Client Case Studies

ActionAid
ActionAid
ActionAid is an international aid and development charity working in over 50 countries around the world.  They approached Ethical IT (EIT) as they were looking to reduce costs that were being paid to a Docklands based high end Data Centre which was hosting much of their equipment in return for very high monthly fees. The charges were made up of a combination of connectivity, physical space, and power consumption. This last element in particular had increased in cost over the years as more equipment was added to the platform, and electricity prices went up, to the point where the running costs were becoming prohibitive.

Whilst having a data centre facility is crucial to the high availability of core global systems, EIT were asked to look at exactly what was provided by their Data Centre, and how savings could be made to bring the power costs down.
Through the use of vmware virtualisation technology, we were able to reduce the number of physical servers active and drawing power, from 12 to 6, whilst maintaining the same level of service, which represented a huge power reduction and at the same time not requiring any additional hardware

We also identified several backup systems.  Through our unique relationship with The Ethical Property Company, utilising our own “Ethical Cloud” we were able to remove the backup systems, and relocate them to space we maintained ourselves, at a fraction of the cost.  The space is still secure, resilient and boasts 99,99% up time, but at a cost that is ideal for collocating backup systems while giving ActionAid the possibility of off-site backups and a standby platform should the Data Centre go down.


AgeUK
AgeUK
AgeUK Enterprises is a Social Enterprise that facilitates trading of insurance, travel, funeral and other products tailored to the over 50s. All profits generated go back into the AgeUK Charity which provides community services, support, advice and assistance to the elderly. Ethical IT were successful in a tender process to design, implement and support a completely new nationwide secure network of Thin Clients to over 150 local AgeUK branches.  The solution was designed to overcome the challenges presented by fact that every local AgeUK is autonomous and unique. 

‚ÄčAgeUK Enterprises needed a system that allowed for centralised control and security, demonstrated PCI Compliance, while also allowing each local AgeUK to retain their own independence and flexibility in their other day to day work.  In addition, a centralised telephony system was required to improve call handling – directing non-geographic calls to the callers local AgeUK; call recording for compliance purposes and better business intelligence through in depth call analysis and reporting.

We designed, on a green field site basis, a bespoke Private Cloud solution, utilising the latest Thin Client low carbon, low power consumption hardware for end users, along with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) service delivery model for AgeUK Enterprises.

A national rollout over six months delivered over 400 Thin Clients to over 150 offices and shops using entirely in-house resource from the Ethical IT team.  EIT undertook PCI SAQ Type D, alongside our ISO27001 Certification work, to ensure that the solution was secure enough to transact within and satisfy AgeUK Enterprises’ product vendors security requirements over an initial five year contract term.

Through our partnership with Class Telecommunications, a private MPLS network was delivered using a mixture of FTTX, EFM, Fibre and AnnexM internet connections into each site. This included quality of service (QoS) and traffic management and reporting; Web traffic filtering; Virus/Malware protection and Data Loss Prevention.
 
All virtual servers and data are backed up three times per day, and the entire contents are shipped to another secure EIT Data Facility.  Work is also now underway to implement a second Data Centre node as part of the expansion of the “Ethical Cloud” into our new facility in Newport, South Wales. This will be powered entirely on renewable energy and will provide AgeUK with a fully active server farm that can be switched over to within an hour in the event of an unlikely catastrophe at our primary site.


Client A
Client A
When a client’s office move ran into unforeseen complications at the last minute, they were left without an office property for 2 weeks. Thanks to our partnership with Ethical Property, we were able to temporarily and securely locate their core servers within our hosting platform, get them up and running again on our network and accommodate 6 of their key staff in our building - along with PCs and phones.

They were able to run the core business until their new office was ready, and we then supported the transition and setup into the final office location, minimising disruption as much as possible in spite of the situation.

Ethical IT rapidly deployed a virtual environment for the client and co-located their existing server in our hosting environment. PCs were set up in our Disaster Recovery space from where a small team and their core business could function, and we provided on-site support for the 2 weeks they were based out of the temporary office.


