Eastleigh Borough Council embrace Microsoft 365 and drive collaboration across a remote workforce

Overview

Eastleigh Borough Council is a local authority in Hampshire, South East England. It is a rural coastal area with large settlements including Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford and Hedge End. The council has a long history of conservation and tackling climate change, being awarded Beacon Status for its efforts in 2008. Over 20,000 trees in the borough are protected by preservation orders, and it is home to multiple conservation areas and listed buildings.

Challenge

To coincide with their adoption of a cloud first strategy, Eastleigh Borough Council were examining cloud-based productivity solutions, which would support a remote workforce and wider goals around data security and sustainability. Microsoft 365 ticked all the boxes, providing cutting-edge productivity tools such as Teams, Outlook and Office. For support adopting this solution, Eastleigh needed a partner with the right technical services and knowledge.

“Working with Bytes has been very straightforward. We have a brilliant relationship with our account manager, who works hard to support us as a council. Bytes’ FastTrack workshops and training helped us to support a remote workforce and get the best from Microsoft 365, which was especially important during lockdown. I look forward to our continued work together.”

IT Infrastructure Architect, Eastleigh Borough Council

The Bytes Solution

Eastleigh Borough Council chose to work with Bytes as they demonstrated extensive experience working with local government clients, having a dedicated team who understand the sector. Eastleigh were also keen to use the Bytes FastTrack Service, which supports Microsoft 365 adoption using expert guidance, planning and workshops.

Bytes’ FastTrack team kicked-off the project by defining the council’s vision, creating a success plan and demonstrating the features of Microsoft 365. Bytes’ Cloud Solutions experts then held several adoption and deployment workshops, which helped the council migrate to Microsoft 365 and move their legacy email system across to Outlook.

The project coincided with COVID-19 lockdown measures, meaning the entire council had to work remotely. To meet this new challenge, Eastleigh leveraged the full power of Microsoft solutions and Bytes’ services to maintain business as usual.

Microsoft 365 supported secure remote work during lockdown, with cloud-based storage and applications, whilst Teams enabled staff to collaborate and hold public meetings remotely. Outlook provided further support with increased email storage in the cloud and seamless integration into Teams. To ensure end users got the best from these solutions, Bytes provided extensive training.

Due to the increased threat of attacks during lockdown, the council decided to add extra protection to their Microsoft Azure. Bytes provided workshops and training to help them onboard Azure Sentinel, a SIEM tool that uses AI to detect threats across the entire IT estate, including Microsoft 365.

Finally, Bytes used their Managed Workspace service to deliver new Microsoft Surface tablets to Eastleigh’s councillors, who were struggling to work remotely on legacy devices. These new lightweight tablets arrived connected to the council’s Azure and Microsoft 365 subscriptions, enabling them to start work immediately and continue providing essential council services.

Benefits

Microsoft 365 has given Eastleigh Borough Council the power to drastically improve their remote collaboration capabilities, whilst Azure Sentinel provides reassurance around data security. These solutions also helped the council maintain business as usual for their community during lockdown.

Bytes added value with their FastTrack service, which helped Eastleigh make a smooth transition to Microsoft 365 using workshops, planning and expert guidance. Bytes provided further support with their training and Managed Workspace services, which enabled a more effective remote workforce.

Adopting cloud-based solutions like Microsoft 365 also reduces the need to power on-premise solutions, which will help Eastleigh cut their carbon footprint and meet their sustainability goals.

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