Transformation with the Microsoft Cloud

risual worked with UK Export Finance (UKEF) to migrate their systems to the Microsoft Azure Cloud as part of their digital transformation program.

UKEF’s existing outsourced IT services contract was inflexible and incapable of meeting their rapidly changing business needs, with them having difficulties with the support on their old systems. UKEF they strived for the services of a company that could provide proactive monitoring, whilst also helping them find a cost-efficient alternative.

Lawrence Nichols, Head of IT at UKEF, said: “We’re confident in the support we rely on risual for. When it came to deploying a virtual machine, we even had to slow your people down. It took about three hours to deploy whereas other suppliers would have taken about three weeks. It makes you more confident about what’s going on.”

Engaging with risual limited allowed UKEF to understand the priorities, critical points and goals of the project. With this embedded, risual worked with UKEF to develop a solution to transition all UKEF’s back office systems from their existing datacentres to the Microsoft Azure Cloud and Office 365.

The new disaggregated service would make use of the cloud, supported by specialist service providers which would replace the previously centralised model. This would be followed by the migration of key services to the virtual datacentre in Azure.

Mr Nichols said: “You employ experts who really do know what they’re talking about. Across the period of engagement the planning was good. We needed the right person to come in and we had the confidence that with risual this would happen.”

UKEF procured risual’s services via the Digital Marketplace. Being a framework supplier since 2013, risual could boast a track record within G-Cloud, which in the end proved crucial to meet UKEF’s requirements.

Working on the project, Mark Wilson, Enterprise Architect at risual, said: “UKEF’s fixed deadline had major financial implications, so missing the target was not an option. Working flexibly and collaboratively with UKEF and their partners was vital to the success of this project.”

Whilst every undertaking of this size is sure to have its share of challenges, risual worked proactively with UKEF to ensure the project was a success. Migrating from a single IT service provider to a disaggregated operating model was always going to be a big challenge, with collaboration and honesty from both sides proving key to its accomplishment.

risual managed the project from end-to-end and gave UKEF the confidence that they wouldn’t just deploy the solution, but would also continue to manage and proactively monitor, support and optimise the environment through their Managed Services expertise.

UKEF were delighted with the outcome of the project, which above all else, helped them achieve significant cost savings as well as providing them with a much more flexible system.

Speaking on the projects success, Mr Nichols, said: “If I had to do it again, would I do the same thing? Why wouldn’t I? I can’t think of a single reason why I wouldn’t want to go with risual. Everything worked and I am confident that we made the right choices.”

Some benefits included a 20% cost saving compared to UKEF’s old partnership, a dynamic system which allows UKEF to work with much more flexibility and it has also helped to push away the idea that public sector systems are ‘monolithic’.

Alun Rogers, Director at risual, said: “The project with UKEF was fuelled by great collaboration which saw risual work with not only UKEF but their previous service provider to ensure a smooth transition. The complete digital transformation of UKEF’s systems has provided them with significant cost savings whilst giving them the flexibility they needed for the future.”


View the complete case study on UKEF’s engagement with risual here.

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