CQI: Office 365 Migration
CQI: Office 365 Migration
Technology
  • Migration to Ethical IT Cloud Services and Microsoft Office 365
  • Decommission of physical on site servers – risk and power reduction
  • Cost reduction – savings on server and backup cost
Background
The Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) is a registered charity that exists to benefit the public by advancing education in, knowledge of and the practice of quality in industry, commerce, the public sector and the voluntary sectors. It was incorporated by Royal Charter in 2006.

CQI were experiencing challenges with their email platform caused by ageing hardware and rapid growth of mail box and related data. The cost of storing and backing up their data was becoming prohibitive, and their reliance on physical on-premise servers represented a risk to organisational operations.

Ethical IT worked with key stakeholders at CQI to identify the issues, risks and opportunities in migrating to a cloud based solution, and delivered a programme of work to realise the benefits of cloud based messaging services, with minimum disruption to staff.

Solution
Leveraging CQI’s charitable status to benefit from the E1 version of Microsoft Office 365, Ethical IT was able to implement the Enterprise level cloud platform for free.

A dedicated project team was deployed to plan and deliver the migration in a staged and fully managed approach, meaning that mailboxes were moved out of hours, with zero interruption to the business. The migration was invisible as far as staff were concerned; their Microsoft Outlook email client simply switched to Office 365 at the allotted time and all historical email was retained.

E1 includes a robust backup mechanism that allows for individual mail items to be restored, entire mailboxes to be archived and at least 90 days of data retention. Each user is allowed a huge 50GB mailbox and an Online Archive of another 100GB. Furthermore, the cost of backing this data up under the old model of traditional disk / tape / offsite could be retired, saving hundreds of pounds per month. Finally, additional services such as Skype for Business, File Storage, SharePoint and Video Conferencing are all included at zero cost, for later implementation
 
Benefits
The benefits to CQI are numerous for this “classic” cloud migration project:
  • Removal of physical servers on site – cost and risk reduction
  • Reduction in carbon footprint through reduced energy consumption
  • Future upgrades included in Office 365 subscription
  • Charity status provides free of charge donation of Office 365
  • Operating Expenditure (OpEx) reduction on backups
  • Greater reliability – 99.7% up time guarantee with Office 365
  • Almost unlimited mailbox sizes meaning no user restrictions on email
  • Full remote access from anywhere, including mobile, table, phone etc.
  • Additional functions included such as Skype, Video Conferencing, file storage, SharePoint at no extra costs, giving numerous strategic options for CQI’s IT landscape in future 
Delivered in May 2016, this project harnesses the full power of Microsoft Office 365 and the Microsoft Donation scheme is such that, as a registered charity, it was a simple choice to make. The work will give CQI a forward-looking platform on which to build their strategy around, and the worry associated with owning hardware is removed.

Testimonial
“Ethical IT have supported us move to Office 365 for our messaging platform, which has reduced our on-site servers, reduced our backup costs, and provided staff with greater functionality and freedom with email. The additional features that Office 365 brings are also very interesting additions to our IT setup and something we look forward to exploring further over the coming years” Director – The CQI
 
If you think your organisation would benefit from a similar move to cloud services – public clouds such as Microsoft Office 365, or private cloud such as Ethical IT’s own dedicated cloud hosting platform, entirely owned and run by Ethical IT, please do contact us for a free proposal.


Deafblind
Deafblind
Deafblind UK is a National charity providing support services to, and campaigning on behalf of, deafblind adults and their carers. They have a head office in Peterborough with roughly 50 staff members and a remote staff base of approximately 60 throughout the UK.
As an organisation Deafblind were facing several IT problems; managing an ageing server infrastructure, a very old PC fleet, all of which needed replacing, frequent problems with remote access using VPN, High IT Support costs (with two in-house staff).
 
EIT deployed three HP hosts and a Dell SAN to run the new environment, and rolled out WYSE Thin Clients for their head office, much cheaper than full desktop PCs and 10% of the power use.
 
Through the use of vmware technology, we implemented a new centralised Microsoft Exchange environment, migrated files to a new File Server and a Terminal Server farm provided full access to all resources for the satellite offices via Remote Desktop and for the Thin Clients at Head Office. The internet line was also upgraded to Leased Line to maximise performance of the terminal server for remote staff, and all key databases (SAP, Progress, ISYS) were migrated to the Server 2008 platform.


