Today’s post was written by TalkTalk Group’s Andrew Dacombe, Director of Colleague Systems, and John Gaskell, Program Lead.
In 2016, TalkTalk, a leading provider of value telecom services for UK consumers and businesses, faced a long list of challenges. Our IT ecosystem, serving 2,500 employees, included five versions of Windows and an outdated email solution that accounted for 30 percent of all service desk calls. In addition, the costs of physical office spaces were rising significantly, and our company suffered a fairly high-profile data security breach. We recognized that TalkTalk staff had lost confidence in our IT organization, which meant our team faced a choice: evolve the systems and process already in place or revolutionize our IT infrastructure. We chose revolution through Microsoft 365, and we haven’t looked back.
TalkTalk’s IT Revolution
Before we discovered FastTrack, we had conversations with other technology partners, but cost estimates for system migration far exceeded our budget. Meanwhile, FastTrack services were included at no additional cost with our eligible Microsoft 365 subscription.
We made a few crucial decisions at the outset. First, we aimed to identify how our people work to better understand how we could support them. Then, we invited teams like security and HR to become stakeholders; their upfront inclusion made the adoption of Microsoft 365 successful. Next, we limited our focus to specific business productivity tools within Office 365 for Business and Skype for Business Online. To minimize disruption and ensure our employees were secure while they were mobile, we needed to deploy Intune. To this end, we sought the assistance of the Microsoft FastTrack team.
FastTrack handled the heavy lift, migrating our mailboxes on a tight schedule, which allowed our team to focus on communicating and working with our colleagues. FastTrack also helped set up our employees with Skype for Business and connect their devices to Microsoft Intune. With the FastTrack team’s help, we were able to quickly prioritize rolling out the most beneficial Microsoft 365 capabilities first, which better positioned us for future deployments.
Our Microsoft 365 revolution was a success. Already we have seen cost savings by creating a more flexible work environment and reducing its physical footprint by 30 percent. As TalkTalk replaces expensive on-premises systems with always up-to-date software, and service agreements with subscription-based models, we anticipate further savings.
Better yet, with security features built into Office 365, our security posture has never been stronger. Based on interactions between our security team and Microsoft, including a visit to a Microsoft data center, we implemented massive security improvements with minimal user impact. We’ve deployed features like BitLocker, to address the threats of data theft or exposure from lost or stolen devices, and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection and Safe Links, which provides time-of-click verification of URLs in email messages and Office documents. In addition, we discovered Microsoft 365 is a fantastic tool for helping us maintain GDPR compliance, especially for file sharing.
Most importantly, our colleagues have embraced a more collaborative and productive work style. Email use is down 50 percent, while Skype for Business use has risen 500 percent. Thanks to Microsoft 365 and the FastTrack team, the TalkTalk IT team has the tools to power a results-driven organization in our mission to deliver affordable, reliable, simple, and fair telecom services to customers across the United Kingdom.
We recommend our IT pro colleagues contact FastTrack when deploying Microsoft 365 solutions. If you would like to hear more of our story, watch our presentations from Microsoft Ignite. We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have any questions.
Thank you to John and Andrew for authoring this blog post and speaking at Ignite. Click here to learn more about FastTrack for Microsoft 365 and submit a Request for Assistance.