To migrate business units running Windows 7 to Windows 10, streamline the company’s use of the software and related applications, educating new users while finding cost and workflow efficiencies where possible.
Following a number of acquisitions, a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer found it had several business units using Windows 7 in different tenants. There was widespread duplication of licenses and a large number of redundant applications, creating unnecessary cost for the organisation as well as increasing confusion. The business was finding that service levels were much lower than expected and users complained they couldn’t work efficiently. It risked being left behind in the market.
This roll-out was also being conducted among users who were largely non-IT professionals or enthusiasts. The 2,500+-strong workforce were working across a range of different applications, with little visibility of what even colleagues in the same department were using. Some aspects of even commonly-used Office suites were troublesome to users, such as the use of Excel add-ins that come as standard. Many couldn’t always fully articulate which applications or add-ins were most needed during the initial technology audit. Initial ‘Understand the User’ workshops were critical groundwork for the project.
Additionally, due to a policy of comprehensive outsourcing in the past, the insurer hadn’t yet built up an internal IT resource with the capacity to fully oversee the migration. Similar projects with two other consultancies had stalled, resulting in some internal scepticism that an outside agency could resolve the problem.
Transparency from the outset was key. ECMS worked in partnership with a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer to establish a team, led by a programme director with extensive experience in stakeholder and technology transformation management. Clear lines of communication meant internal leaders at the client had visibility of every stage in the process, including budget accountability and workstream progress. This was critical in an environment where there were multiple moving parts to the project, all progressing at different speeds.
The year-long project focused on four, core remedial areas:
Centralisation: single location laying the groundwork for future change
Consolidation: a strategic solution secure-by-design and fit for purpose
Simplification: review and rationalise configuration, integration and operations
Cost reduction: eliminate wasteful processes and surplus technologies.
The work of migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 itself involved creating centralised management of the company’s software use to improve visibility of usage and application versions. Multiple software variants were rationalised to remove licence duplication and a full desktop refresh was undertaken.
An extensive employee survey programme across all 2,500+ Windows users across 26 countries, plus an audit of existing solutions discovered which applications were in use and business critical. This led to a streamlining process where more than 1,000 applications were whittled down to 800. The process was also created to be flexible and able to integrate new add-ins and user-specific personalisation as their importance to the users came to light.
ECMS’s support during the migration and solution deployment was significant with five members of the team on site educating employees on new technology, as well as supporting the company during a switchover to its new service manager, Infosys. Stakeholder support during the handover to the new service provider was in addition to the original brief but ECMS made sure that the client was fully equipped to handle its technology needs with its new provider going forward. Flexibility had been the watchword across the 12-month project and additional resource or skills were always on hand to bridge gaps in expertise as they arose.
The migration project is year one of a three-year strategic technology investment plan. It created a basis for the client to build a single platform that will drive business benefit from reduced application installs and improved security access. Ultimately, improved business effectiveness will drive long-term cost savings in the business, as well as contribute to improved customer experience and brand value.
Through improved employee collaboration via the Windows suite, the company is now more agile and responsive, able to adapt better to new market conditions, innovations and customer needs. The project also instilled greater employee confidence in using Windows 10 solutions. This has generated more interest in adopting new technologies, that could set this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer up as a future-ready insurer with the competitive edge.
The ECMS Secret Sauce
This was an IT project aimed at non-IT people. With ultimate transparency on processes and costs from the start, ECMS didn’t just deliver technical expertise but confidence to the client that the project would be delivered on spec, on time and on budget. A ‘white glove’ handover process also made sure that this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer was never left to manage its new technology infrastructure without the necessary support to hand, either from third parties or internally.
"ECMS were able to deliver great strategic value to the client throughout this programme and delivered a bespoke solution to a complex set of business challenges. The ECMS team collaborated extensively, taking advantage of team member’s individual expertise, combining these towards a common goal. Feedback at the design, build and implementation stages was overwhelmingly positive and the client from the early stages began seeing benefits from our delivery, approach and knowledge." - Programme Lead