A London University - Architecture & Systems Consultancy Case Study

Client: A London University

Technology: Microsoft Platform

Service: Consulting

Delivery: Architecture & Systems Consultancy

“Ballard Chalmers quickly understood our requirement and deployed the right people to deliver the work effectively. The team were extremely professional and highly competent. They had intimate knowledge of the wider Microsoft stack and they drew on the wider experience within the company to ensure they delivered high-quality work.”

Situation

Ballard Chalmers was brought in to the university for a risk management review of all Microsoft applications. This was required in anticipation of a key developer’s exit. The main applications architect of circa 20 years had left and the successor was also leaving the following month. The remaining team members did not have full knowledge of all the applications. To mitigate the risk of application failure, they wanted to determine how each application was being used and supported, and what the key documentations were.

 

Solution

We reviewed the technical applications and created central documentation to be used as a reference for managing these applications going forward. The documentation included:

  • What the application is and does
  • It’s main users
  • The technical details, versions, servers & IP addresses
  • Authentication credentials
  • Dependent software (IIS, SQL Server, AD etc)
  • Licenses
  • Support agreements
  • Top 10 issues and remedies

This document enables the client to hire .NET contractors in the future to fix any software issues that arise as it contains all the information the contractor would need to know (e.g. functionality, location & contact point within the company).

The second part of the project was performing a licensing assessment of Office 365. This encompassed looking through existing enterprise agreements and then modelling requirements based on future needs. Additionally, we aided with budgeting for the Microsoft applications.

 

Outcome

“The client was extremely happy with the deliverables. The team’s work mitigated the risk surrounding the exit of the client’s key developer. Now, the client feels comfortable using the orientation documentation the team provided to hire contractors. On the licensing side, the client is now in a much stronger position to negotiate their deal with Microsoft. It has likely saved them quite a bit of money.

They have a robust project management style, with a traditional, well-structured approach. They maintained clear communication, always setting checkpoints so we knew where we stood on the timeline. We also received budget estimates throughout the process, to ensure we weren’t spending our funds too quickly.”