Using Cloud to Create Value – and Save Lives – at a Leading Global Charity
Adopting a resilient cloud-first strategy ensures the charity can rapidly deploy and manage services for users, drive enhanced agility, and deliver better outcomes.
We help our charity partner undertake the complex transition of core infrastructure, applications and services to the cloud.
Fighting Poverty Around the Globe
With one-in-three people in the world, living in poverty, the internationally recognised charity is dedicated to finding practical and innovative ways to help save lives and rebuild people’s livelihoods whenever a crisis strikes.
A world leader in the delivery of emergency relief and long-term development programmes for vulnerable communities, the charity also campaigns with others on a variety of issues – including gender injustice, human rights, health and education for all, climate change, and fairer land and trade policies.
The International Secretariat leads and manages the strategic direction and priorities of the global confederation and facilitates collaboration between the affiliates to increase the charity’s impact on poverty and injustice.
Responsible for the implementation of cost-effective ICT solutions that support the day-to-day activities of the organisation, the Global Service Delivery Manager is committed to ensuring that anyone who works for the charity is able to do so quickly, easily and seamlessly – wherever they may be in the world.
With responsibility for the provision of live services to over 10,000 employees and the 52,000 volunteers that need access to the charity’s global systems.
Getting Fit for the Future with Cloud
Five years ago, the internationally recognised charity took the decision to adopt a cloud-first strategy and enhance its ability to deliver services wherever it operates in the world.
Alongside reducing costs and unlocking the benefits of new digital ways of working, the move to the cloud would also enable the organisation to adapt fast to evolving operational needs.
“Every CIO understands that cloud is the key to enabling a more connected, productive and collaborative organisation, while ensuring business-as-usual services are maintained should disaster strike,” explains the Global Service Delivery Manager. “But making the move from a pre-existing legacy IT environment is hard to execute.”
With plans to transition the global charity’s entities around the globe to a fully-hosted model underway, he faced another challenge – the planned relocation of the International HQ meant that the secretariat’s infrastructure and services, currently located in a UK-based data centre, had to be shifted fast to the cloud.
“It was a formidable task, with a significant number of complex technical and operational issues,” explains the Global Service Delivery Manager.
“My top priority was to ensure that users in three organisations – were not impacted as result of disentangling interdependent IT architectures, and migrating infrastructure, applications and data to cloud platforms.”
With just a matter of weeks to initiate the new cloud operating model and provision a raft of new services to users, he needed to deliver the required transformation changes in as risk-free and non-disruptive way as possible. Ensuring that all required key actions were undertaken appropriately to ensure that the anticipated business-value outcomes were successfully delivered for all.
“As our current on-premises managed services partner in the UK, requesting assistance from Bell Integration to make the move to cloud seemed like a really big ask – but I’m delighted to say they leapt at the challenge.”
Making the Difficult Feel Easy
Highly experienced at helping organisations fast track the migration of infrastructure and workloads to public and private cloud platforms, Bell Integration first needed to analyse the integrations and dependencies underpinning each service and assess each service’s readiness to move to the cloud. To ensure business continuity was maintained at all times, Bell’s team also mapped all workloads before defining a detailed road map for instigating the charity’s new environment.
“Our initial discussions about the best transition approach were incredibly detailed,” explains the Global Service Delivery Manager. “For a move of this complexity, we knew that a simple ‘lift and shift’ method was not an option. Instead, Bell Integration developed an agile and iterative switchover plan that was an exact fit for our requirements,”
With the clock ticking down, the Bell Integration team began the painstaking process of decommissioning the on-premises network appliances supporting the organisation.
During the migration itself, Bell Integration transitioned a number of core network architectures – including active directories, switches, servers and storage – and implemented the new Cisco Meraki full stack infrastructure complete with end-point protection that enables the Global Service Delivery Manager to securely administer the new cloud-based network from any location.
“The migration phase itself proved to be a highly collaborative process – Bell’s team of experts kept our teams fully informed of every execution point and procedure, consulting with us on each critical decision,” he says.
Next, the Bell Integration deployment team initiated Microsoft Azure cloud hosting services, before migrating over 300 employees from IBM Domino to Microsoft Office 365.
“Bell Integration navigated all the complex intricacies around separating three business units that were dependent on the same on-premises infrastructure and re-platforming their services to the cloud – and they achieved all this in just three weeks,”
“As a result, our move to the cloud was completed in a hyper-controlled and staged manner – with no disruptions to user services.”
The charity are now able to monitor, manage and troubleshoot the network structure of all locations around the world from their HQ. The configuration and set up of devices – including mobile devices – onto the network takes just seconds, and the organisation’s network administrators can deploy connectivity to new sites and users with ease.
So, when a key UK office suffered a major flood incident earlier this year, the Global Service Delivery Manager was able to implement a ‘pop up’ office for 40 International personnel based at the site within a matter of days.
“The flexibility of the cloud meant that we were able to maintain on-demand systems and services to our teams on the ground until they could relocate to a new shared workspace. In today’s always-on-world, users expect apps and services to be available 24/7, and we’ve proved how effective our new cloud-first strategy can be at keeping people productive when the unexpected happens,” he says.
The move to the cloud has also transformed how people work, empowering them to be more productive with anytime, anywhere, any device access to applications and other value-added services.
“Feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive. They can now effectively collaborate, communicate and share information without having to be tethered to their office desks.”
Why Bell Integration
The charity needed to execute a flawless migration to the cloud, and Bell Integration proved the ideal partner to make its vision a reality.
“Highly professional and knowledgeable, Bell Integration demonstrated their expertise every step of the way– from creation of the initial migration and implementation strategy to rightsizing architectures and resources for our new cloud environment,” says the Global Service Delivery Manager.
“Working under severe time constraints, Bell Integration assembled a ‘hit squad’ of specialist experts who then worked around the clock to ensure our transition to the cloud went without a hitch,” he continues.
“I would happily recommend Bell Integration to any other NGO looking to embrace a cloud-first future and take the next step towards digital transformation.”