When the City of Wolverhampton wanted to replace on-premises email with a new, more flexible, cloud-based approach, it looked to Office 365 as the solution
“Mobility has definitely improved. Our customers can hook up to their accounts using iPads, and they find Office 365 much easier to use”
Enterprise Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council
The City of Wolverhampton Council is the governing body of the city of Wolverhampton. The council is responsible for the city’s health and social care, education, recycling and waste, benefits, town planning and more, and employs around 4,600 staff.
The City of Wolverhampton Council wanted to replace an ageing on-premises email with a cloud-based system and chose to migrate to Office 365, with Core initiating the migration and providing training to the in-house team so they could manage the project going forward and migrate the entire user estate.
Like most UK councils, City of Wolverhampton faced financial challenges through budget cuts and central government constraints. They wanted to maximise efficiency, embrace invocation and do more with less. Adopting a cloud-first ICT strategy would bring cost-savings and give them the benefits of cloud computing.
Led by Enterprise Manager, Paul Dunlavey, the council wanted to move to Office 365 and replace their existing Exchange email solution. With thousands of seats to migrate, the in-house IT team wanted to be involved with design, configuration and migration.
The council considered three potential partners to deliver their vision of a more flexible, agile way of working. The job was put out to tender and City of Wolverhampton chose Core. Core had the required skill set at the right price and a solid pedigree of migrating large organisations to the cloud, including those in the public sector.
Core collaborated with the council on a series of workshops to understand their needs and design a solution to support their long-term goals. Core’s consultants worked closely with the in-house team to install and configure Office 365, replacing the on-premises Exchange solution with email and collaboration services based on Skype for Business and Exchange online. They then assisted the team in migrating the first group of users.
Throughout the project, Core tailored its services to suit the council’s needs, even switching consultants to get the best fit. Feedback was that Core exceeded the council’s expectations.
Skype for Business’s instant messaging capabilities have been widely adopted, and the burden on the in-house ICT team to manage the IT infrastructure has been lowered. The disaster recovery and business continuity benefits of moving to the cloud has helped City of Wolverhampton adopt more strategic ICT goals, while Office 365’s provision of 1TB per user of cloud-based storage immediately frees up server space and also cuts future requirements for additional storage.
Following the migration to Office 365, City of Wolverhampton has a more agile, flexible style of ICT. The council has since migrated the remainder of the user estate alongside their daily work, which was possible due to the streamlined process Core created.
Paul Dunlavey, Enterprise Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council:
"Core’s response seemed to fit with what we wanted. They had done it before, had the right experience and had good timelines. Cost was one of the main factors, as we’re a local authority, but we also had a good gut feeling that we could work with these people. There was an immediate synergy between us and Core. [Their consultant] was extremely flexible in his approach, working both on and offsite, answering questions via email at all times of the day and night."
"Originally, we wanted assistance with the first 250 mailboxes and then we’d go on our own. The knowledge transfer was quite comprehensive and after just 100 [migrations] we were quite happy with the process. It worked repeatedly so we took it on ourselves."
"Mobility has definitely improved. As you move around the organisation now you can see the IM box on peoples’ screen and they are using it. [The ICT team has] more time to focus on what other benefits we can get out of Office 365. This has given us the confidence to look at things like Windows Azure for Infrastructure as a Service. It’s given us confidence in how cloud works and in seeing what else it can do for us."
"Our technical guys got on very well and we had very responsive people to work with. If I had a problem, I’d have no hesitation in calling Core and saying “we could do with a bit of help on this, how are you fixed?”