South Cambridgeshire District Council Case Study
Requirement: Microsoft Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security
GCI provided a Microsoft solution that enabled South Cambridgeshire’s staff to work more collaboratively, from any location and on any device.
Local authority South Cambridgeshire District Council was formed in 1973 and has a current population of over 155,000. It is part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which aims to boost growth by investing in local infrastructure, housing and skills.
The Council was experiencing year-on-year budget reductions, and so was exploring more innovative ways to deliver essential services whilst saving money. The areas of technological focus prioritised were secure flexible working and shared services with local partners. The growing demand for mobility within the workforce was not achievable with the current technology in place; staff wanted the ability and flexibility to hot desk or work from home, as well as engage with BYOD initiatives.
GCI proposed an Office 365 solution that not only addressed the Council’s challenges, but also provides valuable further features in a familiar interface. Choosing a Microsoft solution also qualified South Cambridgeshire District Council for funding, enabling it to utilise its budget for other pressing requirements. Key benefits of Office 365 for the Council include OneDrive for Business; a location in the Cloud that enables it to store, update, share and sync files from any device. The solution included 1TB of storage, and the Council was able to release quotas on its on-premise My Document storage, reducing operational costs. Additionally, with a key driver of enabling “anywhere working”, Skype for Business’ Unified Communications features allows Council staff to see the availability of any colleague at any given time through Presence management, as well as collaborate together regardless of location through instant messenger and voice/video calls and meetings.
Further capabilities within the Office 365 suite were also utilised, including Exchange Online - a Cloud messaging application that provides South Cambridgeshire District Council with access to the full-featured version of Exchange Server, including email, calendars, contacts and tasks. With a 50GB mailbox as well as unlimited archiving the Council could migrate away from its legacy archiving platform, which not only reduced costs but delivers a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%. Another feature of the software is Azure Active Directory Premium, which enhances the identity being synced from on-premise Active Directory into Cloud services. Some of the richer features the Council reaps are the self-service password reset tool, the ability to define internal and external users for Multi-Factor Authentication, and Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics. Additionally, the Azure Rights Management Service allows the Council to protect virtually any file created within its environment, whilst guaranteeing secure access from all devices. This in turn provides peace of mind that the controls placed on the document are maintained wherever the file is sent.
To implement a BYOD policy, the Microsoft Mobile Device Management platform Intune allows South Cambridgeshire District Council to maintain and control mobile devices outside of the corporate network, as well as assisting in the removal of the current mobile deployment that was in place for Councillors. The funding obtained by the Council allowed it to afford an additional component, selected to further enhance BYOD capability. Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) provides all staff and Councillors with access to their emails and files on the supported mobile device platform of their choosing. The Council can control individual device permissions to maintain protection of Authority data, and as the solution is Cloud-based it will always have the latest updates of products and will not require costly, on-premise upgrades to the platform moving forward.
Success and Company Benefits
South Cambridgeshire District Council now has a secure, Cloud-based Unified Communications platform that enables employees to work more collaboratively whether they are hot desking or working from home, as they can access, share and edit documents from anywhere. The EMS solution also enhances their ability to work more productively and collaboratively, and the funding obtained which was used in the deployment services of EMS enabled the Council to further utilise their budget on other pressing requirements.
Matt Hudson, Programme Manager at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We chose GCI because they went out of their way to understand our requirements, and were straightforward in helping us understand our options. GCI’s excellent delivery approach meant that the time required to move the project forward was minimised, and the momentum for change was maintained at all levels. GCI helped us to get to a stage where we had the tools to complete the migration ourselves and passed on a great deal of expertise that will serve the Council well as it continues its Office 365 journey.”