- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- Cheltenham Borough Homes
- Leicester Grammar School Trust
- City of Sunderland
- Kent Public Services Network
- European Bioinformatics Institute and UK Biobank
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is a leading clinical research organisation as well as one of the UK’s largest hospital trusts, with five hospitals treating around 1.5 million people each year. Its website imperial.nhs.uk is the gateway to the trust’s services for GPs, patients and visitors.
In 2018 the trust’s digital team opted to move the website to the public cloud to boost stability and security, reduce running costs and allow the trust to be more responsive and flexible.
The trust tasked Jisc with planning and managing the migration to Microsoft Azure, and we set up the supporting infrastructure as a ‘greenfield’ deployment. We provisioned all services from code and migrated only data from the legacy system, so we could do most of the work ahead of time and transition from the old to the new seamlessly, with no downtime.
“We expected so many positives from the move to the public cloud, and they’ve all been realised. For example, it offers a much higher level of security, and it allows authorised users to work remotely.
As an NHS organisation we’ve got a few systems in the cloud but nothing on this scale.
This project has proved it’s practical to migrate to the public cloud and that stringent information governance requirements can be met. It’s the breakthrough that will lead to new and more efficient ways of working across the organisation.”
Rachel Watson, head of digital
The project is being seen as a trailblazer for more migrations to the cloud at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which wants to digitise more of its internal and external systems and resources such as research data.
Non-profit Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) manages Cheltenham Borough Council’s housing stock and runs its housing and homeless service.
CBH moved to the cloud to modernise its digital infrastructure and boost operating efficiencies. The key to the project was to design an overarching system that enables agile working and system access for staff whether they’re in the office or out in the field.
Working as CBH’s cloud partner, we assessed varying staff needs and devised a plan to maximise data storage and increase data accessibility across a number of working environments, moving CBH to Microsoft Office 365 to establish a flexible work environment with infrastructure that is portable and resilient.
“The key to the successful implementation, migration and transfer of data was the knowledge-sharing that happened between Jisc, our current provider and our own IT team through the ‘discovery days’ at the very start of the project”
"The resulting plan gave us a failsafe, well-architected framework with all the code in Azure Resource Management templates so we could take control of our own data and documents while Jisc facilitated our pilot email migration.”
Louisa Dowsett, corporate project manager at Cheltenham Borough Homes.
Samaritans is one of the UK’s leading charities, providing 24-hour emotional support for people who are distressed or struggling to cope. Suicide prevention is a priority.
Digital transformation is a priority for the organisation to improve business efficiencies and, even more importantly, to keep pace with the changing behaviours of its service users.
“Our services must be relevant and easy for users to engage with. Younger generations, in particular, conduct their lives online and it’s important that everyone who wants to talk to us can do it in the way that feels comfortable.
“That’s a key driver but there are many reasons why the time was right to move to public cloud. For example, we needed to update our systems and more and more aspects of these were being offered as software as a service (SaaS). We knew public cloud would give our systems the resilience they need, help us save money and give us more flexibility in how we operate.”
Paul Saklatvala, assistant director of IT, Samaritans
Having selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud provider Samaritans searched for a partner to support its digital transformation and found us. Paul said:
“We found Jisc and they ‘got’ us from day one. It is a non-profit with plenty of experience of working with third sector organisations and they know where we’re coming from. Jisc quickly became a trusted partner and we largely left them to it, with freedom to deal directly with our suppliers as necessary.”
The most pressing issue was migration to the cloud and this took just six weeks with minimal downtime for service users.
The next important step was to completely rearchitect the charity’s systems to improve reliability, security and flexibility and to enable cost savings. This project took place over four months in the first half of 2021 and it wasn’t always plain sailing. Paul explains:
“One supplier’s requirements changed several times and each time Jisc delivered what they’d been asked for. But rather than letting this repeated work slow things down, they stepped in to keep things on track by proposing and delivering a resolution. Whenever unexpected issues cropped up with other project partners Jisc went above and beyond to find a solution and make sure progress wasn’t derailed.”
The Leicester Grammar School Trust (LGST) is a family of three independent co-educational day schools based in Great Glen, Leicestershire. The senior and junior school has around 1250 students from nursery all the way up to age 18 – and reliable connectivity in school is crucial.
However, when James Hickens, the trust’s IT manager, took on his role, the school’s broadband was supplied by the local authority and he didn’t feel it was up to scratch.