DVIP
DVIP
DVIP exist to help make women and children safer. With services across London, they work to stop domestic violence and to reduce the harm it causes.  The organisation are spread across multiple sites in London and were using a Novell-based email system which was several years old, lacked key functionality, and the server was causing issues.  Access to shared files was also a problem, as there was no stable way to maintain a centralised shared file infrastructure; there were frequent outages and disruptions and local servers were running and needing to be maintained at each site.

As a solution, we deployed a new HP host server at the main Head Office, together with a SAN storage array to provide maximum resilience. 

Through the use of vmware technology, we then implemented a new centralised Microsoft Exchange environment, migrated files to a new File Server (to be accessed locally at the Head Office) and a Terminal Server provided full access to all resources for the satellite offices via Remote Desktop, which was also available to home users for remote access. Internet lines were upgraded to FTTC where available and Bonded ADSL where not to ensure the best performance.


Office 365 Strategy
Office 365 Strategy
Ethical Trading Initiative are a not-for-profit organisation of approximately 30 staff representing companies, trade unions and NGOs promoting respect for workers’ rights around the globe.
ETI approached Ethical IT to help resolve technical difficulties with their Office 365 service, that were preventing them realise the full benefits of cloud computing on the Microsoft cloud.
Ethical IT are working with the client as they progress to full charity status, supporting them in the use of the paid Office 365 package while implementing a strategy of migrating to the zero cost, donation driven licenses once they achieve full charity status.
Through our in-house expertise on Office 365 and a working relationship with the Technology Trust Exchange – the body that administers charity donations for Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe and more, ETI will be able to achieve around 90% saving on their ongoing licensing cost for Office 365 in future.
Key deliverables
1.      ETI faced mobile working issues causing staff a support headaches, which have been addressed through a migration to cloud based file storage and applications
2.      Reliable, secure backups were proving problematic and expensive. Harnessing the power of the Microsoft Azure platform the need for local storage of backups has been removed
Support
Staff now benefit from unlimited access to the Ethical IT Service Desk via a Service Level Agreement.  The Service Desk team, based in Old Street, London, provide both remote support for staff support issues, site visits where needed and underpinned by guaranteed response and fix times with a named escalation point, regular one to one service review meetings and Ethical IT’s strategic help and support over the long term.
Finally, Ethical IT’s proactive monitoring platform has been deployed to the system and is monitored by a dedicated team - ensuring that alerts are sent ahead of time should anything be close to failing.
Key benefits
-          Reduced IT operating costs through cloud based technology
-          90% discount will be achieved via Microsoft Software Donation Scheme for charities
-          Advice and guidance based on our previous experience helping charities achieve software donations from the Microsoft Donation Scheme, at every step of the way


Family Action
Family Action
Family Action has been a leading provider of services to disadvantaged and socially isolated families since its foundation in 1869. They work with over 45,000 children and families a year by providing practical, emotional and financial support through over 100 services based in communities across England.

We won a tender process to migrate the whole network from their old Windows Server 2003 system, incumbent IT provider and ISP, to our Data Centre (the “Ethical Cloud”) whilst also updating all their systems and moving to a new Internet Service Provider – Class Telecom.

Staff were experiencing frequent disconnections, slow system speeds, and using applications such as Office 2003 was causing compatibility issues with external stakeholders. A solution was needed to migrate providers whilst simultaneously upgrading the whole network and modernising the applications.

We therefore implemented an entirely hosted “virtual office”, removing all their existing server hardware, and incorporating their database applications into the platform and upgrading at the same time.  All users log into their Virtual Desktop via the ‘remote desktop’ program, from wherever they are in the world, on any machine, and get their standard office desktop with all resources available.

This has resulted in a system that requires little maintenance, support or backup; the removal of all network performance and remote access issues and the availability of reliable access to all resources, wherever staff are based.

Please click here for a PDF download of the full case study. 


Impetus
Impetus
Impetus help other UK charities and social enterprises that have a successful track record of helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become highly effective at delivering their programmes, to transform the lives of the people they serve.

Impetus approached Ethical IT as they were having various issues with their IT network; their server was presenting a single point of failure and an organisational risk, and remote access was proving problematic and inconsistent. Impetus also wanted to engage a professional helpdesk to provide IT support to their 45 or so members of staff.

