Office 365 deployment
Tuesday, 15 November 2022
As part of a period of significant change and a need to provide colleagues with first class information technology, NHS Midlands & Lancashire CSU were approached to deploy Microsoft Office 365 to the NHS Transformation Unit (NHS TU).
With 50 staff based at offices in Manchester, the NHS Transformation Unit provides strategic support, expertise and leadership to NHS health and care organisations by helping to deliver strategic and transformational change.
NHS Midlands & Lancashire CSU were approached by NHS TU to provision, configure and deploy Microsoft Office 365. The deployment at NHS TU was driven by a change of information technology partner, an internal improvement agenda and a relocation to a new office building.
These drivers presented an ideal opportunity to deploy Microsoft Office 365 to new desktop devices, introduce new ways of working and exploit the flexibility of cloud-based technology whilst reducing reliance upon a costly and restrictive physical information technology infrastructure.
The off-site nature of the professional services offered by NHS TU, such as communication and collaboration with colleagues and clients, presented several challenges.
With increasing demand for remote working, team members found documents were often difficult to access and collaborate on whilst away from the network. As a result, large working documents were often e-mailed between colleagues resulting in multiple copies and confusing versions.
What we did
Our consultants worked in partnership with the NHS TU project team to gather a clear set of requirements through a series of face to face workshops. This resulted in the creation of a deployment plan and a structure for a dedicated Microsoft Office 365 tenant which could adapt to future needs of the business.
Multiple Sites and document repositories were created within the Office 365 environment (known as a tenant) to securely and logically hold thousands of corporate documents which were to be migrated from legacy network drives to the cloud.
Specialist advice and guidance was provided to nominated data owners on cleansing files in readiness for migrating from network drives into Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive for Business.
Consultancy was provided on reviewing and selecting the right Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise licenses as part of a parallel project. NHS TU’s new IT provider refreshed the desktop and laptop estate with Windows 10 and Microsoft Office ProPlus applications.
To ensure all 50 colleagues at NHS TU could work effectively and productively with the new Office 365 applications, a comprehensive training programme was developed by our in-house Microsoft Certified Educators.
A blended approach of on-site classroom training at the NHS TU Manchester office and virtual classroom instruction using Skype for Business was delivered to general users, super users and administrators.
The contents of the training programme covered areas such as navigating Microsoft Office 365, uploading, managing and collaborating on documents. The training also covered the effective use of Office 365 applications including SharePoint Online, Delve, Skype for Business, Sway, PowerBI, Flow and OneDrive for Business.
By deploying Microsoft Office 365, we helped the NHS TU to:
- Consolidate document storage, management and collaboration into a single, organisation-wide platform
- Enable colleagues to work, collaborate and remain mobile on any device, regardless of time or location
- Bring teams, projects and leaders closer together with innovative and reliable video and audio conferencing via Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams
- Lay the foundations for working with data and clients in new and innovative ways
- Improve the reliability of and confidence in information technology provided to colleagues
- Lay the foundations for adopting modern, flexible work practices including embedding with clients and home working
- Reduce the costs and dependency upon physical network infrastructure and hardware
- Simplify licensing arrangements for Microsoft Office products with a clear, predictable and cheaper alternative
- Shorten decision making times and enabled teams to act in a far more agile and dynamic way
How did we do? We let our clients speak for themselves:
We worked with Midlands & Lancashire CSU when we moved our fifty staff over to Office 365, as part of a larger move to new office accommodation and culture and values project.
During an already very busy period for ourselves, the advice from the Midlands & Lancashire CSU was invaluable as we are a team with no internal IT support or particular expertise in this area, so we relied heavily on their guidance and knowledge.
All of the staff we dealt with were obviously experts in their field and were able to tailor the tone of their advice and training to the appropriate level. They were always on hand to help and quick to react when needed.
I would happily recommend Midlands & Lancashire CSU to anyone else looking to undertake a similar IT migration and wouldn’t hesitate to seek their advice on future projects.”
Cathy Duggan | NHS Transformation Unit