Project Description

As part of an ongoing strategy to migrate to cloud-based services, The Security Industry Authority planned a move to the Microsoft 365 platform for a number of its ICT services. This had to be completed with minimal disruption to the SIA whilst retaining all existing functionality and adopting new services where appropriate. 

Bridgeall were selected as the implementation partner to deliver the migration to M365 enabling the SIA to drive internal user adoption of O365, email, collaboration and productivity tools within the organisation.

Feedback from the SIA

The delivery provided by Bridgeall was excellent throughout and it is worth noting that SIA appreciated the flexibility of the Bridgeall team during the delays in delivery due to the pandemic response from SIA. Bridgeall were reactive to the hiatus from SIA and continued to provide support and guidance throughout the extended delivery.” – Simon West, Head of Technology, SIA

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the statutory organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK. Their mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively; to reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality service. The remit covers two main duties:  

  1. The compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities within the private security industry.
  2. To manage the Voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

Challenges facing the SIA

Existing requirement to move IT services to the cloud
Over the last few years, the SIA has been moving IT services into the cloud in line with the Government ICT Strategic Implementation Plan. The initial phase of the migration has been to adopt Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the delivery of services and to follow a principle of Software as a Service (SaaS) first for any new service deployments. 

On-premise services nearing end of support
Services such as Exchange 2010 and Skype for Business 2015 amongst other Microsoft services were fast coming to the end of support, and a switch to more updated services was required. 

The switch to remote working 
The SIA client environment is made up of approximately 300 end users. The majority of users are based at the London office whilst the remaining 25% are field-based staff working from home offices. This number increased due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and meant a solution was required to prevent disruption to the workforce. 

Infrastructure and support costs
SIA ICT resources provide technical services to manage and support the ICT compute platform and end user environment. SIA ICT comprises of architecture, infrastructure and user support teams, a total of 19 staff. These resources can mount up and have major cost implications for the SIA. 

Bridgeall’s challenge was to migrate to the core Microsoft 365 components and replace existing services using a hybrid approach, while allowing for a test, pilot and phased deployment. This was required to be completed with minimal disruption to the SIA whilst retaining all existing functionality and adopting new services where appropriate.   

The following existing on-premise services were nearing end of support and the services required to migrate to M365 were: 

  • Exchange 2010 to Exchange Online 
  • Skype for Business 2015 to Teams 
  • SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online 
  • User My Documents to OneDrive for Business. 
  • Office 2013 to Office 365 Pro-Plus desktop applications
  • TITUS information classification to Azure Information Protection.

Bridgeall provided support and guidance, assist in the design, planning and configuration phases and provide technical expertise to support SIA in delivery and problem solving. The approach to delivery of the M365 solution was to configure, test and pilot new services with small, specific teams in order to ascertain the configurations which were optimal prior to deployment to the wider business.

The solution we implemented

The SIA wanted to ensure that the customer was able to conduct as much of the deployment and configuration (in house) as possible to ensure good knowledge transfer. The preferred approach to delivery was a true ‘partner’ who can provide support and guidance, assist in the design, planning and configuration phases and provide technical expertise to support SIA in delivery and problem solving. 

The migration provided: 

  • A suitable plan for migrating to Microsoft 365. 
  • Setup of M365 subscription. 
  • Implementation of a connection from the SIA’s Active Directory service to Azure AD. 
  • Migration of all user mailboxes, shared mailboxes, distribution lists and associated data (including PST files) from Exchange 2010 to Exchange Online. 
  • Migration of all SIA users to Microsoft Teams from Skype for Business 2015. 
  • Setup SharePoint Online for use by our communications team. 
  • Migration of the SIA network shares (S: and U: drives) to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. 
  • Implementation of a toolset for data migration to SharePoint Online.
  • Setup of Azure Information Protection to replace the functionality provided by our existing TITUS message/document classification (GSC) solution. 
  • Deployment of the Office 365 Pro-Plus desktop suite of applications to our Windows 10 Surface Pro devices. 
  • Implementation of data management services. 
  • Retirement of current on premise services.  

Thanks to the robust business continuity plans and the investments made in ICT resilience by the SIA, both Bridgeall and the SIA were able to work together to help the business successfully migrate to M365.  

As a result of this migration the SIA saw a multitude of benefits to their organisation including reduced costs associated with migrating workloads, improved time to value by 29% from O365 suite capabilities, reduced onboarding time and training costs.  

The SIA were also able to quickly adapt to remote working in mid-March 2020 due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with no detrimental impact on service or performance thanks to the migration. 

Empower Your Organisation’s IT with Office 365 

With Office 365, you get a comprehensive collaboration and communication tool that enables you to do your best work, anywhere, and at any time so you can work smarter. 

If you have any questions about the benefits of migrating to Office 365, or if you’re looking for strategic insight into how you can better use technology to fulfil your business objectives get in touch with our team.