MS Small business server migration to Office 365 Cloud

Overview

Amion Consultants, a specialist economic, financial and management consultancy practice had a requirement to upgrade their Microsoft Windows Small Business Server platform and migrate their email services and data to the cloud using Microsoft Office 365, while combining the project with a complete new lightweight small footprint mobile desktop workstation refresh programme.

Solution

The business had a requirement to upgrade their Microsoft Windows Small Business Server platform and migrate their email services to the cloud using Microsoft Office 365, while combining the project with a new NAS, for data synchronisation, on premise deployment and desktop workstation refresh programme. Amion was operating their existing IT environment with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 to take advantage of the integrated Exchange email services and Active Directory management functionality. Their desktop PC infrastructure consisted of a mix of workstations running Windows 7 and Windows Vista with various versions of Microsoft Office installed locally. There was also a requirement for the business to increase their data storage and business continuity capabilities. Along with these requirements MS Windows SBS is no longer supported nor maintained and thus considered a severe security vulnerability. A Senior IT Consultant from Freedom ICT helped key stakeholders at Amion to determine the best options to cost effectively meet their objectives and refresh their IT infrastructure. It was agreed that Freedom would supply and install all the necessary software, Lenovo and Microsoft Surface Pro hardware and Thecus NAS device that links with Office 365. Freedom Systems Engineers would plan and manage the entire project, including migrating their Domain, Office package, Data and Exchange environment to the cloud using Microsoft Office 365. During the systems migration project all desktop workstations would be upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro and a Microsoft Office 365 licensing plan would entitle Amion to install Microsoft Office 2013 on up to 5 devices per user and utilise the Web App versions of the Office applications in the case of PC failure or other business disruption. Email services were migrated through a planned cut over, which to limit disruption was completed over a weekend. Freedom successfully planned, managed and delivered the IT systems refresh project for Amion and deployed new hardware, software and licensing plans, which consisted for the following key deliverables:

  • Data transfer from existing SBS server
  • Cut over migration of email services to Office 365 out of hours
  • Installation of new Thecus NAS server and migration of data during working hours with minimal disruption
  • Creation of a new active directory structure and strategy
  • Deployment of Lenovo Ultrabooks, MS Surface Pro and dock stations
  • Decommissioning of legacy Microsoft 2003 SBS Server

The outcome of the project for Amion is new hardware and software to drive the business over the next 3-5 years with reduced IT management complexity. The new Thecus NAS server combined with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription licence plan has enabled the business to expand their data storage, move email and data services offsite to the cloud and standardise their office automation processes and tools. To provide additional peace of mind Freedom supply Amion with ongoing IT support and Retained Technical Services (RTS).

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