• Name:

    Research Resource

  • Sector: Services
  • Client since: 2010
  • Services provided by Certum:
    • Cloud Services
    • IT Services

About the client

Research Resource specialises in providing high quality quantitative and qualitative research services across the full spectrum of public and private sector organisations. They have multi-disciplinary research experience and expertise across a wide range of social policy areas. Their consultants bring a wealth of expertise in research techniques, creativity and innovation to the provision of their market and social research services.

  • Name:

    Research Resource

  • Sector: Services
  • Client since: 2010
  • Services provided by Certum:
    • Cloud Services
    • IT Services

The Challenge

The Glasgow based firm decided to move from an on premise Microsoft infrastructure to a fully cloud based infrastructure utilising Microsoft 365 when it became clear that its clients, which are primarily public and local government authorities, wanted a higher level of security. With Covid causing a large percentage of their staff to work from home, Research Resource decided that now was the best time to go all in with Microsoft 365 and transform into a work from anywhere first company, backed by the security that Microsoft 365 would give them.

As a research organization Research Resource have to increase their staff count temporarily to facilitate large contracts meaning licensing costs always had to match the maximum amount of users they could have at any given time, by moving to the cloud they knew they could scale the licenses up and down as needed, this would enable them to realise thousands of pounds of cost savings over the next 5 years.

There were 3 key areas we had to address during the migration.

  1. Getting the company to embrace an entirely new way of working
  2. Minimizing the disruption of a companywide cloud migration
  3. Realizing enough value in new functionality, security and lower licensing costs to justify the change over

The Solution

In order to facilitate the increased need for security, data integrity and uptime Certum consulted with Research Resources management team and designed their cloud infrastructure to include the following policies and practises

Identity protection: MFA and condition access policies
Device protection: Conditional access and mobile device management policies
Data protection: Role-based conditional access policies, data loss prevention policies, information rights management policies
Backup and DR: All Azure and Microsoft 365 services and data are backed up
Enterprise Support: Microsoft support provided by a 4 competency Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud service Provider
Location: In order to comply with GDPR legislation all Azure services are hosted with Microsoft UK datacentres

These policies allowed Research Resource to meet the new security guidelines set out by their public sector and enterprise client base and gave them the confidence that their staff could all safely work from home or any remote location. As we were removing the physical servers which included their on premise active directory and data repositories we provisioned a new Azure AD and migrated all users and devices to it to take advantage of all the new linked security policies.

Finally we migrated their data shares to a mix of SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams allowing all staff to access existing data and collaborate more effectively both internally and externally backed up by the new collaboration security policies. As Research Resource had recently migrated their on premise line of business applications to their cloud versions and had a fully cloud hosted VoIP phone system they were now able to work fully remote, fully cloud based. After the migration Research staff were given guides and training on how to make the best of the new infrastructure and our helpdesk as always was available to answer any further questions or resolve any issues.

The Benefits

The migration to Microsoft 365 has transformed the way Research Resource work and given them the confidence that they can now work remotely full time while feeling secure in the knowledge that their new security policies give them a heightened level of security which had been requested by their clients.

Cloud applications like Teams and SharePoint have opened up communication lines and increased collaboration both internally and externally. The migration has also reduced Research Resources licensing and hardware costs and enabled them to avoid any further large capital IT expenditure in the future.

Overall Benefits:

  • Secure, centralised data and application access
  • Anytime, anywhere access
  • Unrivalled flexibility
  • Centralised communication and collaboration
  • Reduced capex expenditure

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