Migrating the whole team to Office 365™
Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) is the oldest Wildlife Trust in the country, having celebrated 90 years conserving Norfolk’s wildlife and wild spaces. NWT now has over 35,000 members, more than 100 corporate members and provides education services for over 5,000 young people on school and university trips each year.
NWT cares for over 50 nature reserves and other protected sites within the region, encompassing wetland, heathland, woodland and coastal habitats that provide a home for flagship species including otter, water vole, natterjack toad, bittern, common crane, marsh harrier, bearded tit, swallowtail and Norfolk hawker.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust had been considering the option of migrating their emails and calendar systems from Microsoft Exchange Server to Office 365™; a move that would underpin the charity’s emphasis on collaboration and working openly together. NWT has a number of reserves and visitor centres across Norfolk, with many employees naturally adopting a ‘mobile’ place of work to support the cross-county conservation and education programmes that the charity delivers.
Employees required a solution that would enable them to access their email and calendar from any device and location – synchronising their contacts and task lists, managing their emails and coordinating meetings on the go. The email platform needed to provide an easy-to-access medium through which NWT employees could share ideas, news and information, encouraging two-way or group conversations.
The requirements of the NWT made an email solution that lives in the ‘cloud’, and as such naturally cultivates collaboration and flexibility, an obvious choice. If Norfolk Wildlife Trust were to consider an email migration, it needed to be to a server that would help to accelerate innovation and practices across the charity, enabling employees to learn from each other and external stakeholders; whilst meeting the evolving needs of NWT and the wider conservation field.
Breakwater IT initially provided their consultancy services to Norfolk Wildlife Trust, advising on their current email and calendar systems and highlighting the changes and resultant benefits that would be introduced following a migration to Office 365™. Consultation services were a helpful step in the migration process, providing NWT with the opportunity to clarify its goals and business priorities.
In providing expert knowledge in the use and advantages of Office 365™, Breakwater were able to assist NWT to foresee how the move would impact their employees – enabling them to maintain communication across the charity and ultimately aiding a smoother 365 migration process.
Once NWT made the decision to progress with the move to Office 365™, Breakwater IT assisted with the migration of 80 users. Breakwater worked closely with the internal IT team at NWT to set up the migration process, as their in-house experience allowed them to carry out some of the work themselves – encouraging an efficient and joined-up migration.
Breakwater IT carried out a staged migration, so as to cause minimum disruption within the charity; this gradual approach allowed Breakwater to facilitate a continual email service that enabled employees to keep working throughout the process. Office 365™ licenses were applied to all users across the charity, migrating their email mailboxes, calendars and contacts to ensure NWT received enhanced functionality seamlessly and across the board.
Following a successful migration, Norfolk Wildlife Trust can now fully benefit from the advantages that Office 365™ brings to a working environment – whilst removing a reliance on local servers to perform the Exchange tasks. With a service that now operates in the ‘cloud’, NWT can be confident that their email will always be available to their busy and mobile workforce, as 365 offers 99.9% uptime.
Sites, emails and their content are now more secure, as Office 365™ provides industry-leading anti-malware protection and anti-spam filtering to guard employees’ emails. Should an employee lose their mobile device, Office 365™ will also now enable them to wipe data remotely – preventing any unauthorised access.
The focus of communication at Norfolk Wildlife Trust is on a clear exchange of ideas, and following a migration to Office 365™, employees now have a solution that allows them to stay connected to each other – delivering easy access to information and in-turn promoting the opportunity to educate the wider populous on conservation and wildlife issues. It now doesn’t matter if an employee is on-site at a reserve working on a mobile device or at Head Office on a desktop – data is always up to date and communication becomes hassle-free.
As a Projects Engineer, I support Breakwater and our clients with some of the more in-depth technology strategies, offering my experience and advice to ensure the right solutions are delivered to schedule.View my profile >
Elevating a charity to the cloud