Project Description

A non-ministerial government department transform the end user experience with Microsoft Cloud.


A non-ministerial government department had an IT infrastructure and service which was static, due to complex on-premise infrastructure and ageing, unproductive applications. The net result meant that individual & departmental drivers for change was stifled and users had no desire to work in a more productive manner. The organisation aspired to align their business to the government’s Digital First Strategy and began the search for a solution to empower a flexible and mobile working environment ensuring all employees can work on any device at anytime and anywhere. Not only this, they wanted to provide the most up to date tools with the correct levels of user engagement to create an innovative workforce who are positive for change and improvement.

The organisation were working on a Windows 7 virtual desktop infrastructure using thin clients as well as issuing Windows 7 laptops for remote working and all the infrastructure was hosted on-premise which limited the ability to innovate within teams, working in an environment where little change occurred.

In determining their future working environment, the company led the project, based on “Choose Your Own Device”, offering their people a choice of laptop device and smartphone, to replace their outdated thin clients. They wanted to improve the end user experience allowing them to work remotely and securely.


Choosing a partner.

Their initial requirements were to move away from on-premise technology and migrate to the cloud ensuring that in the future all systems will be running on the cloud –  they needed to consider who will support them alongside their migration. Previously working with risual on other projects such as deploying SharePoint, the non-ministerial government department chose to work with risual again for this project due to having a pre-existing strong relationship and knowing risual have a good reputation.


The challenges.

The organisation aligned their project to the comprehensive security guidelines issued by the National Security Cyber Centre (NCSC). These guidelines presented many challenges to the project team in terms of Group Policy and the overall security of the system. risual and the organisation worked together, exploring the guidelines whilst adhering as much as possible to the need to empower a flexible and mobile working environment. The partnership approach led to a successful design and configuration of the new Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite which contained deep levels of security but also gave the company the flexibility and secure mobile services they were looking for.

As a fairly static organisation, they faced a challenge of encouraging user participation and engagement with the project and had some concerns as to the level of change that was being introduced. To help guide them through the change, risual hosted several engagement sessions with business champions, identifying current culture, business processes and challenges the users faced. risual’s Business Engagement Team then formulated an approach to change, which focused on the wider business but also catered for more sensitive users, for whom change was more problematic due to ongoing business pressures.

The focus of the project team and the companies own business champions throughout was on encouraging a better work/life balance, increasing productivity and encouraging collaboration across departments. By holding a series of open days and presentations, including a Solution Refinement Office, the approach taken created an ardent desire to change throughout the organisation and established an extremely positive atmosphere, encouraging all users to want to try out modern technology services, adapting their own methods of working and becoming fully involved in the change process.

To support the business change strategy, risual created training content in collaboration with Tablet Academy, a training partner of risual, providing classroom-based training on the new technology and tools. Focusing on “The Art of the Possible” the emphasis was on the user and the team to explore the use of Office 365 and Windows 10 to discover for themselves how get the most out of the new services. The key topics were OneNote, Office 2016 collaboration with OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business with Tablet Academy presenting demonstrations on how these tools worked along with interactive sessions for the organisation to get hands on with the new software.


The benefits.

The end user computing transformation project exceeded expectations and met the set goals. The non-ministerial government department are now working in a much more flexible working environment where employees are able to work anywhere and on any device which has increased productivity.

  • Flexible working – Prior to the migration, the end users did not have access to remote devices. They can now work on any device seamlessly, anywhere at any time.
  • Productivity – Being on the most up to date Microsoft subscription has allowed the organisation to work in new ways with the most recent tools and devices.
  • Improving the end user experience – Working in the Microsoft Cloud has created a more collaborative culture within the organisation.
  • Increased security – using the latest Windows 10 operating system and implementing EM+S to help protect devices, identity and information.