Case Study Longview Partners
“Transitioning the service to Coeo and the stability and opportunities for improvement it will bring is something I’ve been looking forward to since I joined Longview last year and started this roadmap” – Paul Jones, Head of Technology, Longview Partners
Project OverviewLongview Partners transform IT delivery with Coeo
Founded in 2001, Longview Partners is a specialist asset management firm focused entirely on the management of global portfolios with offices in London and Guernsey. The business recognised that they needed a modern IT solution to compete in a fast moving industry and serve their fifty staff well, in order to deliver against one of their key principles; “Longview will always be a rewarding, challenging and team-orientated place to work”. The leadership team recruited Paul Jones, who had previous experience of successfully transforming IT Services into the cloud, as Head of Technology to modernise their approach to delivering IT to business users.
Paul wanted to challenge the way that IT had been delivered to business users. They were frustrated with the time it took to provide new apps and services, the performance of the systems and the ability to use the data they had available.
We worked with Paul to create a vision of future IT Services; one that is more responsive, provides applications that are easy to use, challenges the business to change and empowers users to make better decisions.
It was agreed that several immediate changes could be implemented to improve the user experience:
- Replace aging end user compute
- Migrate from the on-premises data centre running legacy hardware and software to Azure and O365
- Modernise the application, taking advantage of PaaS services
- Build a new enterprise-wide analytics solution to unleash the power of the data
The first step in the transformation was to replace the end user compute. This had a few benefits: the version of Windows could be upgraded to version 10 to allow easier integration with modern services, the users benefited from new hardware – so felt like they were being invested in –and some of the legacy platforms could quickly be migrated to O365 because the latest versions of Office could be deployed onto the hardware.
Migrating out of the on-premises data centre was the next phase. We worked collaboratively with Paul’s team, making extensive use of Microsoft Teams. As much of this work was completed during lockdown, this meant that the work could continue, despite everyone working remotely from home.
Some of the critical applications had complex underlying infrastructure requirements designed for an on-premises world. It was possible to replicate the infrastructure services in Azure and this will be a great foundation to allow future innovation to be developed from.
The complexity and inter-dependencies between the applications meant that the migration had to be performed in one go. This meant that everything had to go right, first time. To ensure the success of the migration we made extensive use of Azure Site Recovery to test the migration over and over until everyone was satisfied that every scenario had been fully tested and ready for the big day. Our experience of performing these types of migration and approach to risk management gave the Longview Partners team confidence that such a critical operation would be conducted efficiently and successfully.
The timing of the migration was fortuitous because it was completed during the Government enforced lockdown, allowing all users to seamlessly work from home using Microsoft teams, Exchange 365, Azure VPN and Windows Virtual Desktop.
Paul’s team worked collaboratively with Coeo to migrate the services from the on-premises data centre into Azure over a weekend when the business was not using the services. The team had carefully planned, choreographed, and practised the migration, which went very smoothly and only required a few non-essential services to be remediated after the migration was complete. Coeo handled Microsoft support calls, allowing Paul’s team to focus on the users which enhanced the user experience.
We transitioned Longview Partners onto our Dedicated Support service, providing them with 24 x 7 support of their whole Azure estate. We will monitor their consumption closely to ensure that they are getting maximum value out of Azure. This also means that Longview Partners’ internal team can focus on the next stage of the plan with our consulting team to modernise the applications without having to worry about day-to-day support of the Azure environment.
Coeo have started planning the analytics solution and we will be piloting the use of Azure Synapse and Power BI with business users to solve specific use cases to demonstrate business value quickly and build a culture of data driven decision making.