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What became immediately apparent was that Core understood our requirements and had the expertise we needed.

Darren McVee E-enablement Manager, EOECPH

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Company profile

East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub is an award-winning NHS organisation which supports NHS Trusts in the East of England with a wide range of services including the procurement of clinical and non-clinical goods and services, contract management, service frameworks and strategies for e-enablement and communications. They are a small, mobile organisation with around 25 staff.



Summary

Core migrated EOECPH to the cloud so they could enjoy easier IT management and give the organisation anywhere access.



Challenge

In 2012, EOECPH was affected by changes to the NHS structure and needed to replace the IT systems which had been supplied by a third-party. The previous setup had left many aspects of IT out of the organisation’s control, with software updates and management in the hands of the provider. Darren McVee, e-Enablement Manager at EOECPH saw this as an opportunity to take a different approach to the organisation’s IT.

The key requirements for EOECPH were scalability, ease of management, a consistent user experience and being able to communicate and collaborate effectively, regardless of location. They needed to shrink and grow according to demand, while keeping costs at a minimum. EOECPH also needed to be able to manage users and security policies easily because they didn’t have an in-house IT team.

“Now we have got complete control, and if we need something new, or another server in the cloud, we can do it in minutes.”

Darren McVee E-enablement Manager, NHS EOECPH

Solution

Core designed a solution around Microsoft Office 365, Windows Azure and its Aurora managed service offering.

This enabled EOECPH to combine the anytime/anywhere email, communication and collaboration features of Office 365 with the benefits of Active Directory, single sign-on and roaming user profiles, without investing in or managing the on-premises infrastructure normally required.

With Windows Azure and Aurora to work with, managing Office 365 is easy. Security – a vital aspect of IT for public sector organisations – is also easy to control; the team can move users rapidly into groups with a specific policy where needed. Managing login credentials doesn’t pose a challenge because usernames and passwords and synchronised between local systems and those in the cloud. Core also migrated EOECPH’s data and documents, which had mostly been stored on a shared server hard drive.

Some of the files were huge and causing bottlenecks during the migration as they were copied over to the new cloud-based infrastructure. The scalability of Azure was useful then, as Core were able to speed up the process by temporarily deploying extra servers in the cloud to work in parallel.

With help from Core, Windows Azure and Aurora, EOECPH are enjoying all the benefits of Office 365. They have not had to invest in an expensive new infrastructure, and are looking to exploit the full potential of Microsoft SharePoint and Lync.



Why move to the cloud?

Darren McVee, E-enablement Manager, EOECPH explained “We wanted something that scaled to us as an organisation, that didn’t involve much infrastructure and enabled us to have the same experience wherever we’re working. Whether we’re in the building or on a customer’s site, we can still access all the information we need. The experience wherever anyone is working has to be the same. No matter if they are working on a laptop in the office on a desktop or even on a mobile device, we didn't want to have to train people on different systems."

"We wanted to migrate data securely and we wanted it to be accessible and get backed up on a regularly basis. Because we are involved in procurement and legal issues, it is important that we hold on to emails for a number of years. Now we have complete control, and if we need something new or another server in the cloud we can do it in minutes. If we lose the internet connection we can still carry on working, but the data is securely backed up in the cloud."

"We work with trusts to buy in goods and services and aggregate the spend, so collaboration is really important. Previously, we haven't had the tools."

"What became immediately apparent was that Core understood exactly what our requirements were and that they had the expertise we needed. They have a great level of expertise. They understood what we needed early on and came up with a solution that would work for us. During migration it was easy to get support. It only takes a simple phone call and someone gets back to us straight away."


 

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