risual engaged with a navigation service provider, who every year handle 2.2m flights and passengers in the UK airspace. The clients desire was to move to a Cloud-based delivery model, they had already made a huge investment in Azure but not exploited this. They wanted to identify a partner to provide a “Cloud Brokerage Service” to provide expertise and a management service to enable full exploitation of cloud services. They needed to deliver £100M of savings over 3 years back to the business whilst developing the ability to be more agile & flexible to respond to business needs.  With over 400 unmanaged applications (some supporting mission and critical operations) they needed to transition to a more supportable and agile DevOps model. The navigation service provider are a complex customer in that they are traditionally a risk adverse organisation, focussed on safety and detail.

In 2014 risual was introduced to the client by their Microsoft Account Manager to uncover Cloud Services opportunities on the back of the successful work we had delivered with similar clients. There was an initial period of relationship building and Board and Sales representatives met with the client’s Supply Chain where the message was very clear, that they wanted to shake up their Supplier’s and look at options for delivering more innovative and market leading services.

Our first engagement was a 3-day Vision and Scoping exercise where our Architect worked closely with the client’s Architect to write a high-level strategy which was then taken as a  baseline they could work from. From day one the client had access to support from their Account Manager and Managed Service Specialist, relationships that allowed them to fully explore the client’s requirements and communicate the services risual can provide. The account team facilitated presales engagements with consultants enabling calls to take place around scope and delivery of initial pieces of work. Working with Marketing, the account team provide a Newsletter updating clients and giving them an insight into other services that we can offer across risual. On-going account visits and support keep the relationship fresh and ensure any opportunities are identified however the key us understanding their overall strategy and working to both promote our services and “sell” Cloud services to the business. The client is looking to risual to be proactive and bring ideas to the table.

rMS have been providing a wealth of project delivery and support throughout the relationship.  The Service Delivery Manager taking responsibility for the ongoing management of the service including Service governance, Service reporting, Managing escalations and service tools such as requests for Optimisation PowerBi dashboards, application triage process dashboard.  Meanwhile the Programme Manager is coordinating live projects through Programme governance, Cross project resource coordination, Customer management (weekly Exec updates) and supporting the sales team on SoWs. The DevOps and Support teams have delivered numerous projects quickly and efficiently and their fantastic work and professionalism will culminate in the ongoing contract to provide support services.

Key projects have been central to the engagement e.g. a project that allowed their portal to access both live and static information by crucial parts of the business. Throughout the rCS team on the ground have had to be responsive to the customer needs, understanding complex governance processes and developing testing procedures which ensure solutions meet the requirements of the customers.  The DevOps team have worked closely with rCS, testing solutions to destruction, evidencing that the design and build meet the customer requirements and achieve the outcomes required. 

As the scope of the relationship increased both Project and Engagement Managers were put into place, providing links between the order set up and client communication, requesting resources through work trackers to PMO and monitoring documentation sent to the client such as Project plans, weekly logs, and highlight reports.

This engagement has allowed risual to evolve as an organisation, recognising how to develop and manage a true partnership with a client, supporting this concept by providing the client with insights into further ways of working and true collaboration. A relationship has been built allowing risual to be honest with the client regarding the issues they face, understanding the pitfalls and how we can create solutions and add value for the mutual benefit of the client and risual.

As we all know, everything we do requires the support of our operations team. They are always in the background supporting projects and the internal and external relationships that make risual so special. Our Project Management Office team have been embedded in this client engagement from the beginning helping set up presales’ requests with risual sales team and risual consultants. Then once the work was won the team accepted the orders in the CRM system and completed governance checks, alongside the finance team to check the scope, required resources and skills, before contacting the client to book project delivery dates. As well as this our PMO team set up SharePoint sites for document repository and to send comms to finance around project codes for the expense system. After confirming start dates with clients, they facilitated project start up documents to be completed by the consultant, shared to the SP site and sent to the client.  PMO remain an integral part of the relationship, collating time sheets at the end of each week, ensuring that the expected work is completed, and triggering a process of moving the appointments into the finance system ready for accurate invoicing.  The ongoing cycle of orders landing, governance process, document set up, resource co-ordination and time sheet collation for invoicing is ongoing. The finance team managing the client’s account have invested in building a relationship with the client’s account payable team, a relationship that is extremely important to both parties giving the client the confidence that will support them and resolve any queries they present in a timely and professional manner. As always finance also process expenses and ensure colleagues are reimbursed while monitoring the profitability and growth associated with the project. Meanwhile HR worked behind the scenes to ensure that the risual employees working on the project had the appropriate security clearances and were available to meet the client’s needs across the engagement.

In early 2017, a sub-company of the client risual is engaged with were looking to recruit an IT Apprentice and bring some new skills into their team. With the support of risual’s local Employee Engagement Manager (EEM) they were successful in recruiting quickly and after a difficult choice between 3 excellent candidates who made the final shortlist. The employed a female IT Apprentice who learned quickly and became a valuable member of the team. She successfully completed her Level 3 Apprenticeship with the support of her Assessor and was offered a permanent role. Later that same year they approached risual Education regarding a vacancy for someone to work in their Revenue and Marketing Intelligence Department. The role involved collating and analysing large volumes of data to inform future decisions about routes that would be profitable for the business. It was suggested that they take a look at the level 4 Data Analytics Apprenticeship, a qualification that required a candidate with A Levels looking for an alternative to university. They recruited successfully and their Data Analyst Apprentice successfully completed his course in the Summer of 2019. The successful relationship across risual has allowed us to open conversations to embed further apprentices within the client and the sub-companies that they service going forward.

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