How a rapid deployment of Microsoft Teams helped Foundation Home Loans to embrace remote working

Read this Microsoft Teams case study to discover how Trustmarque delivered a rapid deployment of Teams that allowed Foundation Home Loans to embrace remote working.

Background to the project

Foundation Home Loans swiftly recognised there would be an imminent shift to home-based working as the UK looked set to enter lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. They knew they needed to ramp up their remote working capabilities and deployed additional equipment allowing their entire workforce, including their servicing call centre teams, to work entirely from home. A substantial move for the company. However, they were still limited by their capacity to ensure the best collaboration, so began to weigh up the options.

While familiar with WebEx, having used the platform for specific cases like sales and marketing webinars, they identified the need for a more agile and dynamic platform that would enable all 260 employees to operate effectively from home. They needed a solution that would enable their employees to collaborate, stay connected and help to deliver business continuity while ensuring safety and compliance.

With an existing E5 Enterprise Agreement for Microsoft Teams, they quickly became interested in the solution – Microsoft’s premier business productivity and collaboration platform. However, they needed a partner with rich experience of Teams to help with technical implementation and roll-out to ensure they could transition to remote working as soon as possible.

Why Trustmarque was selected as a partner

A combination of established trust, proven expertise and unrivaled agility ensured Trustmarque was the right partner for the project. Trustmarque has a long-standing relationship with Foundation Home Loans, supporting their storage and datacentre projects for over 16 years and recently providing a range of professional service engagements.

We were able to demonstrate our substantial experience in Teams and the wider Microsoft 365 stack having migrated many organisations including our own to Microsoft’s flagship productivity suite.

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About Foundation Home Loans

Foundation Home Loans is a specialist mortgage lender, based in Bracknell in Berkshire. They offer a wide range of residential and buy-to-let mortgages and are
particularly experienced in the portfolio landlord market. They employ approximately 260 staff.

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How Foundation Home Loans is using Microsoft Teams 

“Teams has really helped to connect departments, in a way never imagined. Teams has also been Instrumental in communicating with brokers and key partners and is really easy to use.”

Because there is a wealth of rich functionality in Teams, the company decided to do a staged roll-out to ensure that users initially have access to the apps most critical to their roles. They have moved all meetings and video conferencing to Teams, which has allowed staff to feel more connected.

Chris Lomas, Director of IT at Foundation Home Loans, confirms: “We are using Teams for daily executive meetings, 1:1s and I have a Teams-based stand up every morning with our IT management team. This is something we have rolled out during Covid-19 to keep people engaged and connected.”

The business is embracing Teams for project collaboration, using functionality like screen sharing. Colleagues are also connecting with one another via Teams Chat and telephony. They also recently delivered an all hands Virtual Town Hall from the CEO.

Feedback on Teams has been extremely positive. “Our colleagues love it. It’s the best application we’ve had in years,” says Chris.

Colleague Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing, confirms: “Teams has really helped to connect departments, in a way never imagined. Teams has also been Instrumental in communicating with brokers and key partners and is really easy to use.”

Teams in action

  • Video conferences

  • 1:1 meetings

  • Team chat and telephony

  • Virtual Town Halls

  • Project collaboration

  • Internal communications

Security considerations

As with all financial services organisations, Foundation Home Loans needs to be particularly alert to security and control. They are using Intune device management to manage access. For example, restricting the ability to download information from the corporate network to personal devices. To mitigate against data leakage from the network, they are utilising data loss prevention technology embedded in Microsoft 365.

Feedback on the Trustmarque project team

Chris commented: “The whole deployment has been fantastic. I have known Trustmarque for a long time and they are the go-to partner to get things done quickly and properly. The team is very capable and we were able to quickly speak to a senior Business Productivity Consultant who talked us through the options.

“The whole project team acted to deliver this and I am hugely appreciative of how Trustmarque got the resources together quickly so we could achieve our remote working goals.

“I don’t think any other partner could have delivered so quickly. We went from zero to fully deployed in less than three days.”

“I don’t think any other
partner could have delivered
so quickly. We went from zero
to fully deployed in less than
three days.”

Chris Lomas, Director of IT at
Foundation Home Loans

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Next steps and the future of remote working

“This has revolutionised the way we do business and we won’t be going back to the ways of working we had before. This has proven the ability to work remotely for all staff, not just the IT teams.”

Foundation Home Loans hopes to maximise its E5 Microsoft Agreement drawing on the expertise of Trustmarque who is now approved as their Microsoft Large Account Reseller (LAR).

Chris commented: “The proposal Trustmarque put forward to be a potential LAR really made them shine out above the
competition. The solutions proposed demonstrated how they would clearly save us money and drive efficiencies. For example, we have talked a lot about FastTrack for Microsoft 365 and would like to explore that in more detail.”

In terms of the future for remote working, Chris says he is certain they will shift to a remote-friendly approach. He admits
the company was somewhat slow to embrace the work from home culture, preferring people on-site for collaboration – something he now recognises can be achieved from home.

He added: “This has revolutionised the way we do business and we won’t be going back to the ways of working we had before. This has proven the ability to work remotely for all staff, not just the IT teams. It has also really opened up our talent pool as we can now recruit across the whole country for remote workers and not restricted to our geographical area.”

Why choose Trustmarque for Microsoft Teams

As a leading Microsoft partner, we’re ideally placed to support with your Microsoft Teams or wider Microsoft 365 adoption. Our Microsoft Certified technical experts can provide your organisation with direct remote assistance to discuss your requirements. We’re also one a select number of Microsoft FastTrack Ready Partners, a funded programme designed to shorten the adoption of Microsoft 365 for eligible customers.

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