Journey to the Cloud starts for The Grand Appeal

“Avoiding loss of data and any disruption to day to day operations during the migration were vital to us as an organisation. Flair 4 IT worked hard to understand our exact requirements, creating and delivering on a plan that ensured these things did not occur and that the project was delivered in a timely manner.”

Anna Shepherd, The Grand Appeal

The Challenge

For the The Grand Appeal team email is a critical part of day to day operations for communicating with colleagues, partners, supporters and more.

Slow server and connectivity speeds were impacting operations at The Grand Appeal and although email activity is just one element that needed resolving, it would provide improvements and be the first step on an organisational move to more Cloud based services.

The Solution

Having worked with The Grand Appeal on IT projects for over 7 years Flair 4 IT understood the challenges they faced. The approach to resolving the challenge had to look at not just immediate requirements in terms of improving email services and removing strain on the existing server but, at the future requirements of the organisation to ensure solutions implemented now would work with future plans.

Exchange Online part of the Office 365 suite provided a solution that would remove the need for email services running through the existing on premise server whilst also enabling staff to access email on the go. Prior to the migration taking place the following areas were addressed and built into the project plan:

  • Avoiding downtime and disruption – with the organisation operating 7 days a week potential disruption in terms of downtime had to be avoided. Working closely with The Grand Appeal Flair 4 IT identified the best time to undertake the migration to avoid any impact.
  • Poor connectivity to existing server – migrating existing email services to the Cloud is not always straightforward, due to poor connectivity at the existing server location it was identified that the migration process to the new Exchange online service could take up to 1 month to complete. To overcome this Flair 4 IT planned in a server move so that files could be transferred without disruption over the course of a weekend.
  • Data security & compliance – Flair 4 IT ensured that a move to Exchange Online would provide the required levels of data security and compliance that the organisation required.

The Result

The move to Exchange Online is the first step in improving IT services for The Grand Appeal. It has removed a strain on the existing server and enabled staff to access emails regardless of their location helping them to more effectively stay in contact with one another.

“As an organisation Flair 4 IT have supported us to gain a good and informed understanding of how Cloud services can provide us with the flexibility and capacity we need as a growing organisation.”

Anna Shepherd, The Grand Appeal