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Isle of Anglesey County Council (IoACC) is the unitary authority for Anglesey (Ynys Môn), an island off the north coast of Wales. Anglesey has many historic sites, sandy beaches and protected natural areas, making it a popular tourist destination. With over a million visitors annually, preserving the island’s environment and heritage is a huge priority for the council, alongside providing the best possible services for citizens.
To support remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, IoACC were exploring cloud-based solutions. Due to the increase in cyber threats during this period, the council also required better visibility over their remote device estate. As the council primarily wanted to adopt Microsoft solutions, they partnered with Bytes - a Microsoft Gold Partner able to offer extensive support around Microsoft technology.
Bytes’ Public Sector specialists worked closely with IoACC to explore the best Microsoft solutions and commercial models for their requirements. They were supported by the Bytes FastTrack team, who delivered workshops to ensure successful deployment.
For collaboration and comms, IoACC were using Skype, alongside a legacy solution for device management. But these solutions weren't cloud-based, making them unsuitable for remote working. Bytes recommended adopting a Microsoft 365 (M365) model instead, which would provide several cloud-based solutions designed for remote work, such as Teams and Intune.
To help IoACC deploy M365, Bytes’ FastTrack team held several workshops and provided guidance around the possibilities of each solution. Bytes also demonstrated a component of Teams called Audio Conferencing, which enables staff to use Teams on their mobile phone. Once successfully deployed, Intune replaced the council’s device management platform, and Teams replaced Skype.
Adopting Teams has enabled council staff to collaborate remotely using audio and video conferencing. During calls, staff can share and edit documents, and they can use Teams for external calls – something which has been useful for social workers at the council, who use Teams to hold sessions with vulnerable people easily.
Intune has helped IoACC to manage the remote devices connected to their estate – whether laptop, tablet or mobile. This has enabled more secure remote working, as the council can set policies to control how these devices access enterprise data and applications.
IoACC used M365 solutions to embrace remote working and continue service delivery during a challenging time. Teams has changed the council’s working culture, enabling staff to communicate more efficiently, whilst Intune provides peace of mind with enhanced device management and security.
IoACC plan to fully replace their current device management solution with Intune, extending it to other aspects of their estate. They also plan to explore moving workloads to the cloud. This shift towards remote work and the cloud also helps IoACC to cut their carbon footprint, reach their sustainability goals and preserve the island for future generations to enjoy.
Marc Davies, IT Infrastructure Manager, Isle of Anglesey County Council