Ethical IT worked closely with Impetus senior management to develop and agree on a plan to overhaul their IT setup and on-board the Ethical IT Service Desk as the single point of contact for staff IT support ongoing.
The single point of failure server was bolstered by a standby server and a new storage system, adding four additional layers of resilience and fault tolerance. Ethical IT also migrated the servers to industry-leading virtualisation provider VMWare, meaning their servers are better managed and run more efficiently on the existing hardware without the need to upgrade or replace in the short term.

Secondly, the old method of remote access, via VPN, was replaced with a state of the art Terminal Server platform, giving staff the opportunity to easily remote access their complete virtual desktop from any computer in the world, securely via any internet connection.

Finally, Ethical IT are assisting Impetus to upgrade all their desktop PCs and laptops to Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system, which is also designed to run faster than previous versions of Windows but on the same hardware – meaning Impetus will save a significant amount by removing the immediate need to replace older desktops.
 


London Air Ambulance
London Air Ambulance
London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) is a registered charity of approximately 50 staff and volunteers operating life-saving emergency helicopter ambulance services to Greater London, in conjunction with Barts Health NHS Trust.

LAA approached Ethical IT with two inter-related challenges:
1.      Their back end IT infrastructure was at end of life and they needed support developing and delivering a strategy to replace it with either a new, cloud or hybrid platform fit for the future
2.      They required support planning and rolling out a major software upgrade to their core operational applications

Ethical IT set up a dedicated Project Team to gather the requirements, scope and implement the new platform, handling the migration to Office 365 with minimum downtime and retiring the legacy system.
The new Office 365 platform, back end infrastructure, applications and front end PCs are now all supported by the Ethical IT Service Desk via a Service Level Agreement.  The Service Desk team, based in Old Street, London, provide both remote support for staff support issues, site visits where needed and underpinned by guaranteed response and fix times with a named escalation point, regular one to one service review meetings and Ethical IT’s strategic help and support over the long term.
Finally, Ethical IT’s proactive monitoring platform has been deployed to the system and is monitored by a dedicated team - ensuring that alerts are sent ahead of time should anything be close to failing.

Key benefits
-          Reduced IT operating costs through removal of old hardware and legacy systems
-          Class leading cloud-based email and file sharing from Office 365 – fit for future
-          95% discount achieved via Microsoft Software Donation Scheme for charities
-          Carbon footprint reduction – removal of ageing physical infrastructure
-          Greatly improved resilience and performance thanks to cloud based technology


Malaria Consortium
Malaria Consortium
Malaria Consortium, based in Ethical Property’s Development House, began with eight IT users in their central London office, and have quickly grown to over 250 users in the UK, Africa and Asia; that’s 250 people accessing emails from all four corners of the globe, often working in areas lacking real infrastructure and facilities.  Ethical IT were able to co-locate all of their email accounts, and backup their data centrally, which meant that all that was necessary to set someone up to send and receive emails was a quick message sent to our Helpdesk.

Our server is stored in a dedicated Data Centre in London. When we relocated it here in 2008 we also took the chance to upgrade the system which means that we effectively have one machine doing the work of several.  This upgrade of our systems means Malaria Consortium now benefit from very fast internet access through the infrastructure at the Data Centre, and we can offer a faster service to all their users, including those working remotely around the world. Staff in their offices have now got access to advanced email systems, web based mailing, secure anti-spam and anti-virus protection, advanced integration for blackberry and mobile devices and – if needed – full support from our IT helpdesk.

Not only did Malaria Consortium save on capital costs, but they have saved a huge amount of energy by co-locating with other users, greening their IT considerably, in fact, co-locating and sharing running costs can save 1800 kg of carbon per year, as compared with running a stand-alone server.   On top of this, by ‘virtualising’ the server so one machine is doing the job of several, Ethical IT have also reduced the carbon footprint of the server itself.


Malaria No More UK
Malaria No More UK
Office move and Microsoft Office 365 migration

Technology
  • Microsoft Office 365 email migration
  • Managed office move into Ethical Property Serviced Offices
  • Retirement of old physical on-site server 
Background

International charity Malaria No More UK has a mission to end the world’s oldest disease and make malaria no more.  Ethical IT were approached as they were going to move into sister company and social enterprise The Ethical Property Company’s newest building, the RIBA award-winning The Foundry, a hub for like-minded charities from across the UK.

