Customer Success - May 11, 2020

Seeing each other despite social distancing.

Taking an active part in life is one of the overriding aims of the Josefs-Gesellschaft (Josef Society), a Catholic provider of facilities for people with disabilities, retirement homes, and hospitals. With the ban on visitors in many facilities, the Josefs-Gesellschaft suddenly had to deal with new challenges. A great idea emerged from this situation—digital visits from relatives.

The first step was to deploy a temporarily free Cisco Webex video conferencing solution for the headquarters of the Josefs-Gesellschaft gGmbH in Cologne. In this way, Bechtle is supporting its longstanding customer in the current situation with an easy-to-use tool for location-independent communication and collaboration. The solution, integrated in March, was a hit from day one and provided the push needed to start benefitting from video calls for retirement homes. “As senior citizens are one of the groups more at risk from COVID-19, we had to enforce a no-visitors policy for all retirement homes of the Josefs-Gesellschaft. In order to still enable contact to loved ones, we had to quickly find a solution before Easter,” says Stephan Berner, Project Manager, Josefs-Gesellschaft.


This is why he quickly ordered tablets from IT partner Bechtle—to be able to equip the homes as quickly as possible. They were delivered promptly the next day, meaning that the homes could start getting to grips with the devices at the start of the Easter week. “With everything moving so fast, we were able to prepare the tablets and get our staff familiar with them with no pressure,” says Stephan Berner.


Thanks to the quickly-implemented solution, many care home residents—including those in the Haus Elisabeth in Dillenburg, Hesse—were able to talk to their loved ones over the Easter weekend via video call.




Stephan Berner,

Project Manager Josefs-Gesellschaft

Resident Hanna S. was able to receive many happy returns from her daughter and granddaughter in France on Easter Sunday which was also her 78th birthday. Her family weren’t allowed to come to Germany due to the Corona pandemic, and Hanna was overjoyed that she could see her loved ones, not only talk to them. It was a very emotional call that left her in tears of joy even after hanging up.


“The feedback from all retirement homes was positive and showed us that we need to expand tablet use both there and in other Josefs-Gesellschaft facilities. In addition to the tried and tested 1:1 and conference video calls, there are many other options still to explore. We’ll be making the conscious decision to use Cisco Webex for this too, as a secure and versatile solution,” Stephan Berner sums up.

The Josefs-Gesellschaft gGmbH is one of Germany’s largest Catholic social enterprises with 10,000 employees and 39 holding companies across the country. They operate facilities for people with disabilities, hospitals, and retirement homes.

Contact person.

Karl-Heinz Heithaus

Senior Account Manager Public Sector

Bechtle IT System House Cologne



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This post was published on May 11, 2020.