementation of the unified communications system with an emphasis on providing liaison between the client the Unified Communications supplier and the ICT infrastructure supplier

At Niacro we have made a significant investment to replace and upgrade our IT systems, Denis  has helped us to both develop an IT strategy and implement new systems for the benefit of our service users and stakeholders. 
Olwen Lyner- CEO at NIACRO