Our customer is a London based transformation consultancy, providing business coaching, executive placements, leadership training and workforce assessments to name a few services. Urban Network recently performed a comprehensive project to upgrade legacy Microsoft 2003 server systems for the business to a hybrid cloud storage file system, Office 365 and on premise solution.
We sat down with Chris, a member of our Professional Services Team to share lessons learned from the journey to the cloud with our client.
What did you feel was the main objective and business outcome to the customer?
To bring the business systems up to a current technology platform, as Windows Server 2003 has now been retired. The customer will then benefit from the additional security, support from the provider for the O/S and speed of a new system. The e-mail platform will also be supported and will benefit from the newer features of Office 365 Exchange versioning with improved webmail, larger storage and greater functionality for sharing information. The Office 365 system is native high availability redundant and cutting edge, which is a great for SMB. The cloud file system in the same way gives great access from anywhere to all the customer’s files, while also protecting the data with versioning.
What were the main considerations when planning the project?
The main drivers were to achieve high availability, with a swift smooth transition to the new systems. I used cut-over tools and processes for the 365 migration to ensure minimal downtime for e-mail. The deployment of new file systems was also delivered with this in mind.
What did we do that was of particular benefit to our customer?
Using the Microsoft developed tools and strategies for migration, we achieved the goals we set out for smooth migration.
How could you improve how the project went?
The customer was happy, and so I was happy with everything that I did on this job. I am always looking to improve though, and I feel I could have moved some resources over while awaiting transfers of data. On my next project I will plan to streamline moving devices like printers in the dead time.
Post migration, how do you feel our customer’s technology sits now?
The technology now is much better than they had before the project. If there are any changes to the way they work now, they can scale up and down quickly and easily and they can work much more effectively from wherever they are. Added to this they now have a modern secure setup for the entire business needs.
What do you see on the Horizon for customer’s technology?
They are now very well setup or anything that comes up in the future. I feel that they may develop some of the areas of Office 365 that currently they are not using. They have SharePoint with Office 365, and additional online collaborative data storage that will allow them to work much more effectively for instance.