Making the Leap
RedPixie helped Making the Leap (MTL) move to Microsoft Cloud and upgrade their computers to Windows 10 to provide a modern, mobile, secure environment for their staff and associates. MTL specialise in helping young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, recognise and reach their potential in the workplace (www.makingtheleap.org.uk).
MTL ran one server that provided several functions such as domain controller, file sharing and backup. This presented a number of risks, some of which stem from an outdated server operating system. MTL’s desktops were a mixture of different operating systems and editions. Certain desktops were performing below expectations due to a combination of factors. Another challenge was user data such as emails and personal files were kept locally on staff computers; greatly hampering mobility. All of these was compounded with slow connectivity to the internet.
“Our mission is to develop the skills, confidence and outlook of young people from poorer backgrounds so that they can succeed in their chosen career. ”
RedPixie enabled MTL to answer all challenges using Microsoft Office 365 and Azure. We were able to move MTL’s server to the cloud. Their on premise server rebuilt as a virtual machine with the latest server operating system from Microsoft. Emails, calendars and documents utilised Exchange Online and SharePoint which are all part of Office 365. We also introduced Skype for Business (formerly Lync) to allow instant message internally.
All of these allow MTL to be mobile for the first time with access to emails, calendars, documents and instant messaging from any internet enabled computer or mobile device. RedPixie helped MTL upgrade their computers with solid state drives (SSDs) and Windows 10, providing an enhanced user experience on existing desktop hardware.
Working with all MTL staff was key to ensure the solution fits their needs; now and in the future. RedPixie’s professional services team performed numerous site visits to conduct meetings, audits and observations.
The implementation was done in stages, with the introduction of a new line to the internet and networking hardware first, closely followed by establishing the new infrastructure in Microsoft Azure. Upgrading the computers was next with associate’s computers receiving SSD’s and Windows 10. The upgrade was then implemented on staff computers a few days later with the task of moving their emails and files into Office 365. This was all brought to a close with basic training to aid greater awareness of the new features of their new infrastructure and how to take advantage of what the cloud offers.
MTL has been running on their new infrastructure and upgraded computers for just over a month. Staff have been taking full advantage of the new possibilities that the cloud offers such as accessing email and calendars on different devices – all in sync. They have been using Skype for Business for instant messaging and SharePoint document libraries for collaboration.