Energize are a charity and member of the England wide Active Partnerships network, who work with local and national organisations to promote an active nation through the power of sport and physical activity. Part of this mission includes working with local organisations to influence change and create projects and programmes across the county, including sporting events and new or improved provision aimed at creating a healthier society.
Energize were working with an on-premise Microsoft Windows server, running Exchange 2010 and a selection of Windows 7 desktop devices. However, as they are a Cyber Essentials certified company, Energize needed to make the investment for an updated system that adheres to the requirements of Cyber Essentials certification.
As a result of this and the charity’s overall IT requirements, we recommended they move their systems to Microsoft 365. After a demonstration of the system and how it would best support their needs, Energize agreed this would be perfect solution for their business.
Our next step was to plan to migrate Energize to their new system over one weekend, to help reduce their overall downtime. The growing COVID-19 pandemic stopped this and, as many other businesses experienced, Energize found themselves in a position where they had an urgent requirement for remote working and the ability to conduct safe web conferences and calls.
We proposed to a staged migration, to be completed remotely. As remote access allows us to access our client’s PCs and servers 24/7, we were able to complete the migration at times that allowed for minimal disruption to users.
Firstly, we migrated their email system to Microsoft 365. Once this was complete, we remotely re-configured all of their devices to connect these with AzureAD which backs up all of their documents onto a cloud. Through the use of Microsoft Premium licences attached to their system, Energize now have a centrally managed mobile device management (MDM) to ensure their devices remain secure and receive all-important updates.
We also updated their hardware, replacing their Windows 7 devices with new laptops. The laptops were pre-configured with the required software and access and sent directly to the Energize Team for a completely safe and contactless exchange.
With COVID-19 requiring the need for remote working, there is the growing belief that more businesses will look to implement working from home on a more regular basis. By upgrading to laptops rather than desktops, not only did this mean the team could effectively work from home, but it also allows future-proofs for the requirement to work from home, if required.
In addition to an update to their hardware and software, we migrated the teams shared data to Microsoft 365. This now means the team can access, save and share files easily through the use of Microsoft Teams. All staff were provided with training, by our friendly experts at Start Tech, through Microsoft Team meetings, who were given a tour of Microsoft 365 and the new features they would benefit from.
Microsoft Teams allows for the Energize staff to chat via messenger, conduct video calls and keep in touch with one another whilst they, like many other businesses, get to grips with the ‘new norm’.
All of the team at Energize have shared positive feedback in response to our ability to adapt the ways in which we can provide our services to our clients. It’s this flexibility and our eagerness to do all we can to get the job completed for our customers that sets us apart. Energize are now excited to be using Microsoft 365 and reaping the benefits of remote working features that allows them to keep running during what has been a strange time for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
“Originally we imagined the Covid-19 lockdown would prevent our intended transition to Microsoft 365 but Start Technology identify a way it could be completed with minimal business interruption. This has been really helpful to our operations as all Energize work has moved online during this time. Jordon has been very attentive both in the planning and assisting every member of staff. It’s not been without the odd glitch but every time Jordon has been on hand to resolve and we are really pleased with the new functionality of our new system. We’ve not come to terms with everything yet but again Jordon and Start continue to be super responsive to our needs. I can’t recommend them highly enough. First class service.” – Chris Child (Chief Executive)