Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

IT Transformation for Greater Independence and Efficiency

Success Story Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

In this success story, you can find out how Aids-Hilfe Schweiz has been benefiting from its collaboration with Open Circle for years and is ideally positioned for all future challenges.

The customer Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

Kampagne gegen die HIV-Diskriminierung im Gesundheitswesen

Campaign against HIV discrimination in the healthcare sector

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz, founded almost 40 years ago, is an NGO (non-governmental organization) financed by federal funds and donations. It deals with sexual and mental health, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases throughout Switzerland. It is particularly committed to vulnerable groups such as MSM (men who have sex with men), migrants and sex workers. With a team of 17 people in Zurich and one in Lausanne, it covers a wide range of services. Among other things, it offers counseling, treatment support, prevention programs and is committed to the rights and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS. It also coordinates an extensive network of 21 cantonal and regional AIDS support organizations and 31 other related organizations in Switzerland with a total of around 400 employees.

Company: Aids-Hilfe Schweiz
Short description: Leading NGO in the field of HIV prevention and sexual health 
Industry: Healtcare, NGO
Locations: Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland
Target group: vulnerable groups, health professionals

Maximum IT expertise by dispensing internal IT staff
Efficiency and flexibility through cloud-based IT solutions
User friendliness through intuitive operation

Initial Situation and Challenge: Elimination of Internal IT

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz was facing a drastic change: its IT environment was outdated, no longer met current requirements and was managed in-house. The IT team had been continuously reduced until this task was carried out by just one employee.

“As Managing Director, it was difficult for me to keep track of developments in the IT sector and the security of the infrastructure. Since we also handle very sensitive information, an external company like Open Circle was essential for securing the data.”
Andreas Lehner, Managing Director, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

The need for a reliable and secure IT solution that did not have to be managed internally became increasingly clear. The challenge was to create an IT infrastructure that was modern, secure, flexible and capable of meeting the specific requirements of an NGO in the healthcare sector. This included switching to external servers, introducing more efficient and secure communication systems and providing responsive and competent IT support that meets the specific requirements of Aids-Hilfe Schweiz.

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz and Open Circle: A Growing Partnership

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz’s decision to work with Open Circle was partly based on a personal acquaintance. This connection facilitated dialog and mutual understanding of the needs of Aids-Hilfe Schweiz. With its comprehensive IT expertise and broad range of services, Open Circle was able to respond precisely to these needs.

“We needed an optimal IT solution that would allow us to concentrate on our core tasks.”
Andreas Lehner, Managing Director, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz


Andreas Lehner is the Managing Director of Aids-Hilfe Schweiz and has been active in the organization for 35 years

Relocation and New IT Structure With Seamless Transition

The decision to use Open Circle almost a decade ago marked the beginning of a new era in the IT infrastructure of Aids-Hilfe Schweiz. This significant change later also led to a physical relocation of the organization: through Open Circle’s network and connections, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz found new premises in the same office building as Open Circle some time later.

Measures and services provided by Open Circle for Aids-Hilfe Schweiz included:

Intuitive Solutions That Require Hardly Any Training

Thanks to Open Circle’s prudent project management, the new IT solutions were implemented without any significant interruptions. Another important aspect was ensuring data security and data protection, as Aids-Hilfe Schweiz works with sensitive health data. The organization attached great importance to ensuring that its data was secure and protected both during the migration and during ongoing operations. Open Circle therefore implemented multi-layered security measures to meet the high standards of data security.

One employee, who is the main contact person for all Open Circle matters, was given a briefing. Otherwise, no further training was required thanks to the intuitive solutions.

“We received very good support from Open Circle and the transfer of the data went smoothly. No longer having to look after our own internal servers and provide all the support was a great relief.”
Mary Manser, IT Manager, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

Challenges, Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz experienced performance problems with the Virtual Workplace. The system was responding slower than expected, leading to delays and frustration among employees. This challenge was immediately communicated with Open Circle to find a quick solution.

The problem was quickly identified and resolved through a detailed analysis. The solution was to optimize the system configuration and adjust the hardware resources accordingly. This led to a significant improvement in the speed and reliability of the system.

“Thanks to fast support and regular feedback, problems are solved immediately.”
Andreas Lehner, Managing Director, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

Result: IT Expertise for a Long-Term, Satisfied Partnership


Campaign for friendships in gay and queer contexts to strengthen mental health


The switch to Open Circle and the resulting IT transformation had several positive effects for Aids-Hilfe Schweiz. By dispensing with an internal IT employee and transferring IT responsibility to Open Circle, the organization was able to focus on its core mission. The changeover also improved IT security and flexibility, making the organization more efficient and agile.

“Open Circle understands us and brings innovative solutions that perfectly match our requirements. Every innovation, every increase in efficiency means that we can reach more people and provide better support.”
Andreas Lehner, Managing Director, Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

Conclusion: Best Solutions for Constant Change

This success story shows how Open Circle responds to the special IT needs of an NGO such as Aids-Hilfe Schweiz with its services and thus contributes to maximum security, independence and efficiency.

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz and Open Circle are constantly discussing future developments and possible improvements to the IT infrastructure. This includes considering consolidating various existing tools and platforms and switching to more efficient solutions such as online collaboration using Nextcloud. Aids-Hilfe Schweiz is also considering the introduction of the new Managed Workplace from Open Circle. The organization is constantly looking for ways to optimize its work through innovative IT solutions. This forward-looking approach demonstrates the commitment of Aids-Hilfe Schweiz to working efficiently and effectively in the service of HIV prevention and counseling.


Pictures: Aids-Hilfe Schweiz

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