One Fylde moves to Microsoft Modern Workplace platform

One Fylde

About the client

One Fylde is a social care charity based in Lytham on the Fylde Coast and was formed in April 2019 where they began providing Home Care and Supported Living to adults with learning disabilities or mental health challenges. In order to provide their extensive services, One Fylde employ approximately 400 staff who provide support to over 250 people in and around the Lytham area. One Fylde support people to become more independent in their own homes and aim to improve health and well being of their clients by running fun activities such as drama, photography, sports or computer clubs as well as gardening groups.

The challenge

Following a merger between two organisations; our new client found themselves with a disjointed IT service that comprised two large on-premises data centres, various security technologies, and a variety of remote access solutions. The result was a costly, difficult to manage IT infrastructure; with a poor user experience due to a lack of standardisation in the way IT was consumed.

Of concern was that, as a large care provider, the client was responsible for the safe keeping of a large amount of personal medical and financial data for their supported people. Users had become used to creating work arounds to allow them to access and share sensitive information, presenting the potential risk of accidental data disclosure and loss if systems weren’t improved.

The complexity of the IT infrastructure also meant that they were suffering frequent service outages.

The solution

Having engaged with String, we discussed the opportunity for them to move away from their large, unwieldy on-premises infrastructure and, instead, to move to a wholly Microsoft cloud-based IT service.

From our early discussions, it was clear that such a move would allow us to radically re-imagine their approach to document and information management, business processes, and information security.

The concept was embraced enthusiastically by the client, and it was agreed to move on to an initial business case analysis exercise.  Firstly, however, we were engaged to stabilise the existing infrastructure, and to address the inadequate business continuity provision.

The deployment

The Pilot process allowed us to verify the findings of the Business Case by deploying the chosen technologies and testing them against the scoring criteria.

The primary technologies chosen were:

  • Microsoft SharePoint & Teams to provide a common document storage platform
  • Microsoft 365 for Azure AD authentication and endpoint management and security
  • Microsoft Power Automate and Power Apps to provide business process automation and reduce IT management overheads
  • Microsoft Azure to provide cloud hosting for several legacy applications

The technologies were tested against a number of agreed user categories and device scenarios; with the results being collated and agreed as part of the Project Management process.

The Pilot was also used to test the new semi-automated shared document structure in SharePoint.  Power Automate and Power Apps were used to allow the creation, moving, and archiving of sensitive documents to be accomplished using SharePoint lists; rather than requiring a call to the IT Help Desk.

Security and compliance were addressed through the use of SharePoint metadata; which allowed all documents to be classified as a particular type, with additional data, such as Document Review Date, Supported Person, and Manager Details, being embedded into each document.

Automated processes were then able to scan the SharePoint site to ensure that documents were stored in the correct location, and that documents approaching their review date were automatically flagged to the appropriate area manager.

The outcomes

This exercise allowed us to identify the cashable savings, and organisational benefits, that had underpinned the Business Case.  A detailed migration plan was also developed at the conclusion of the Pilot stage.

The move to Microsoft Modern Workplace platform has allowed One Fylde to ensure data is more secure and improve workplace processes. Now documents are classified, stored, and moved, based upon their own embedded meta data, rather than through manual processes; with little or no intervention from the IT team.

Adopting a  common access experience introduced technologies, such as Windows Hello, to help speed up logins; whilst also allowing stronger authentication and password policies to be introduced.  This approach also meant that all 400 users were able to access all relevant documents, securely, from any location.

There were many criteria used to identify the Microsoft Modern Workplace technologies as the right choice for the client.  Whilst cost is, as always, important; we would argue that future proofing is the most important factor.  Our client can now enjoy the very latest in innovations from Microsoft on almost a weekly cycle; and we, as always, will be there to help them to embrace these innovations as they are released.

One Fylde started to work with String at a time where our IT infrastructure was causing problems almost on a daily basis. The problems were meaning staff couldn’t do their job to support people with Learning Disabilities in the way we wanted. String became involved with us and worked as a ‘real’ partner, feeling like part of our team to solve the immediate problem and with an eye to a longer term more sustainable solution. We are now in a position where I can sleep at night and our staff are seeing the benefit of the huge amount of work that has gone on. And on a separate note the whole team at String are really friendly, personable and supportive working with us and continuing to support us to look at the future.”
Tracey Bush
CEO - One Fylde
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