boxxe have delivered services, which rely on Microsoft technology, to both public and private sector organisations for more than 15 years. For the past 10 years, we have been the trusted service supplier to the MoD JAMES Project, which requires us to secure and manage 12,500 devices deployed within the UK, Europe, Canada and Theatres of Operation throughout the world. Each image was deployed and the device encrypted as an individual unit; this had to be repeated 5 years ago when the devices were returned for an Operating System upgrade to Windows 7, a refresh of the image and encryption software.
In a parallel project delivered to the MoD DISC Training School, we collapsed eleven disconnected networks, servicing approximately 1000 End User Devices into three new networks. All data and applications had to be migrated and managed by a centralised management platform and all training courses had to be available at each of the 11 separate training schools, all managed by SCCM.
As Mobile Device Management solutions became more prevalent, boxxe was selected to design a system to manage 22,000 mobile devices for DEFRA. The requirement specified that; no additional infrastructure would be hosted within the DEFRA data centres and that an ITIL Service Desk, based at the boxxe offices, would be set up to assist all the End Users with on-boarding and configuring their devices.
boxxe worked collaboratively with Capgemini, IBM, CORE Technologies UK and DEFRA to design the Cloud Mobile Service and to define all aspects of the User Experience. A Senior Project Manager was allocated to create and agree Operation Level Agreements with all parties and work on the communication and deployment strategy. A Service Design Document described the infrastructure supporting the service, the device profiles and how they are deployed, the dedicated development and testing environments, as well as how the 22,000 devices would be enrolled across DEFRA’s disparate organisations. Service levels and processes were defined to manage performance, availability and capacity, as well as Major Incidents, and Requests for Change.
As the project progressed, boxxe were invited to become involved in DEFRA’s O365 Migration project. boxxe created an Azure cloud-based proxy solution with next generation firewall functionality to provide a centrally managed, highly available internet hygiene solution through which the O365 data would be routed.
We also developed an Azure-based Secure Portal to enable one of their agencies, the Forestry Commission, to access a number of Intranet Services securely.
Following on from our success with this project, one of the DEFRA Senior Managers took a position with the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), with a remit to adopt a Cloud First strategy for the organisation. We were immediately approached to develop a Microsoft solution to deliver a modern desktop; Windows 10 and Office 365, which would adhere to National Cyber Security Centre guidelines, include endpoint protection, and integrated identity and access management.
The aspiration for VCA is to create a highly secure workspace, empowered by the latest productivity, teamwork and collaboration services. In order to maximise the benefits of their investment in O365E3, it was agreed that the devices would be deployed with Autopilot and managed using INTUNE.
Using this technology, VCA can ship machines directly to their end users where new machines will receive the correct configuration and applications over the air when first signed into. This is in sharp contrast to the desktop deployment services that we had delivered to the MoD JAMES and DISC projects.
We adopted a phased approach to this project, which involved collaborating with their existing technical team who have ownership of the on-site architecture; but no experience of O365, Windows 10 or Azure. The aspiration was to involve that team in the migration to a hybrid environment and provide them with the knowledge and skills to support the modern workplace environment going forward, while boxxe continues to provide level 2 and 3 Support.
In addition to migrating the UK office, the project was expanded to include their European Office in Italy. Due to political uncertainty, it was decided to move the M365 Adoption for the Italian Office towards the start of the plan.
boxxe Microsoft Consultants completed an initial evaluation of the VCA O365 Tenancy and their Active Directory to determine the extent of the active User base, their mailboxes, shared accounts and access rights. With the early discovery workshops, we identified the VCA Italy site was isolated from VCA Bristol with limited IT resources and outdated technologies. This exercise was completed in the Italian office in parallel and the information assimilated into a Low Level design document, circulated to all members of the O365 Adoption Team for review. A communication plan was agreed to facilitate the User Adoption program, which was particularly important for the Italian Office, who would be adopting the new way of working compared to the unmanaged devices and legacy POP email accounts.
It was agreed that a Pilot of 16 Users in Italy would form part of the Early Adoption Program. As new laptops would be provisioned in the UK using Autopilot prior to being delivered to Italy by a member of the implementation team, who would complete the device configuration.
One of the challenges encountered during this process was the fact that there had previously been no access to a file share and the users had used their email accounts as a virtual file server. Some users held up to 100GB data within their email account. A decision was taken to fragment their legacy email data and migrate only one year of mail to O365, allowing users to rationalise the amount of duplicate data prior to transferring that across.
We have also deployed the full suite of collaboration tools, such as OneDrive and Teams, to streamline their working pattern and make their transition as easy as possible.
boxxe is sole supplier of the South West Regional Procurement contract for the South West Police forces, which includes software, SAM and associated services. boxxe engage with all levels of different contacts multiple times a week to deliver vendor comparisons and project scoping across Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Police. As a trusted advisor, we will produce in-depth solution reports for upcoming projects, liaise and negotiate with vendors and assist them in the delivery of their roadmaps, as well as produce MI and SAM reports. boxxe works closely with the ICT Senior Category Buyers, ICT Business Managers, Heads of ICT, Infrastructure and Strategy, and Business and Technology Innovation Managers to support them in achieving and implementing their strategies.
Alongside these proactive work streams, boxxe are also responsible in providing a go-to-market tender exercise for best of breed technologies based upon a general force or regional requirement, leading the tender requirements on behalf of the South West Forces until we have established preferred vendor(s). boxxe then makes final pricing negotiations and the Force awards a contract to the vendor. This has seen substantial savings both monetary and resource.
boxxe is currently into our +1 contract of a 3+1 sole supply contract to the South West Regional Forces primed by Devon and Cornwall Police, which includes Gloucestershire, Dorset, Wiltshire and A&S Police.
SAM Tool & Process Assessment Services
Strategic Licensing Assessment Service
Vendor Licensing Assessment Service
Audit Response Service
Software Licensing Consultation
Software sole supply and associated services
Microsoft Enterprise Subscription agreement for each of the forces covering 20000 users
The boxxe Strategic Licensing Assessment is a management-level engagement that serves to identify commercial risks in partnership and potential opportunities derived from software vendor licensing agreements. boxxe have delivered significant resource and cost savings in excess of £3 million by implanting this process within the UK Police forces, and especially with the South West Regional Forces for projects such as the below to mention but a few;
Covert Monitoring Tools
Cloud Provider analysis (Google, Amazon and Microsoft)