The National Lottery Heritage Fund believe strongly in valuing and sharing their heritage with deserving people, communities and the local economy. They distribute grants from the lottery, ranging from £3000 to £5million, to worthwhile projects in the local community across the UK.
Since 1994, the National Lottery Heritage Fund have distributed £7.9bn of grants to over 43,000 heritage projects. The scope and complexity of their operations to support the smooth and effective running by a staff of around 400 is significant. The organisation recognised the need to leverage technology further to enhance the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation and when faced recently with a need to move from their offices at Sloan Square to St Katherine's Dock, presented them with a unique opportunity to re-design and re-shape the entire IT infrastructure and in doing so fully exploit the potential of the Microsoft Cloud platform.
Following a visit to see the CoreAzure services in operation at the UK Parole Board, a decision was made to appoint CoreAzure as a strategic partner on a 4 year partnership basis.
Number of users:
Following contract award, we had a little over 6 months to
complete the design and migration prior to the move to the new offices. In this
period, we were required to complete the design and implementation of a new
infrastructure supporting the 12 areas offices plus the central London hub. From a
networking perspective, there were existing issues to
address with the legacy design and performance of the solution. The
network was flat and unstructured, lacking inter-network security for East
to West traffic and perimeter network security also needed
The implementation programme comprised 9 work packages including;
- Discovery and Design
- EUC design and deployment
- Application migration (81 applications)
- Office 365
- Network re-design and server decommissioning (following the move to the cloud)
The network re-design was installed over a VPN connection to Azure, using the following approach to combat the network issues highlighted above, we:
- Deployed a hub and spoke network topology using vNets and vNet peering
- Deployed network security groups to protect East to West, egress, ingress and back haul traffic
- Deployed a site-to-site VPN for secure hybrid network connection
Notwithstanding the very challenging timescales, the most significant challenge was the inter-relationships and dependencies between the organisation’s main CRM application (CIVICA GEMs) and a large proportion of the line of business application estate with very limited documentation and configuration details available.
The organisation has now successfully completed its move to the new head office at St Katherine's Dock, on time, to budget and with no impact to the operation of the organisation. As part of the migration process to Azure, we re-hosted a variety of the legacy server estate including Windows Server Operating Systems and SQL Server including Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 and 2016 and SQL Server 2008.
The workforce has also been buoyed by the enterprise roll-out of
new Microsoft surface devices and coupled with the deployment of Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and
Exchange On-line, in addition to the introduction and support to collaborative
technologies such as surface hubs now in each area office, the end-user
experience has been dramatically transformed.
Due to the complexity of the application environment it was necessary to complete a two-stage migration, where the first phase involved moving the applications to a shared infrastructure hosting environment prior to the migration to Azure.
I wanted to say a huge personal thank you and a formal thank you on behalf of the Executive for the massive effort and hard work in the end user roll out. To have achieved it in 3 weeks from a near standing start is exceptionally impressive - the sheer logistics of order, build, deliver, install, set up and train had been exceptional but add in two office moves and the grace and professionalism which accompanied the logistics is quite brilliant. I have heard only positive and glowing reports of the process and your involvement. Thank you many times over.
It is absolutely fantastic to have the wonderful team you give us. I've said this many times to the team that you are simply the best IT Partner I have worked with in 20 years across the entirety of my public sector career and by some stretch. The knowledge, skills, technical innovation and above all sheer professionalism is simply something to marvel at. You should be rightly proud of what you manage and lead. Thank you to everyone for the commitment on everything to date.