“I'd worked with Janet previously, at a job at Wolverhampton City Council, so it seemed obvious to approach Jisc. When I’ve had Janet connectivity in the past, it's always been so fast. The connectivity's always been brilliant. The availability's always been superb. The ongoing support you get from them has always been brilliant. So, for us, making that call was an easy decision.”
James Hickens, LGST IT manager
We worked with James to capture his expectations and requirements, making the process easy to manage. Our status as a non-profit was also appealing.
LGST migrated its connectivity to Janet while continuing to manage its firewall itself. The connectivity switch was smooth and the resulting speed and stability means James and his colleagues can spend more time doing the things they need to do to support the school, rather than worrying about whether the connection will hold up for staff and students.
“It's important that it's always there and always available and it is. It's absolutely amazing. We're so happy with the service we get and the stability and reliability of our connection. We have no intention to go anywhere else for the foreseeable and I'd 100% recommend Jisc to any of my peers and colleagues.”
The city of Sunderland has a rich industrial heritage and it’s now rapidly embracing the knowledge economy. But to help this happen on a wider scale, connectivity is key. Sunderland’s vision is to be a smart city with ubiquitous connectivity to all remises, both residential and commercial, by 2030.
One of the key building blocks is developing 5G millimetre wave connectivity to deliver ultrafast wifi to key locations in the city. This requires a reliable, safe and affordable internet connection – and Jisc’s Janet Network was chosen for exactly those attributes.
The difference it’s making can be seen in Hudson Road Primary School, which was struggling with a 20Mb internet connection – insufficient for streaming content or delivering online classes. We worked with the school to provide a 1GB connection to Janet, and the impact for both pupils and staff has been immense.
“We want to engage and involve pupils and parents alike in a safe environment, allowing them to explore any topic and discover new things quickly and with ease. Our ultrafast 5G connectivity allows us to do just this.”
Cathy Westgate, headteacher at Hudson Road Primary School
As around 80% of Hudson Road parents don’t have the internet at home, Janet access was extended to the school’s communal areas. Parents can come in and use the connectivity via school-provided devices, whether to help with homework or do the weekly shop. It all helps to ensure that no one is left behind in connected Sunderland.
It’s common practice for public sector staff to work across multiple sites as part of their jobs but how can they access the internet easily when working across different public sector locations?
We’ve enabled govroam at more than 500 public sector sites in Kent and Medway, giving public sector workers flexibility as they roam from site to site. If they work at another govroam-enabled location, they don’t have to ask for wireless access codes; instead, their device will connect automatically as soon as they arrive on site.
It helps with collaboration between health and social care as govroam is accessible at six hospitals, alongside healthy living centres and local authority social care sites.
“There are NHS staff who work in hospitals, at borough and district council sites, in doctors’ surgeries, and Kent county council sites. They would have to have multiple logins for all those different organisations – but this takes away that requirement.”
Stuart Cockett, technical service delivery manager at Kent Public Service Network
And because govroam is deployed alongside eduroam at educational sites, it can also offer benefits when public sector workers are deployed at universities and colleges.
“They don’t need to use special VPNs or complex tokens to access resources, so it simplifies working practice.”
Natalie Hancock, technical projects officer, KPSN
Understanding the causes of disease is crucial to identifying potential treatments and finding cures
The Janet Network has powered the European Bioinformatics Institute and UK Biobank to enable researchers to access data to gain insights into health and disease. By making this data available freely across the globe it enables researchers to put science into action and make discoveries.
The UK Biobank database is hugely valuable, and a major contributor to the advancement of modern medicine and treatment all over the world. Researchers are highly dependent on these large-scale biological data sets to transform future research. These organisations were in need of an infrastructure and Janet Network upgrade as well as data transfer.
“In addition to providing high-bandwidth access to our worldwide audience, Jisc also provide the internal connectivity between our data centres on campus near Cambridge, our leased data centre space in Harlow, and Jisc’s shared data centre space located in Slough.
"Our data transfer volume is always increasing as the size of the data that we host does, in addition to this we were able to transfer 4 petabytes of data and Jisc are critical to us completing this."
Steven Newhouse, EMBL-EBI’s head of technical services
Having robust infrastructure in place is enables organisations to collaborate as well as providing long-term storage of data. This data is among the first of transfers at this scale to a cloud-based service, something that will become increasingly routine, and that has contributed to more downloads.
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