Malaria No More UK had their shared files stored on their existing landlord’s IT system, and was running email on an ageing in-house server. They needed a turnkey solution to manage the office move and migration of their shared files and email data away from the old offices.

Solution

Ethical IT set up a Project Team to migrate the email data to the cloud: in this instance, Microsoft Office 365 was used to take advantage of the Microsoft Donation Scheme which makes this service free for registered charities such as Malaria No More UK.
The migration allowed them to retire their old on-site server, which removed a single point of failure risk, and reduced the carbon footprint of the organisation. Furthermore, all staff email, calendars, shared mailboxes and departmental calendars are now securely held in the cloud, available remotely anytime, anywhere, and backed up hourly – all for zero investment in operating expenditure.

Ethical IT then worked closely with Malaria No More UK to migrate their shared files to a secure, dedicated virtual server running at The Foundry, provided and maintained by us as a service and removing the need for a physical replacement every 3 – 5 years.

Support

At implementation, a Service Level Agreement commenced providing Malaria No More UK with full support from the Ethical IT Service Desk team, based locally in Old Street, London, giving remote support for staff support issues, guaranteed response and fix times, on-site presence in the event of an emergency, and a named escalation point for service review meetings and help planning future enhancements.

Finally, Ethical IT’s proactive monitoring platform has been deployed to the File Server, and is monitored by a dedicated team - ensuring that alerts are sent ahead of time should anything fail or be close to failing.

Key benefits

Malaria No More UK are no longer tied to their physical location; emails and files can be accessed remotely, securely, from anywhere. If the time comes to move offices again, the move will involve very little IT work, and they are not tied to any physical location.

Ethical IT also provide the communal telephone system and internet for all tenants at The Foundry, and as SLA customers Malaria No More UK benefit from a holistic support package covering their entire IT and Telecoms, all in one place.

Finally, removing the old physical server has reduced organisational risk and power / carbon consumption, as well as freeing up valuable office space for staff.

Testimonial

“Ethical IT have helped us through our office move and we are now tenants at The Foundry, where we have one Helpdesk to deal with all our IT needs, making support for staff simpler. With a mixture of Microsoft Cloud and private Ethical IT file server, we are much more future proofed should we need to move again. Ethical IT were very efficient, knowledgeable and helpful throughout the transition period and since, we cannot fault them.” Miriam Naisbett, Office Manager


Medic Alert: Amazon Web Services Migration
Medic Alert: Amazon Web Services Migration
Medic Alert supply emergency devices for the most vulnerable people. Via specialist “jewellery” worn on the pulse point, the kit enables emergency professionals to gain vital information from members’ secure emergency personal records, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Medic Alert approached Ethical IT facing significant problems with their main database application, made more challenging due to issues with their outgoing supplier.

The client needed to switch providers and carry out an application migration to a cloud platform in a very short space of time. Being a specialist bespoke JAVA application, this required reverse engineering and a very agile, multi-disciplinary project team to prevent damaging service downtime.

Key deliverables
  1. Ethical IT deployed a custom Java (JBOSS) database application on Amazon Web Services from source code.
  2. With little to no documentation, the work involved reverse engineering the application and taking it live in a very short space of time
  3. A further strategy of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 2017 was also agreed and is being delivered as part of a phase 2, to further remove any reliance on legacy systems or providers
Benefits

The project hit the deadline with time to spare, and delivered a 99% working system despite significant barriers in the lack of handover or technical documentation

Ethical IT also implemented a Disaster Recovery (DR) failover site for the system at our Private Cloud hosting facility, giving a guaranteed 100% uptime – essential due to the reliance Medic Alert’s members have on their system
If you would like to talk to us about:
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cloud Computing
  • Application Migrations
…please Contact Us!


National Children's Bureau
National Children's Bureau
National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable.
 
NCB wanted to outsource their IT support and reduce their IT spend, whilst also replacing their 125 ageing desktop PCs with a single model, portable laptop to give staff greater flexible working options.
 
