Adferiad Recovery is a Welsh Charity formed from the amalgamation of long-established and leading charities CAIS, Hafal and WCADA. The merger took place in 2021 and established Adferiad Recovery as a leading expert across the fields of substance abuse, mental health, housing support, criminal justice and employment support to help vulnerable people facing complex life challenges.
After discussing the challenges the individual charities were facing, it was clear that to achieve the aspirations of the new merged charity, and to ensure a smooth transition for all, the group’s IT estate needed to be unified, managed and rolled out centrally. With Risc providing a “Virtual CIO” role and operating as the group’s Managed Service Provider, we broke down our recommended solutions and rolled them out in three strands.
To ensure continuity across each of the separate offices, we provided a range of Microsoft 365 licences (Business Basic, Business Premium, and E3) to suits the needs of different users. This enabled us to manage all user accounts centrally. Users have access to Outlook, Teams, the Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc), and online OneDrive storage for easy collaborative working in any of their office locations or at home.
We also created a SharePoint site for Adferiad to function as an intranet and group document repository. We ensured that documents were easy to access, but also protected by Azure Active Directory Premium with additional layers of security through multifactor authentication (MFA). We enabled Conditional Access Policies as well which means that if access to files or apps is requested from a new device or a new location, users will be prompted for their password and MFA. This also works hand in hand with Universal Print which enables secure managed printing across the entire organisation.
Adferiad make full use of Microsoft Teams, using it as their central hub for day to day activities. Branches within the organisation have gone further and enhanced Microsoft Teams by enabling Teams Telephony, providing a helpline for their most vulnerable, at risk service users. The solution is completely Cloud-based, so is accessible on any device anywhere with internet access, and is futureproof as it’s without onsite infrastructure. As their MSP, we coordinated the setup of their Teams Telephony system from start to finish, and offer ongoing technical support to the users as well.
Working from anywhere, across devices and locations, was important to Adferiad as they now had offices all over Wales and a workforce of hybrid workers. We recommended Intune to help with the easy deployment and management of apps and devices, making their new IT setup sustainable for the long-term and more secure as company data is only accessible on registered devices.
Whilst there are important security features built into Microsoft 365, we wanted to ensure complete protection. To fill those gaps, we recommended Redstor backup for their servers, and Cloud to Cloud backup for their Microsoft 365 data.
This will ensure that a backup of all data is stored securely in the Cloud completely separate from the Microsoft platform and is ready to be restored in a data loss scenario. In addition to this, ESET Endpoint Protection provides advanced, multi-layered antivirus for all their devices keeping their machines and data secure.
Both Redstor and ESET are accessible through easy to manage portals meaning that the deployment and management is sustainable for now and the future.
An important part of the project was ensuring that the solutions provided are sustainable and effective long term. We recommended Datto for Adferiad to help with this. Datto provides an IT asset list so it’s easy to keep track of devices – and therefore the data that’s on those devices as well. It also has warranty information so coordinating replacements of devices when the warranty is near the end is straightforward. Datto also offers a remote support tool meaning we can offer our hands on support for users regardless of where they’re working from.
We also provided new hardware. We used Datto to identify laptops that had unsupported OS or were out of warranty and replaced them as required. Additionally, we provided new on-premise servers, switches, and access points to ensure their entire set up was up to date and long lasting.