Ofqual (The Office of Qualification and Examinations Regulation) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland, maintaining standards and confidence in the following qualifications: GCSE’s, A levels, AS levels and vocational qualifications.
The IT Services function at Ofqual supports in excess of 250 internal users and over 200 Awarding Organisations (AO). Operating from a single site based in Coventry, Ofqual provide all IT services via an in-house IT function.
When CoreAzure first met with Ofqual, they were undergoing a radical programme of reform to support a new range of regulatory functions that required Ofqual to adopt a more investigative and data-led approach to inspection and intervention.
were seeking partner to migrate their critical business systems, increase the
mobility of staff, enhance their data analytics capabilities and to design and
implement a new Hybrid Cloud architecture and strategic data platform based
upon Microsoft Azure IaaS and Office365, to replace an ageing and increasingly
ineffective on premise IT and data platform.
Number of users:
Ofqual made the decision to transition to cloud with the aim to become infrastructure-free within 18 months, and set about finding a partner that would enable them to deliver such an ambitious undertaking and work at the pace required within the strict timescales for the project.
Faced with an ageing infrastructure and living with the operational challenges of delivering data centre services via a single make-shift room within the building at Coventry HQ, Ofqual realised that in order to mitigate a number of critical risks they would require a significant amount of capital investment.
The Cloud-first programme was born with the intention of reducing capital expenditure, and creating a more resilient IT platform. After extensive searching, Ofqual engaged CoreAzure as their Microsoft Partner of choice to deliver their Cloud-First programme.
After an initial scoping exercise, it was quite clear that due to the number of legacy Line of Business (LoB) applications run by Ofqual, that it wasn’t going to be possible to transition fully to the cloud.
Therefore, CoreAzure designed and implemented a Hybrid-Cloud infrastructure that maximised the potential of the Microsoft Azure, Office365 and the StorSimple Platform to provide an off-premise compute, collaboration, storage and recovery capability combined with an on-premise infrastructure designed to support those applications that were currently not fit-for-purpose to run in the Cloud.
This hybrid architecture would progressively underpin the application review and replacement programme which would underpin Ofqual’s ongoing BPR programme.
The project was delivered using agile methodologies and very much designed and delivered with close collaboration with the Ofqual intelligent client IT function. Due to Public Sector budgetary constraints this deliverable was time-boxed into a 3 month window – through dedicated and diligent project management, CoreAzure were able to deliver this full programme on time and within budget.
Ofqual were further enhanced by the implementation of the Enterprise Mobility Suite which established ubiquitous end user and partner access from a range of devices and aligned to the organisation’s new estates strategy to encourage remote working via a range of Microsoft technologies including RDS, Direct Access and EMS.
Ofqual are now presented with a resilient and scalable IT infrastructure based on Azure and Office365, that has the potential to leverage the latest Microsoft technologies.
We have contracted CoreAzure for several projects over the last few years. If you’re looking for a professional, trustworthy and conscientious partner to assist you in your IT business goals, then look no further.