We worked closely with an NCB senior management steering group to develop and agree on a plan to overhaul their IT setup and on-board the Ethical IT Service Desk as the single point of contact for staff support ongoing.
 
All existing desktops were recycled and a fleet of replacement laptops were deployed, out of hours, at both sites. Mail was then moved in stages into Microsoft Office 365, which we helped NCB to procure free of charge via the Microsoft Donation Scheme, which provides free E1 licenses for up to 300 users to UK charities. The old Novell file server was replaced with a Windows Server 2012 file server and backups were changed to our IT’s Online Backup Service, which fully automates the backups and removes the need to change tapes and store backups offsite.
 
NCB’s primary website and associated databases were then migrated into our cloud platform to remove another on-site server, and we have now reduced the remaining servers down to just three physical machines.


The Old Music Hall
The Old Music Hall
The Old Music Hall

VOIP Telephony for Social Change hub

Technology
  • AVAYA Voice over IP (VOIP) telephony
  • Communal, shared platform benefitting multiple organisations and reducing cost
  • Retirement of old analogue system removing physical components and saving power 
Background
Social enterprise The Ethical Property Company run over 15 multi-tenant Social Change Centres around the UK and Europe, ranging from small buildings housing a handful of community focussed charities, through to 30,000 sq. ft. central London hubs housing multiple international NGOs and other Social Change organisations. They are also key stakeholders in Ethical IT, who provide the communal shared IT network and internet for all tenants to freely use in all the centres.

Ethical Property’s head office is in Oxford, where over 200 desks service around a dozen social change organisations, as well as the core Ethical Property management team.  After a successful upgrade to Fibre Optic internet for all tenants in 2014, they approached Ethical IT to conduct a major upgrade of the communal telephony system, moving away from the old analogue system to the latest Voice Over Internet (VOIP) platform, to provide a powerful, flexible and customisable system to fit the collective requirements of all tenants in the building.

Solution
Ethical IT set up a Project Team to gather the requirements, implement the new platform, handle the migration and retire the old system. The team also brought in long standing strategic partners SynergyPlus, who are specialists in VOIP technology, to validate the plans and provide support implementing the new virtual phone lines and numbers, as well as providing the new hardware.

The migration allowed them to retire their old on-site phone server, which removed a single point of failure risk, while retaining telephone numbers and functions like hunt groups, individual direct dials, voicemail to email, remote access to the system, free conference calling and many more at no additional cost.
The new VOIP system allows new users and numbers to be set up in minutes, making the system very easy to manage for the on-site Property Managers, while giving tenants flexibility to work form anywhere and take their number with them on any device.

Support
The new AVAYA system was integrated into the existing Service Level Agreement, providing all tenants with full support from the Ethical IT Service Desk team, based in Old Street, London, giving remote support for staff support issues, guaranteed response and fix times, on-site presence in the event of an emergency, and a named escalation point for service review meetings and help planning future enhancements.

Finally, Ethical IT’s proactive monitoring platform has been deployed to the system and is monitored by a dedicated team - ensuring that alerts are sent ahead of time should anything fail or be close to failing, in addition to the 99.997% up time guarantee applicable to the core internet line handling calls.

Key benefits
  • Reduced call costs for tenants, especially on international calls and calls to mobiles
  • Conference Call platform available at no charge for all tenants
  • Hugely flexible system; every user has a direct line, voicemail to email, remote access, call forwarding to enable staff to work from anywhere
  • Hunt Groups and Presence allows reception and call handlers to direct callers to staff that are logged in and online only, meaning fewer missed calls
  • Reporting platform allows each tenant to receive itemised bills and reports to analyse where their call spend is going and make further savings on cost
  • Simplified management for Property Managers, with a “plug and play” setup meaning staff can move around the building and new users added within minutes
  • Removal of old analogue system, reducing power consumption and carbon footprint


Oxfordshire MIND
Oxfordshire MIND
Oxfordshire Mind are a mental health charity that exist to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.  Having secured funding for a new head office in Kings Meadow, Oxford, they required a total refurbishment of what was an old office space, and wanted to take the opportunity to centralise and improve their IT and Telephony systems.
 
