Full Modern Workplace solution designed and deployed for Oxford Institute for Energy Studies within one month
The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies is a world leading independent energy research institute specialising in advanced research into the economics and politics of international energy across oil, gas and electricity markets. Intelogy was engaged to transform the IT environment across the organisation and, designed and deployed a Modern Workplace solution using Microsoft 365. The solution comprised a Digital Workplace using Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing and secure storage of data, alongside a state-of-the-art IT solution using Microsoft 365 powered devices that provide a consistent and straightforward user experience and peace of mind when it comes to data, device, and identity security.
For many years the OIES had used out dated ways of working, local storage and email were used for transferring and sharing data, along with file shares for personal and org-wide data storage. Security and threat protection capabilities were limited and, with Windows 7 and Office 2010 in place, a change was essential to protect data and to enable the OIES team to work more effectively
As with any legacy approach, offline and remote working involved moving data outside the organisation’s control, for use on personal devices with no certainty over the health or security of the device. Equally, data returning to corporate devices presented a risk to other devices on the network.
OIES wanted to implement the transformation as quickly and as smoothly as possible. As such, coordination of activities and communication was key to enabling everybody quickly, efficiently, and without confusion.
Intelogy recommended Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 for all office-based users. A combination of Office 365 E3 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 formed the entitlements for remote workers.
The programme of work was executed based on a backlog, prioritised by OIES, starting with the rollout of Windows 10, Office Pro Plus, Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business.
The first phase saw the rollout of managed Windows 10 devices for all office-based users, including shared PCs and kiosk devices for checking out library books. Behind the scenes, the devices were imported into Windows Autopilot to simplify the out-of-box experience, enrolled into Azure Active Directory and managed by Intune. Configuration profiles were created to implement the endpoint protection features of Microsoft Defender ATP and BitLocker, in addition to customised Security Baselines for ATP and MDM. Additional configuration profiles enabled the deployment of apps including Office Pro Plus and configured OneDrive for Business to automatically sign-in and implement Known Folder Move.
Figure 1 – Microsoft Endpoint Manager – cloud-based tools to configure, maintain and report on devices across the organisation.
To simplify the transition, the decision was made to remove any dependencies on existing services hosted on-premises. This meant users were registered directly in Azure Active Directory, secured with the robust identity protection features.
With the full suite of ATP tools available, these were setup to provide the security and flexibility required by OIES. Once the key elements of the cloud platform had been configured, a migration of email from a hosted Exchange environment was carried out using tools provided by CloudM. Using a background migration process the end users experienced no disruption to their email service.
Figure 2 – Microsoft Defender Admin Centre – gain visibility over the health and compliance of devices and potential security threats.
Figure 3 – Microsoft Endpoint Manager – efficiently deploy store apps and line-of-business applications to users or devices.
Due to the major change in working habits, change management and adoption activities, delivered by both Intelogy and internal champions, were critical to the success of this transformation. A number of training workshops were delivered, in addition to Microsoft Learning Pathways content and other bespoke collateral, to help everyone start off with an understanding of what was happening, what was expected of them and how to get the most out of the new tools available. During the on-boarding period, Intelogy also carried out floor walking, offering immediate assistance when needed, as well as being available via phone and Microsoft Teams for remote workers. Finally, Intelogy continue to provide a managed service to OIES, ensuring continual improvement of the environment and ensuring the adoption of technology is maintained.
Figure 4 – Microsoft Learning Pathways – bite-sized, up-to-date content that improves adoption and self-learning.
The second phase followed swiftly, with the introduction of an intranet using the modern features of SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams for collaborating. These services transformed the way collaboration and sharing occurred both inside and outside the organisation.
Figure 5 – SharePoint Intranet – a cornerstone for the new digital workplace.
Figure 6 – SharePoint Intranet – Making information accessible through SharePoint communication sites.
The rich feature set of Microsoft Teams has enabled everyone to work together, even when working remotely. Online meeting and video have provided a standard approach to holding meetings and has made communication much easier and more immediate, and has reduced the need for other costly conferencing services.
The almost immediate improvement in communication and collaboration across the organisation soon became apparent and the immeasurably improved ability to work and collaborate when not office based has enabled OIES to carry on working seamlessly through the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite training being cut short by lockdown the OIES team has been well supported by Intelogy’s managed service and the online resources put in place and the improvements and evolution of their working environment will continue to develop and be supported by Intelogy.
“OIES were delighted with the results of the transformation project – for too long we had relied on an out-dated and insecure IT environment. With the rollout of managed Windows 10 devices and the completion of the software deployment OIES were ready to discover the advantages of our new Microsoft 365 working environment.”
– Administrator, OIES