About Rhead Group
A fast-growing global professional services consultancy, Rhead Group is located in the UK, Australia and UAE. It works on behalf of customers to manage the successful delivery of major infrastructure and capital asset projects.
The company has grown rapidly, but traditionally relied on a combination of its customers’ IT infrastructures and separately hosted systems for email, file storage and human resource applications. Realising that current capabilities would not support future needs, it made a strategic decision to implement its own, integrated IT platform. This would need to bring together email, file storage and collaboration tools, allowing staff to work cost-effectively while away from the office.
A key consideration for Rhead Group was that the technology had to match its global footprint and be instantly available to users in Australia and the Middle East, as well as within the United Kingdom.
After comparing alternatives, including on-premises and locally hosted solutions, Rhead Group realised that a public cloud infrastructure delivered the perfect combination of flexibility and cost-effectiveness. It then investigated potential technology providers and chose a cloud-based model based on the Microsoft Azure public cloud offering, Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phones.
Rhead Group also chose Windows Intune, the cloud-based PC and mobile device management solution from Microsoft, to provide remote access for both phones and laptops
Increased user and IT productivity – Rhead Group staff now have a single system for email and file storage, with shared calendaring, so they can work more closely with colleagues globally. On the IT side, the cost of providing technology to new employees has dropped by a third, because the cloud-based model reduces set-up time.
Greater collaboration – Staff members experience improved collaboration by using tools within Office 365 including Microsoft Lync Online for instant messaging and conferencing, OneDrive for Business for file sharing and Yammer for social networking.
Improved communications – With many staff members based remotely, or using customer computers, Windows Phones are critical to keeping in touch. The phones are seamlessly integrated into the infrastructure, with Yammer and Lync available as apps, so employees are able to communicate from anywhere.
“Moving to a cloud-based model has been core to supporting our international growth—there was simply no other cost-effective answer to our needs. It has changed how we work, increasing collaboration and productivity while making IT straightforward to manage, with predictable costs that will underpin our growth,” says White.
The project began in November 2013, and Rhead Group chose to work with Microsoft partner Trustmarque, due to its knowledge of Azure and strong partnership with Microsoft. Trustmarque then created the outline architecture and supported the implementation. The phased rollout began at the end of April 2014, with the target of migrating all 700 users to the new system by October 2014.
“The implementation has been extremely smooth, helped by Trustmarque’s expertise. We deliberately adopted a staged approach to migrating users to avoid loss of productivity, but are ahead of target and under budget at this stage in the process,” – Philip White, IT Director of Rhead Group