Ethical IT were involved right from the start, meeting with contractors on site during the refurbishment and advising on how the office and cabling could be laid out to provide the most robust and flexible network possible.
 
After agreeing the requirements MIND had for their call handling, EIT specified an Avaya IP500 phone system, with roughly 20 analogue extensions. The system needed in incorporate MIND’s day activity centre, The Mill, at another location in Oxford. Therefore the system was configured with additional VOIP extensions, with calls to the Mill routed via the main office phone system over the internet.
 
We always looks to the future when specifying systems such as this, and in late 2009 another mental health organization approached us also wanting a new phone system. The organization shared the staffing of a patient information line with MIND, and we were able to link the two Avaya systems to enable much more cost effective and simpler call handling management for the 2 organisations and free internal calls between them.
 
Before the office move, files were shared from individual PC’s, requiring a manual backup process and low resilience. A new server was installed at the new office using VM Ware ESXi and virtual servers were configured to create a new domain as well as shared storage, backed up daily, and centralized Antivirus management. An additional virtualised server was configured for management of the phone system, and to provide remote access to MIND’s case tracking database, via terminal services.
 
Finally, audio Visual equipment was installed in the main meeting room, and Oxfordshire MIND’s email was migrated onto Ethical IT’s co-located email infrastructure, which uses MS Exchange 2007 technology
 
Oxfordshire MIND now has a data and phone infrastructure that is more secure, more usable and more flexible, whilst being much easier to manage and maintain. This is backed up by staff having the Ethical IT helpdesk team as a central point of contact for ongoing support.


The Foundry
The Foundry
The Foundry is a an Edwardian industrial building originally built in 1902, which in 2014 underwent a £12million project to totally rebuild and transform it into a leading centre for Social Change organisations in the UK. Managed by the Ethical Property Company, the building boasts 25 tenants within its 2,900m² of office space, a conference hall and six meeting rooms, exhibition space and a cafe.

As part of the development, Ethical IT won a competitive process to manage the installation of a communal telephony system and internet access. The installation was based on templates from approx 15 other Ethical Property Company charity office buildings around the UK.

We were responsible for the design, supply and delivery of every aspect of the voice, data and audio visual systems in the building – a process that was highly complex and involved coordinating multiple contractors, the client themselves and the lead building firm delivering the engineering works to rebuild the centre.

A new communal internet service was installed, based on a 1,000Mb Fibre Leased Line, giving 99.97% up time guarantee, backed by Service Level Agreement. Alongside this service, we designed and implemented a VOIP Phone System based on the AVAYA IP Office platform. Finally, a full audio visual solution was installed into all meeting rooms and the conference hall, to give the building a professional AV Suite suitable for all occasions. This included a 16ft conference projector, multi-source sound and music system, wireless microphones and LCD screens, all integrated into the building’s shell during the construction phase.

The building opened in September 2014 and we continue to provide basic support to tenants while also now have agreements with several tenants who have taken up additional leased line internet services for their own private connections.


Think Forward
Think Forward
Complete managed IT and Voice support

Technology
  • Office move & related infrastructure
  • Migration to Ethical IT Private Cloud Services
  • Selective use of Microsoft Office 365 (zero cost)
  • Integrated internet and telephony solution
 
Background
With 15 per cent of young people failing to make a successful move from education into employment, ThinkForward is a breakthrough programme which intervenes early to significantly improve the chances of those most at risk of dropping out.

ThinkForward came to Ethical IT via existing charity ImpetusPEF, requiring a complete “one stop shop” approach, including an office move, new hardware, setup of new internet and telephone systems, migration of email to Office 365 and a requirement for a secure, non-public cloud based file storage solution for the organizations’ shared drives.

Solution
Leveraging ThinkForward’s charitable status to benefit from the E1 version of Microsoft Office 365, Ethical IT was able to implement the cloud platform for zero license cost, giving up to 300 user mailboxes accessible from anywhere on any device, and many other benefits like Skype for Business and Video Conferencing, and SharePoint for Intranet, all included for free.

A dedicated project team was deployed to plan and deliver the migration in a staged and fully managed approach, including bringing in trusted partners to conduct office fit out, cabling, spec and design of internet connectivity, deployment of VOIP telephony and rollout of new SurfaceBook Pro ultra-portable laptop/tablet hybrid workstations.

