The challenge

A worldwide Charity noticed that its current systems and environment needed a new solution which allowed the employees to stay up to date and work efficiently on projects and cases across multiple time zones. The trend of the IT industry was to use cloud-based solutions in multinational organisations to keep infrastructure costs low, and this influenced the organisation to work towards finding a solution to help create a flexible working environment across all offices within the organisation.

Wanting to be able to look after their individual IT estate and users the charity were searching for a solution which allowed for communication through the confederation of employees and Country Offices globally, wanting to ensure they had the right tools and technologies that would make collaboration for its users easier, as well as increasing the overall agility of the organisation. This consistency across the organisation globally, would help identify other areas which could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the IT delivery globally.

The background of the project

risual worked with the charity to establish its issues the organisation had encountered, what they required and how risual and the charity can work together to create a relationship and build a solution which will positively enhance their work, performance and collaboration. The risual Business Group consultants engaged with key regional stakeholders from the all of the world.

The risual Business Consulting approach was to establish a global communication capability to all regions across the confederated organisation to establish the needs, requirements and agenda the business was searching for. risual understood due to the organisation being a confederated organisation, they needed to connect with all regions and departments to understand the nature of that specific entity, be sensitive to the local needs that each region had individually, while establishing an architecture to enable a global collaboration capability.

The Business Consulting team achieved this by collaborating with the charity across all its regions using systems such as Skype for Business Messaging and Skype for Business Video and then understood how risual and the customer can work together to improve the business, move forward and achieve more.

Following the agreement of the risual Business Consulting Global Strategy, which was founded on the recommendation to establish a single Microsoft cloud tenant globally, our risual Managed Services Division were engaged to define a global Service Design for the new Microsoft Office 365 and Azure IaaS platform. The Service Design engagement output was a non-technical document, compiled from information collated during service design workshops and knowledge gathering meetings with the charity and with a focus on the scope of a Managed Service and associated global governance processes.

The solution

After the design phase, risual knew that to improve collaboration they needed to bring all the offices from across the world together by using one Office 365 tenant and allow all offices across the globe to meet in the Microsoft cloud, sharing the right information and tools so they can work productively, together, and seamlessly on the same projects.

Working with risual

Following the completion and acceptance of the global recommendations from the risual Business consulting and Service Design Phase, the charity engaged risual as their regional deployment partner and begin working on the Office 365 and Azure Migration project. In addition to the main countries in Europe, the programme quickly extended to other countries associated to the UK & Europe region, such as Bosnia & Serbia, Morocco & Lebanon,

This phase involved the creation of a risual Programme Team led by an Engagement Manager and Enterprise Architect, and with Subject Matter Experts from the risual Technology Practices. For a four-month period during the deployment risual assigned a consultant to be positioned in London, to help with planning, completion of pre-requisites and general Knowledge Transfer for this new cloud computing platform.

This is a great example of how all risual divisions combine to deliver an end to end service outcome, from Business Consulting and Architecture, Technology delivery across the Microsoft Office365 and Azure platform, and Service Design and Managed Service delivery to support the investment and the organisation

Microsoft Digital Skills

risual identified a need for a comprehensive IT apprenticeship scheme once it became clear that the digital skills gap across the UK is getting wider. The risual education programme was designed to support businesses and employers across the county to grow and develop a skilled workforce which will bring a wealth of knowledge and digital skills, whilst helping grow the next generation of talented staff for the business. risual education have pledged to have a risual Microsoft Academy with a Microsoft Showcase classroom at a partnered college in each region throughout the UK which will also support every business who wishes to grow through training and developing apprentices.

The charity have worked alongside risual to notify that they need the support and guidance to help them bridge the digital skills gap that runs throughout the organisation. risual education will be providing the charity the relevant Microsoft Industry training to ensure they are working towards the correct certifications to help bridge the gap and grow as an organisation.

risual Managed Services

risual provide 24/7 support and security to clients ranging from global business through to the UK Public Sector. risual’s successful, Security Cleared and ISO 20000-1 accredited team provide a wide range of services to add value to your IT department. We offer a bespoke, flexible managed service agreement to suit your needs, scalable to cope with workloads and covering multiple technologies.

The risual Managed Services support has been introduced with regular health checks and service reviews to ensure adoption of the service and the expected benefits are being realised.
Being a charity who had a large number of siloed countries, the abilities Office 365 has given to the organisation globally, enabling them to collaborate more effectively with each other, suppliers and their customers has been vital in their ability to enhance the quality of service they offer.

risual are actively working with the organisation on Strategic plans to utilise the full benefits of Office 365 throughout its country offices. Starting with an Office 365 release strategy engagement, in which analysis of current usage and subsequent planning for future releases and their adoption is delivered monthly over a 12 month period alongside an End User Device engagement where more and more solutions will be rolled out to users with sufficient training and communication to ensure successful adoption.

The benefits

Since the project, the charity has seen many productivity, collaboration and agility benefits throughout the organisation. Since implementing Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, the charity is now a much more Cloud First focussed organisation.

Collaboration and communication

The Charity now have access to the right tools and services to allow them to work collaboratively from anywhere around the world. Microsoft Office 365 has offered various applications within the suite to encourage the chairty to work together on simultaneous projects and much more. Prior to the solution, one of their biggest challenges was collaboration through a global organisation distribution list – now working under one Office 365 tenant, each office across the world now have access to an up to date distribution list. This is an huge challenge that has been solved as the organisation can now proactively react to any public issues/concerns without a worry that new employees might not be receiving an important email regarding a project.

Further to emails, Office 365 is a suite of applications to help enhance communication including applications such as One Drive and Skype for Business. With them being a staggered global organisation, regardless of time zones, everyone within the organisation can communicate anywhere at any time on any device due to applications such as Skype for Business.


Since improving collaboration and communication via Skype for Business and Outlook etc.. they can now see positive results from public cases, such as the time it takes for emails to be responded to and dealt with, public cases reaction time. Microsoft Office 365 has opened a gateway to becoming a much more time efficient organisation, this is extremely valued due to being a charity and working directly with helping the public.

Cost saving

Prior to the charity working with risual on the Office 365 project, they had one employee who worked with the on-premise IT Infrastructure across the organisation. Moving the on-premise infrastructure over to an Office 365 environment has resulted in a great deal of cost savings due to the support team no longer needing to manage and maintain the environment now that every system runs within the cloud. This has also enabled all those who worked on the on-premise infrastructure to begin working on further cases and projects which are valuable to the public. The Microsoft cloud strategy has also enabled them to retire some traditional on premises infrastructure and software tools which is removing significant cost from the organisation annually.

The organization’s goal was to introduce Office 365 and all its collaborative benefits over time with immediate focus being on Exchange Online and Skype for Business Services. It was at the project Kick Off meeting where the business introduced some soft deadlines for the project, aiming for a completion date of no later than the end of May. With a lot to do in this timeframe risual were able to act fast, scheduled all necessary workshops, engage with other offices where required and begin assisting the business with all identified dependencies. risual were not only able to deliver the project to the timeframe set by the organisation, risual also completed it 29 days under budget, which is an approximate saving of almost £30k.

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