With the Merchant Navy Officers Pensions Fund closed to new members, the Fund is on a journey towards full funding and part of the journey plan was to streamline the service provision through outsourcing of various functions to specialist partners. Ensign Pensions chose to partner with Intelogy to be its Managed Service Provider, covering their Cloud Hosted estate.
Phil Boyle who heads up Ensign’s Operations explained this decision: “As the MNOPF’s journey plan progressed, it became strategically advantageous to streamline the Ensign in-house team through outsourcing of key functions to specialist partners. Ensign was impressed with Intelogy who were originally engaged when a partner was sought to upgrade the internal content management system and over time, Ensign moved the whole of its IT estate to cloud hosting and the role of Intelogy was expanded. Intelogy now manages the entire Ensign IT infrastructure”.
Ensign Pensions engaged with Intelogy’s Managed Services Team to assist with some very specific challenges. Ensign operates in a highly security-conscious sector and wanted to have peace of mind over their complex IT estate. Ensign Pensions needed a Managed Services provider that could manage and support their environment and guarantee its security. It was looking to rely on an organisation for problem resolution and assistance for change management and process improvements.
The managed environment consists of a number of virtual machines as well as infrastructure in Azure. Intelogy manages not only the Azure environment but also the linked Microsoft 365 tenant – including Azure Active Directory which is synced from a virtual machine hosting Active Directory, SharePoint (also hosted on a virtual machine) and Exchange Online.
Intelogy inherited the environment from a previous IT partner; and in 2022 the Intelogy Managed Services Team started a review and reconfiguration of the infrastructure to provide resilience and ensure reliability, as well as aiming to modernise it. Through this review, a number of legacy virtual machines were exported and removed, and a maintenance programme was put in place for the remaining machines. It was also possible for the Managed Services team to simplify the infrastructure, by removing a complex VPN and by adopting the more new, secure Microsoft Bastion remote access service. Removing legacy access further hardened the security standpoint of the infrastructure.
Additionally, the team implemented a series of new backup processes, all hosted in Azure. These protect not only the virtual machine infrastructure, but also SQL Databases and other stored data. They are routinely monitored and included in client reports. A rolling scheme of server maintenance including patching, and routine checks is also in place. This aligns with the Microsoft patching schedule and is completed in a monthly planned window – agreed with Ensign.
“With a reduced in-house resource, Ensign needs a supplier that it can trust to proactively manage the infrastructure and to ensure that Ensign is advised of where improvements can be made”.
– Phil Boyle
Intelogy also supports a number of web hosting services for Ensign – including WordPress in Azure App Services, SharePoint, and also a traditional hosted website. Tasks like permission changes, users additions, and content updates are maintained, managed, and processed via the Intelogy Service Desk.
“Service requests can be made by email, telephone or web form and members of the Intelogy team are always quick to respond to advise on the options to resolve any reported issue”.
– Phil Boyle
Since Ensign has a number of web services in place, so Intelogy also supports annual penetration testing of the infrastructure and services by an external specialist and provides Ensign with guidance on how best to implement any recommendations as required. Furthermore, the M365 tenancy is also managed by the Intelogy team; with routine health checks, support and processes actioned as required.
Client benefits and results
This Managed Service has given Ensign Pensions peace of mind as it knows that the infrastructure is secure and flexibly managed. All the work described above was included in a single monthly cost bundle of service credits – which still gives the flexibility for routine change requests or user support.
“Our flexible Managed Service was the ideal fit for a client such as Ensign. All the maintenance, support and assistance are all wrapped up in a monthly allowance. Our monitoring addresses issues before they become an issue, and any required changes or updates are applied automatically with no fuss – giving maximum peace of mind. We provide reporting each month as well, for governance – critical in the industry for the client”.
– Stuart Wilkie, Service Delivery Manager, Intelogy
As a trusted Microsoft Licensing reseller, Intelogy was also able to provide full wrap around care for Ensign Pensions by providing any licenses needed. Intelogy provides and manages not only the Azure Subscription, but a range of other licenses including Business Basic.
“Where Intelogy manages the systems – there are clear benefits to also providing the licensing solution, as this reduces the billing and support management overheads for the client”.
– Stuart Wilkie
If you are looking for a partner to not only support your key systems, but also develop a plan for their onward maintenance and provide the wrap-around care – come and talk to Intelogy. The team are passionate about this technology – and businesses can take utilise it to grow their capacity or to streamline their in-house team. The Intelogy modular managed service is designed for growing businesses and could be just what you need. You can find out more about our flexible range of Support Service offerings here.
Keywords: Microsoft 365 Managed Services