Starting off our new series of client success stories, we wanted to put the spotlight on our 3-year long partnership with NSW Police Force who so graciously chose us to be their official Microsoft partner, resulting in some incredible accomplishments along the way. There’s been several projects we’ve implemented throughout this fine journey, that all started with establishing an identity model to transition 23,000 staff onto Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus. Most recently, however, we managed to deploy Microsoft Teams for them to replace Skype for Business; really helping them soar among the cloud(s).

What was the Challenge?

The NSW Police Force had become increasingly aware of the need to modernise their systems in order to avoid any ‘arrested’ development (pun intended) in the workplace. The problem with their traditional model was that important tools which were integral among their day-to-day activities were only accessible via the office computer, seriously impeding on their ability to and collaborate efficiently.

The other thing that needed to be considered was the fact that given they’re a government body with extremely sensitive data, any system they adopted had to meet the highest level of security at the PROTECTED classification.

So, they embarked on the digital journey with Atarix towards an innovative workplace, with the goal of allowing their staff to collaborate and communicate much more effectively and securely.

What was the Solution?

What they needed was to enable officers to accomplish work from any device and from any location – after all, police don’t go through rigorous physical exams to not be mobile! Not to mention doing it with the utmost safety (both physically and digitally).  That’s where our expertise as Microsoft partners came in. We worked hand-in-hand with them to seamlessly integrate Microsoft 365 into their entire infrastructure. We recently successfully deployed Microsoft Teams which included ready-to-use Microsoft Teams templates and a Teamwork governance tool. Particularly given that Skype for Business is set to hang up its boots and retire on July 31st, 2021, adopting Microsoft Teams was quite the timely move forward.

As expected, the NSW Police Force have stringent requirements for their security posture. So, in order to meet the government standards for security and regulated data, we designed all programs to meet the Australian Cyber Security Centre Information Security Manual controls up to the PROTECTED classification, as outlined in the Security System Plan that we also helped develop.

Here was the result:

With the implementation of the ready-to-use Microsoft Teams templates, we were able to provide the Force with the perfect tools to drive efficiency and increase productivity for all of their projects, teams, and general collaboration. The Teamwork governance tool also assisted administrators with lifecycle management and control over Teams and Office 365 workspaces, as well as assisting end-users in locating workspaces they’re a part of. This meant that workflow management prevented proliferation of unmanaged workspaces; whilst providing a central pane for staff to easily access all of their Office 365 Group workspaces, Teams and Planner.

A noteworthy characteristic about the Microsoft Teams platform, which includes chat, online meetings, and web conferencing capabilities, is that it introduces persistent chat to users so chat histories in shared channels are kept forever, giving a richer and consistent user experience across multiple devices. Similarly, the persistent chat nature of the data then makes team chat channels form part of the organisation’s IP.

COVID-19

Our innovative remote working services allowed them to adapt quickly to the drastic changes imposed by COVID-19 restrictions. To be able to maintain regular meetings securely and collaborate using Teams during lockdown without losing any productivity, was a huge accomplishment.

Live Events

Making sure the Force’s technical setup met their requirements for function and security, we ran tests to validate the implementation. Using Microsoft Teams’ Live Events, we then provided training for the key roles of presenter and producer and supported NSWPF to host their own broadcast meeting . Their first Live Event, the inaugural Command Digital Town Hall, took place during the COVID-19 lockdown and included approximately 500 attendees! They were also able to record and capture all attendee stats and questions, with the recording being shared after the event.

During a tough time for all, it really made us so proud to have been instrumental in their ability to keep on keeping on and connect with one another through isolation.

In summary, here are the key highlights as outlined by Barney Jovanovic, NSW Police Project Manager (Cloud Transition and Transformation):

  1. Atarix were chosen partners on the 0365 Cloud Transition and Transformation project
  2. Helped NSWPF migrate over 23,000 mailboxes from Notes to Office 365
  3. Project complete on time and on budget
  4. Migration completed from Skype to Teams prior to deprecation date of June 2021
  5. Assisted with documenting Systems Security Plan (SSP) in preparation for Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment