Category: Customer Story (page 2 of 3)

Customer Story: Florida’s 9th Judicial State Attorney’s Office

soa9 logoFlorida’s 9th Judicial State Attorney’s Office (SAO9) serves Orange and Osceola counties. The primary role of the State Attorney is to represent the State of Florida in the criminal court system. The State Attorney reviews criminal investigations conducted by law enforcement, decides if criminal charges are necessary and then presents the cases in criminal court.

More than 155 prosecutors work with support staff and investigators to serve the nearly 1.4 million citizens living in the Greater Orlando area. In addition to overseeing the third-largest circuit in the state, the Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office also protects many of the 50 million tourists that visit Central Florida each year. On average, they receive about 100,000 cases a year from law enforcement.

PROBLEM

The SAO9 Office 365 migration project presented unique challenges related to aged systems and software, mission-critical availability requirements, and challenges related to the use of county networking services. SAO9 utilized a centralized service offering for its Exchange Email system which executed operations critical to the function of the agency day and night.  Interruptions to these mission critical jobs and processes were to be avoided at all costs, which made the already important communications and scheduling logistics critical to the success of the migration.

SOLUTION

SAO9’s environment prior to migration was on outdated legacy hardware and unsupported versions of Microsoft’s Exchange Messaging system. Cloud Navigator migrated and transitioned the SAO9 Exchange 2007 active mailboxes to a single O365 tenant using tools from Priasoft. SAO9 also wanted to enhance their mobile security while allowing maximum productivity by utilizing Enterprise Mobility + Security. Cloud Navigator’s strategy leveraged 3rd party migration tools from Priasoft for an Exchange 2007 migration to the O365 Exchange online service. This toolset also migrated Public Folders which were used by SAO9 for critical business processes and which had to be synchronized reliably before and after the migration. Priasoft also took care of configuring the Outlook profiles for users so they would flip to use the cloud in a controlled and orchestrated manner with minimal impact to users. These steps occur with minor interaction by users, and email is available at all times.

Cloud Navigator’s recommended and implemented strategy was used to successfully move SAO9’s 380+ mailboxes. All mailboxes were placed on “Litigation Hold” to prevent deletion of any email from the mailboxes. We implemented Microsoft DirSync technology for identity and group synchronization from SAO9’s on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to the cloud based O365 directory (Windows Azure Active Directory), with Microsoft password synchronization for SSO. This configuration allows for on-premise administration of user access similar to SAO9’s previous management processes.

We provided documentation, testing, pilot, and production deployment support for iOS and Active Sync mobile devices. This provided SAO9 a smooth transition of mobile device mailbox access from the on-premise to O365 via autodiscover configuration of the mailbox, based on user credentials. We also migrated a large amount of public folder data to O365.

Knowledge transfer to SAO9 occurred consistently throughout the project as we worked closely with their senior IT support staff during all project phases of Discovery, Remediation, Planning, Testing, and Migration. We provided formal classroom instruction on O365 Administration for SAO9 IT staff that included Office 365 and Exchange Online portal, DirSync Management, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Basic PowerShell administration.

Cloud Navigator’s approach to the desktop was to perform Exchange Messaging system migration first.  We worked closely with the SAO9 IT patch and deployment management staff to identify, test, and deploy the necessary software and patch level for the desktops. These patches allow the clients to operate properly upon the day of mailbox migration without interruption to access for functionality. The client switch was performed utilizing a Priasoft tool that configures profiles one time and then enables the autodiscover functionality within Office/Exchange and Outlook clients.

Lastly we planned and implemented Enterprise Mobility + Security to help protect data, secure devices, and expand single sign-on to enhance production.

RESULTS

Cloud Navigator’s approach to and processes for the migration, integrated with carefully managed schedules, ensured there was no end-user business interruption. SAO9’s requirements for a successful Office 365 migration were completely met.

Customer Story: Harbor Enterprises

harbor logoHarbor Enterprises, LLC is a Native-American owned 8(a), HUBzone, small disadvantaged business that specializes in steel manufacturing, construction, warehousing and logistics. The corporate office and 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is in Thomasville, GA with distribution centers and offices in Dallas, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, Little Rock, AR and Huntsville, AL.

It’s primary entity, Survive-A-Storm Shelters is one of the largest manufacturers of tornado shelters and the products are distributed in over 125 Home Depot stores throughout tornado alley. The company also manufactures large-scale commercial tornado shelters and is the supplier of choice to many Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to manufacturing, Harbor Enterprises, LLC performs construction work in several states and maintains contractor’s licenses in GA, AL, MS, AR and LA with the ability to add additional licenses as needed. Throughout the history of the company, its team members have successfully performed a variety of contracts, both large and small, totaling over $150,000,000 in several different countries.

PROBLEM

Harbor Enterprises and its primary entity Survive-A-Storm Shelters had email systems that existed in two separate Gmail environments. Due to exponential growth of both businesses, they wanted to leverage a cloud based system that would incorporate both environments that could be managed centrally and provide the enhanced integration and collaboration benefits of Office365 while taking into account the varied requirements of their employees.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator migrated both environments to a pure cloud Office365 platform. This provided them with a central management tenant for administration and monitoring of Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. This solution incorporating existing domains and forwarders to allow both companies to retain their existing email domains. Harbor Enterprises was also enrolled in our CSP program allowing them to realize discounted license costs, Office365 support, and rapid license procurement.

RESULTS

Cloud Navigator successfully migrated both environments to a centralized tenant in the cloud allowing employees to immediately begin realizing all the benefits and collaboration capabilities of Office365. Management of accounts and Office365 services is centrally managed and takes advantage of litigation hold, eDiscovery, and additional security benefits. Harbor Enterprises LLC was quick to adopt several aspects of Office365 and is currently exploring SharePoint’s Project Online capabilities to manage their construction and other company projects.

Customer Story: One Life America

one life logoOne Life has a rich history of success in the insurance and financial services industry. Founded in Meridian, MS in 1984 by Ken Parker as Parker and Associates, One Life was developed to service the senior marketplace by offering top-rated life insurance products. Over the next twenty years, One Life experienced tremendous growth and expanded its operation to 500 agents working all throughout the Southeast United States. One Life was widely considered America’s premier final expense life insurance company when it decided to diversify its business model to include health insurance, property and casualty insurance, and investments. Today, One Life operates all over the country through its field and call center operation and it offers a wide variety of products and services to a diverse client base.

 

PROBLEM

One Life America’s email system for this project existed on an antiquated Exchange 2003 system. The company was also going through multiple acquisitions as well as a migration of their complete IT environment. One Life America wanted to migrate some of their users to leverage a cloud based system that would have the capability to incorporate multiple environments in the future and would be managed centrally and provide the enhanced integration and collaboration benefits of Office365.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator migrated One Life America’s pilot group of users to a hybrid Exchange environment using the Office365 platform. This provided them with a central management tenant for administration and monitoring of Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. This solution incorporating existing domains and forwarders to allow the company to retain their existing email domains.

The solution also incorporated on premise mail-enabled accounts into the flow of email, providing them with coexistence of the legacy and new environment. One Life America was also able to take advantage of larger Office365 mailboxes as some if their legacy account were over 75G in size.

RESULTS

Cloud Navigator successfully migrated the pilot users to a centralized tenant in the cloud allowing employees to immediately begin realizing all the benefits and collaboration capabilities of Office365. Management of accounts and Office365 services is centrally managed and takes advantage of litigation hold, eDiscovery, and additional security benefits. This solution will provide One Life America the ability to incorporate remaining accounts as well as the other acquired entities to provide company-wide collaboration and simplified management.

Customer Story: Florida Department of Education

fl doe logoThe Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) serves as the single repository of education data from Florida school districts, state and community colleges, universities, and independent post-secondary institutions, allowing them to track student performance over time and across varying education sectors.

They administer a statewide reading initiative for Florida’s public schools and among community groups and volunteer organizations that support them, with a goal of having every child able to read at or above grade level.

Serving nearly 2.7 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 192,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 321,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, apprenticeships, job-specific skills, and career development. The department manages programs that assist individuals who are blind, visually-impaired, or disabled succeed either in school settings or careers – encouraging independence and self-sufficiency.

PROBLEM

FLDOE had two pressing reasons for making the transition to Office 365. First, Support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 would soon be coming to an end. Second, FLDOE wanted to take advantage of the benefits of Office 365 powered by the cloud, you can get to your applications and files from virtually anywhere—PC, Mac, and select mobile devices—and they’re always up to date.

FLDOE required a phased migration that would not impact their users before or after the migration.

SOLUTION

Based on our experience with previous migrations from different source environments to Office 365, FLDOE chose Cloud Navigator to perform the migrations to Office 365. Following detailed discovery of the FLDOE source environment, we proposed and implemented a solution using the E2E migration tool from Binary Tree. This allowed FLDOE to successfully schedule users for migration.  This solution was used for both Department of Education and Division of Blind Services.

RESULTS

FLDOE has reduced costs, improved collaboration and enhanced operations with Office 365. And by choosing Cloud Navigator, a Microsoft Gold Partner, all of their needs and expectations were met.

Customer Story: Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is the third largest state prison system in the country with a budget of $2.4 billion, approximately 98,000 inmates incarcerated and nearly 140,000 offenders on active community supervision.

FDC has 149 facilities statewide, including 49 major institutions, 17 annexes, seven private facilities (contracts for the private facilities are overseen by the Florida Department of Management Services), 33 work camps, four road prisons, two forestry camps, one boot camp, 13 FDC operated work release centers along with 20 more work release centers operated by various private vendors (FDC oversees these contracts).

PROBLEM

The FDC O365 migration project presented unique challenges related to aged systems and software, mission-critical availability requirements, a large number of users, and a very large email archive. FDC has a large distributed service offering for its Exchange Email system operating critical job functions 24 x 365. FDC’s law enforcement divisions for state troopers are critical to the function of the agency. Interruptions to these mission critical jobs and processes were to be avoided at all costs, which made the already important communications and scheduling logistics critical to the success of the migration.

SOLUTION

FDC’s environment prior to migration was on outdated legacy hardware and unsupported versions of Microsoft’s Exchange Messaging system. Cloud Navigator migrated and transitioned the FDC Microsoft 2008 active directory forest(s)/domain(s) containing Exchange 2003 active mailboxes to a single O365 tenant. FDC’s management and administration of their active directory domains remain on-premise. Our strategy followed Microsoft best practice for an Exchange 2003 migration with Exchange 2010 Hybrid to Exchange Online (O365). Because there is not a method for migrating directly from Exchange 2003 to Exchange Online, we implemented an Exchange 2010 mail server with hybrid configuration into the FDC existing Exchange 2003 organization. The term hybrid configuration or hybrid environment describes a scenario in which two separate Exchange organizations that belong to different Active Directory forests are working as a “one unit”.  Hybrid describes the relationship between the Exchange on-premise infrastructure and the cloud (Exchange Online) infrastructure. The first migration step was a migration of the mailbox from Exchange 2003 to the Exchange 2010 hybrid. The second migration step was migration from the Exchange 2010 Hybrid to the O365 cloud Exchange online. The steps occurred invisibly to users, and email remained available at all times.

Cloud Navigator’s recommended and implemented strategy was used to successfully move FDC’s 5000+ mailboxes. All mailboxes were placed on “Litigation Hold” to prevent deletion of any email from the mailboxes. We implemented Microsoft DirSync technology for identity and group synchronization from FDC’s on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to the cloud based O365 directory (Windows Azure Active Directory), with Microsoft ADFS federation service used for secure credential authentication redirection to FDC’s branded on-premise AD environment. This configuration allows for similar on-premise administration of user access as FDC’s previous management processes.

We also provided documentation, testing, pilot, and production deployment support for iOS and Active Sync mobile devices, including assistance with transitioning FDC Mobile Device Management (MDM) AirWatch systems and processes. This provided FDC a smooth transition of mobile device mailbox access from the on-premise to O365 via autodiscover configuration of the mailbox, based on user credentials. We also migrated a small amount of public folder data to O365.

In conjunction with the email migration, we transitioned FDC from utilizing IronPort Security Appliance for message hygiene and filtering to the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within O365 (Exchange Online). Knowledge transfer to FDC occurred consistently throughout the project as we worked closely with the senior IT support staff during all project phases of Discovery, Remediation, Planning, Testing, and Migration. We provided formal classroom instruction on O365 Administration for FDC IT staff that included Office 365 and Exchange Online portal, DirSync Management, ADFS Federation, and Basic PowerShell administration.

Cloud Navigator’s approach to the desktop was to perform Exchange Messaging system migration first.  We worked closely with the FDC IT patch and deployment management staff to identify, test, and deploy the necessary software and patch level for the desktops. These patches allow the clients to operate properly upon the day of mailbox migration without interruption to access for functionality. The client switch or discovery process was performed through the best practice universal principle name resolution via autodiscover functionality within Office/Exchange and Outlook clients.

Lastly we assisted FDC with migrating their 10+ TB Mimosa NearPoint archive, implementing a methodology for PST and Mimosa NearPoint archive migration utilizing integration with third party migration tools.  We created and documented the process and migrated 20% of the archive (approximately 2.37TB) from PSTs and Mimosa NearPoint to Office 365. Cloud Navigator trained FDC staff on the process, who assumed responsibility for migrating the remainder of the archive.

RESULTS

The Cloud Navigator and FDC approach and processes for the migration, integrated with carefully managed schedules, ensured there was no end-user business interruption. FDC staff were fully trained for ongoing administration of their new O365 environment.

Customer Story: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.

PROBLEM

DEO was relying on an on-premise Exchange 2007 to send, receive and store its email.  The Department recognized the need to upgrade to a more modern system, and saw the benefit of moving to the Azure environment to reduce hardware overhead and increase stability and security.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator’s strategy followed Microsoft best practices for an Exchange 2007 migration to Exchange Online (O365). Because there is no method for migrating directly from Exchange 2007 to Exchange Online, we implemented an Exchange 2010 server with a hybrid configuration into the DEO existing Exchange 2007 organization. The term hybrid or coexistence describes a scenario in which two separate Exchange organizations that belong to different Active Directory forests are working as a “one unit”. Hybrid configuration describes the relationship between the Exchange On-Premise infrastructure and the cloud (Exchange Online) infrastructure.

Cloud Navigator implemented Microsoft Azure AD Connect technology for identity and group synchronization from DEO’s on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to the cloud based Office 365 directory (Windows Azure Active Directory), along with Microsoft ADFS federation service for secure credential authentication and redirection to DEO’s branded on-premise AD environment. This configuration allows for similar on-premise administration of mailbox users to DEO’s previous management processes. Through this architecture we migrated 500+ shared and resource mailboxes and 2700 user mailboxes to O365, along with nearly 100 GB of public folder data. All mailboxes were placed on “Litigation Hold” to prevent deletion of any email from the mailboxes. In conjunction with the email migration, we transitioned DEO from utilizing IronPort Security Appliance and externally hosted Can-It spam filtering to the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within O365.

DEO was using several versions of Microsoft Office on their desktops. Our recommended approach was to upgrade to Office 2013 ahead of mailbox migration. This approach greatly reduces business interruption and end user client side issues, thereby enriching the end user’s experience with the new cloud based O365 suite.  DEO already had a licensed production deployment of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM) to perform desktop patching and application software package deployment. We performed initial discovery analysis to identify the various states of the DEO desktops and the requirements for each of the Office suite and Lync install packages. Development and testing of the multiple installation packages was completed by us in conjunction with DEO technical staff to provide necessary knowledge transfer.  We also recommended removal of previous versions of the Office suite. Leveraging SCCM 2007, Microsoft Click-to-Run, Office removal scripts, and Group Policy Objects (GPO) technology, Cloud Navigator achieved a “silent deployment” of Office 365 Pro Plus (Office 2013) to a combination of 2500+ desktops and laptops in just a few weeks.

RESULTS

Through solid communication planning and a sound technical roadmap DEO and Cloud Navigator were able to produce test, pilot, and deployment strategies to minimize the impact on business. DEO reported a support incident rate of less than .005% (<100 tickets) for the Office suite deployment.

Customer Story: Florida Department of Children and Families

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) works to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.

PROBLEM

DCF was relying on legacy Lotus Notes Email software to send, receive and store its email.  The Department recognized the need to upgrade to a more modern and performant system.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator’s strategy followed best practices for a Lotus Notes migration to Exchange Online (O365). Because there is no Microsoft tool that migrates from Lotus Notes to Exchange Online, we utilized migration software from BitTitan called MigrationWiz. This migration tool extracts and converts messaging data from Lotus Notes format to Exchange format. We also utilized custom software from The LinchPin Group to facilitate migration of contacts stored on user’s workstations and to decrypt encrypted e-mail. PowerShell was also utilized to translate some of the settings from Lotus Notes into corresponding Exchange online settings.

Cloud Navigator implemented Microsoft Azure AD Sync technology for identity and group synchronization from DCF’s on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to the cloud based Office 365 directory (Windows Azure Active Directory), along with Microsoft ADFS federation service for secure credential authentication and redirection to DCF’s branded on-premise AD environment. This configuration allows for similar on-premise administration of mailbox users to DCF’s previous management processes. Through this architecture we migrated 800+ shared and resource mailboxes plus 11,000 user mailboxes to O365, comprising nearly a terabyte of data. All mailboxes were placed on “Litigation Hold” to prevent deletion of any email from the mailboxes. In conjunction with the email migration, we transitioned DCF from utilizing externally hosted Can-It spam filtering to the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within O365.

DCF was using several versions of Microsoft Office on their desktops. Our recommended approach was to upgrade to Office 2013 ahead of mailbox migration. This approach greatly reduces business interruption and end user client side issues, thereby enriching the end user’s experience with the new cloud based O365 suite.  DCF already had a licensed production deployment of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM) to perform desktop patching and application software package deployment. We performed initial discovery analysis to identify the various states of the DCF desktops and the requirements for each of the Office suite and Lync install packages. Development and testing of the multiple installation packages was completed by us in conjunction with DCF technical staff to provide necessary knowledge transfer.  We also recommended removal of previous versions of the Office suite. Leveraging SCCM 2007, Microsoft Click-to-Run, Office removal scripts, and Group Policy Objects (GPO) technology, Cloud Navigator achieved a “silent deployment” of Office 365 Pro Plus (Office 2013) to a combination of 2500+ desktops and laptops in just a few weeks.

RESULTS

Through solid communication planning and a sound technical roadmap DCF and Cloud Navigator were able to produce test, pilot, and deployment strategies to minimize the impact on business. DCF reported a support incident rate of less than .005% (<100 tickets) for the Office suite deployment.

Customer Story: Chaparral Boats

Chaparral Boats LogoHeadquartered in Nashville, GA Chaparral Boats provides and manufactures fishing boats and yachts that spans in many major markets. Chaparral produces some of the world’s finest brands such as Premiere Yachts, Signature Cruisers, Vortex sport boats, and others.

Chaparral Boats is a powerhouse in the marine industry because of their dealer network, profit minded business practices and solid management.  Chaparral’s internationally markets reach stretches to places like Venezuela, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Egypt, Denmark, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Singapore, Chile, Russia and Sweden.

PROBLEM

Chaparral had 2 good reasons for Moving to Office 365. First, Microsoft is planning to stop support for exchange 2003, the messaging platform chaparral was currently using. Second, Chaparral wanted to adopt the benefits of what Office 365 had to offer (i.e. Microsoft Office suite, Accessibility from anywhere) Chaparral needed a company that has experience in Mailbox migrations that will not have a negative impact on their users.

SOLUTION

Based on our past experience with previous migrations from different source environments to Office 365, Chaparral chose Cloud Navigator to perform the migration to Office 365. And based on the initial and detailed discovery of their source environment we provided a custom migration deployment solution that did not impact their users before or after the migration.

Based on Chaparral boat’s need for an end-to-end solution that answered its immediate requirement for a cutover migration, we provided that solution by using the migration tool MigrationWiz from BitTitan; a cloud based migration tool to migrate their users to Office 365.

RESULTS

Chaparral Boats has reduced its costs, improved collaboration and enhanced operations with Office 365. By migrating their users with MigrationWiz, the organization was migrated in one weekend to Exchange online and users were not negatively impacted.

Customer Story: Florida Department of Management Services

dms logoThe Florida Department of Management Services is the business arm of Florida government. The Department’s primary mission is to support sister agencies as well as current and former state employees with workforce and business-related functions so that agencies can focus on their core missions as defined in law. The Department of Management Services was created in 1993 after the Departments of Administration and General Services merged. This new agency was formed to improve services and reduce administrative overhead. Throughout the entire department, staff pride themselves on providing effective customer service, delivering on our agency obligations and lowering the cost of government through innovation and new efficiencies.

PROBLEM

The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) had recently moved email services to Office 365 with our help.  The migration included two subsidiary but separate organizations (PERC and FCHR).  The three organizations had been coupled due to budget constraints.  DMS was the only one of the three with data center assets and purchasing power.  With the move to the cloud, the opportunity to divest and operate as distinct organizations was clear.

SOLUTION

For DMS, we deployed two backup domain controllers with AD Connect on each, and two ADFS servers in a load balanced availability set.  For PERC and FCHR, we deployed a simplified solution for each with high availability and all enabling services on a single server.

Hybrid identity example

RESULTS

The federation and synchronization between three separate domains and their respective Azure Active Directory instances represents progress in the de-coupling of three organization’s IT resources.

 

Customer Story: Navigate Affordable Housing

Navigate LogoNavigate Affordable Housing develops and enhances safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing in Jefferson County Alabama.  Navigate had outgrown its office space and was planning a move to a more convenient location.

PROBLEM

As the task of relocating its data center was assessed and the costs were estimated, the need to update unreliable hardware and replace outdated networking equipment became apparent.  The capital expenditure Navigate faced was outside of their fixed budget.

SOLUTION

Navigate, with its managed service provider Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS), decided to evaluate the alternative of relocating to the cloud.  ICS turned to Cloud Navigator to bring expertise and experience with The Microsoft Cloud to the problem.

A rapid assessment determined that the migration of several IT systems to Microsoft Azure could be accomplished in the short time before the physical relocation of the organization was completed.

A virtual network was deployed in Azure, followed by a number of virtual machines which would then host those IT systems.  The transition to these cloud based services was planned, and the cutover was completed just prior to the move.

RESULTS

The capital expense of buying new servers and networking hardware was avoided.  That had been the primary objective.  Unexpected benefits that Navigate found also included:

  • a more foolproof and verifiable backup strategy
  • increased performance
  • the ability to deploy a true disaster recovery plan

Navigate now uses Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365.  By adopting the three foundational pillars of The Microsoft Cloud, the organization now operates in a fully integrated and universally accessible virtualized data center environment.

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