John Riseam – Head of Consulting at risual
This year has seen us extend our technical capabilities by adding two brand new practices, Data Platform and Business Analysis, to make up our consulting division. This brings our consulting practices to nine different specialist branches. risual are the only dedicated Microsoft Partner in the UK to offer this breadth of expertise under one roof. This means customers can rely on risual as a single trusted partner to deliver multi-technology, complex digital transformation; without managing competing suppliers or agencies on the project.
Data Platform provides insight and intelligence, to help organisations understand how best to interpret data. Whilst Business Analysis is about driving personal and team productivity through collaboration with businesses to identify problems.
We have been working on delivering bleeding edge Cloud technology this year, much of which has never been attempted by any partner before. 2017 will see us continue to utilize our knowledge, experience and expertise to apply it to even more organisations. Our consultancy practice will continue to grow, flourish and bring about monumental change to the IT landscape across the UK.
Here are my highlights for 2016:
Delivering on the biggest projects
We helped a Police force in the UK become the first of its kind to roll out Office 365 as an enterprise-wide mail solution. We worked side-by-side with the IT team from the Police force to help deliver this complex and bleeding edge solution. This was a magnificent achievement and has demanded a lot of praise and focus from Microsoft. Office 365 is a cost-effective approach and will help the Police force leverage more from their services, through the Microsoft Cloud. The project has been a major success and has generated lots of interest from other forces across the breadth of the country, who’re also considering digital transformation.
On the commercial side of things, a desktop modernisation programme was at the core of a services company’s needs, as they wanted to deploy cloud technology to provide an excellent user experience – irrespective of location or device type. The project targeted a full refresh of core desktop technologies and incorporated a consolidation of the application estate to modernise end user experience, helping to improve their flexibility and agility.
This year has seen a surge for risual in Azure deployments and we’ve helped many customers drive up efficiency by adopting a more flexible system throughout the business, by leading them to the Microsoft Cloud. We deployed Azure datacentres and Office 365 to organisations in a bid to refresh existing infrastructure and achieve digital transformation.
Derby City Council
Derby City Council is one of our proudest projects in the past year and has even been championed on the UK government’s website.
Derby City Council was exiting a long-term IT outsourcing contract with a large multinational supplier. The Council was looking to change their IT strategy and needed a flexible approach, that was easier to adjust as the needs of the Council changed and as the impact of budget cuts takes greater effect.
The Council explored a number of service delivery models and decided its future would be based on cloud computing, initially through Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) but moving to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Derby City Council seen a wide range of benefits from the deployment, including a £1.3m cost saving over three years with the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud.
It’s been great to see the coverage this has received, especially with the government picking this up and publishing the case study on their website in support of Small Business Saturday. The phrase ‘trusted advisor’ has been coined to describe risual’s relationship with the Council.
“We are on target to meet our targeted budget savings with more agile and easier to manage and adjust infrastructure, exploiting the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment to better meet the changing needs of the Business.” – Nick O’Reilly, Director of Digital Services, Derby City Council
Collectively, the team further extended their expertise with Microsoft products by completing exams to complement their respective specialist fields. Individually, the team extended their competence and position on industry certifications in TOGAF for Architects and Prince 2 for the Project Managers.
These are so significant for us to achieve, as they are industry-recognised certifications outside of the Microsoft arena – this helps to give the team a better understanding of all the different technology products out there and their credentials.
As well as this, the team maintained their presence on ITIL foundations and certifications, which again, is an achievement in its own right.