Sensitive data such as financial files, HR records etc. were deemed unsuitable for provision on Microsoft’ public cloud offering, therefore Ethical IT’s Private Cloud hosting platform, 100% owned and managed in house, was utilized. A bespoke, private set of file servers was configured and integrated, giving used the benefits of cloud storage, automated backups and managed support, all within a dedicated private platform.
 
 
Benefits
Adopting a fully cloud based IT and Telephony infrastructure means ThinkForward staff are free to work from anywhere, securely, and fully integrated with office systems.

Future office moves become a simple matter of setting up an internet line at the new location; everything else moves with them.
Other benefits include:
  • Complete managed solution – a single point of contact for everything, simplifying support
  • Zero physical servers on site – cost and risk reduction
  • Reduction in carbon footprint through reduced energy consumption
  • Future upgrades already included in Office 365 subscription forever
  • Charity status provides free of charge donation of Office 365
  • Greater reliability – 99.7% up time guarantee with Office 365
  • Almost unlimited mailbox sizes meaning no user restrictions on email
  • Complete flexibility and transparency in cost – a Per User Per Month fee applies and can move up or down as the organisation changes over time
Testimonial
“Ethical IT have managed the set up in our new office of all our IT systems, including internet, phones, workstations and a move to Office 365 for emails and their private cloud for shared files, and even including data cabling on site. This one stop shop approach has given us everything we need to get up and running with a new, flexible cloud based IT platform, and a single point of contact for staff support”

Director – ThinkForward

 


Voluntary Action Islington
Voluntary Action Islington
Voluntary Action Islington (VAI) is a non-profit membership organisation supporting social change causes in the North London area. 

They were facing various issues such as ageing on-site servers and an inconsistent IT experience for their tenants, resulting in a complex and time consuming support and administration overhead for the building management team.

We worked closely with VAI to develop a plan to standardise the tenant IT offering, replacing the desktops and removing the on-site servers which were at their end of life, and migrating key VAI databases and website systems to our IT’s own private cloud platform.

All existing desktops were recycled and replacement units were configured to a standard VAI settings and rolled out to the tenants for their use as part of their lease agreement.  VAI are a non-profit organisation, so the replacement PCs were shipped with full versions of Microsoft Office and Windows 7, and included a 3 year hardware warranty, at no extra cost.
At implementation, a Service Level Agreement commenced providing VAI with full support from our Service Desk team, based locally in Old Street, London, giving guaranteed response and fix times, an escalation point and regular account management and service review meetings to ensure the service VAI offer to their tenants is constantly improving.

Since launch, the tenants have benefited from streamlined, consistent workstations and now have the option of moving their own data to either Microsoft or to the Ethical IT Cloud system, allowing them to access all their work from anywhere in the world.  Most importantly, VAI’s internal staff have been freed up from dealing with time consuming tenant IT matters, allowing them to focus on their core business.


Vitalise
Vitalise
Vitalise is a national charity providing short breaks (respite care) and other services for people with physical disabilities, visually impaired people, and carers. Vitalise approached Ethical IT (EIT) as they were looking to update their ageing Windows 2003 systems, and rationalise from 2 offices into one administrative HQ in London.

Vitalise was running at least 6 physical servers of varying age, and including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) package and a custom reservations application, as well as finance packages and the usual MS Office suites, shared files and local tape backup.

Users were complaining of very slow system speeds, slow and unreliable remote access to resources, inconsistent setup across the sites and holiday centres, the cost of maintaining and supporting the network, and the ageing desktop in-house PC’s.

EIT implemented an entirely hosted ‘virtual office’, retiring all of their existing server hardware, and incorporating their database applications into the platform

All users now log into their desktop via a ‘remote desktop’ program, from wherever they are in the world, on any machine, and get their standard office desktop with all resources available. This environment is centrally administered, support calls are greatly reduced and decisions about who has access to what resources are made and owned by Vitalise management with EIT advising.

The physical hosting environment is provided through EIT’s partnership with The Ethical Property Company (EPC); EIT maintain secure server rooms in most of EPC’s centres, and utilizing this network are able to offer a highly resilient platform for hosting, using multiple sites for backup and disaster recovery.