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Guiding an international law firm’s first steps with Azure

Guiding an international law firm’s first steps with Azure 17/08/2020

Expert Thinking helped an international law firm with their first steps on to Azure by building a secure, compliant, performant Azure cloud network, and upskilling their internal team to be able to support the new environment moving forwards.  Working with our customer we successfully guided network architecture design and build, application deployment and go-live.

PROBLEM & IMPACT

The key challenge was our customer’s inexperience with cloud in general and Azure in particular (their existing estate was on-premise).  Our customer needed a secure, compliant, scalable, performant cloud network that was fully integrated with the existing on-premise network to be able to deploy a new suite of digital applications serving a global office network and its end-customers.  Our customer wanted to align with application development and deployment best practice in the context of Azure cloud services.

Our customer needed a partner to deliver an extensible design, to work closely with them to ensure knowledge transfer, and to deliver a production environment within three weeks to meet a predetermined deadline for application go-live.

SOLUTION

Our industry-certified expert team delivered an Azure solution aligned to Microsoft best practice and our Well-Architected Framework, specifically:

  • Designing a fit-for-purpose, cost-optimised Azure network solution, and implementing the design (network, accounts, security, monitoring, deployment tooling, etc.)
  • Reviewing the application design (MS SQL, SQL Forms etc) from a deployment perspective to highlight any changes required to meet target uptime/availability of 99.9%
  • Working alongside the internal teams to provide sufficient knowledge to take ownership of and support the new Azure solution

We reviewed the application design and its suitability for cloud operations, aligning the Azure solution design to best serve the immediate needs of the application and the identified longer-term needs of the business.

We also took the opportunity to undertake a review of our customer’s application development and deployment methods, reviewing the use of VSTS (now Azure DevOps) and providing a priorities list of recommended improvements.

We took a holistic approach to the engagement, considering not only the network architecture but also the application design, network security, deployment and support in a short, agile and collaborative project.

Our involvement enabled our customer to bypass the experimental phase of cloud development and avoid many of the pitfalls that organisations encounter when building their first cloud solution.

RESULTS

Our approach enabled our customer’s first step on to Azure to meet the immediate needs of the business and lay a solid foundation for future growth.  We delivered a mature, extensible Azure network solution in our customer’s aggressive timescales (three weeks end-to-end) ensuring the solution integrated well into their application development and support teams and methods.  We worked closely with the internal teams throughout to provide sufficient working knowledge of Azure to enable our customer to support the solution moving forwards.

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