By 2011, Microsoft had introduced Office 365; during the years when Montefiore was using G-Suite, the cloud version of Office had substantially matured. So, Crea notes, while there was obvious internal pressure building, there were also positive external factors which made Office 365 the obvious path forward. “Support came from the CEO for a return to Microsoft. And as it turns out, many of our users had never really let go anyway, as we had some perpetual licensing still in place.”
By 2018, and having used it for some time, being in the cloud was important to Montefiore. This was one aspect of its outgoing software which the organisation wanted to retain. “This is important because it allows us to continue to collaborate more effectively.,” says Crea.
He adds that Microsoft Office 365’s particular appeal was ‘the apps’, in effect delivering the best of both worlds.
With a large number of users located across five different sites – Crea says a migration presented a substantial task. “We brought in Insight as they’ve clearly got the experience for a task of this magnitude,” he says.
Insight partnered with Insentra, a collaborative IT professional services partner, to deliver the migration and ensure Montefiore achieved the desired outcome.
Insight, Crea says, “did a fantastic job” from an administrative and technical perspective. “They were very thorough, and their project management was very professional; the project schedule was comprehensive in terms of the tasks which had to be covered. All we had to do, basically, was stick to that schedule.”
There were no challenges in the rollout, which took three months from start to finish. “One thing I would advise is to get your users to delete everything they don’t need. This will save a lot of time and effort – particularly if it’s unnecessary duplicates.”
Where there was – perhaps ironically – some difficulty was change management, particularly in bringing users up to speed on sharing within Office 365. Handling this, Crea set up voluntary training sessions which saw around a quarter of Montefiore’s staff attending. “We quickly learned that most user problems were the same, so we set up self-help resources which were and are well-used. Those with an issue can run through the steps provided and generally get there on their own,” he adds.