Three UK local government agencies agreed to an organisational change that will align their information services and ultimately move them to a single, shared digital service. The aim of the project is to reduce the cost of providing IT services through operational efficiencies, economies of scale and reduction in development costs. The initial solution approach is to prepare services that align with existing capabilities within the councils, targeted based on the need to upgrade, and moving to a service model that will ensure they do not need to perform costly updates in the future.

The first phase of this project was to migrate their three, separate Exchange on premise solutions into three discrete Office 365 tenants in a manner that their final configuration would meet the requirements of all three councils. This would also have to be closely aligned to simplify support for the central IT service desk, while making use of a modern approach to technology, to provide modern services that empowers users and delivers value to the partners.

risual was selected to provide the design and migration approach from the three on premise Exchange solutions, each with its own specific challenges to overcome, including disparate versions and need implementations of secure email that to be preserved.

The design strove to provide:

  • Agile Users with the ability to use BYOD to work from anywhere.
  • Reduce costs of on-premises infrastructure, while lowering support costs by ensuring all tenants were effectively identical, lowering the need to gain familiarity with separate configurations.
  • Provide a Unified Global Address List and shared calendars across the three councils, something they currently do not have.
  • There must be minimal downtime for users during the migration phase, with no downtime within working hours.
  • Future proofing the systems to prevent costly upgrades being required in the future.

The customers have been delighted with the design provided and are looking forward to implementing it shortly.

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