Frimley Health Foundation Trust (FHFT) Engages Bates IT to Perform - "On-premise Email Exchange Transformation to NHSMail2 Cloud platform."

Project Background

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (FHFT) comprised two separate legacy exchange environments, one at Frimley Park Hospital (FPH) and the second at Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals (HWPH). As part of an acquisition, a requirement for a single email solution had been identified with the expectation that this will bring with it efficiencies such as reduced costs and IT administration overhead, in addition to enabling better collaborative working.

There was a new requirement for the Trust and all other NHS Organizations delivering public healthcare to meet a secure email standard (ISB 1596). Continuing with the on-premise solution would result in an additional cost to the Trust in order to meet this standard. NHS Mail 2 met that standard, therefore negating the cost of making an on-premise solution compliant, through the accreditation process. With the increase in cross-site working, there was also a requirement for the Trust to introduce a Video Conferencing solution. This solution increases productivity and reduces the number of travelling costs between sites for staff.

Secure Organisation-wide Email

The existing setup; two independent exchange solutions, does not allow FPH users to email sensitive data to HWPH users securely or vice versa. This can be very restrictive as many clinical users are beginning to work cross-site, refer patients or review cases with their counterparts. In addition to enabling cross-site working within the organization, NHS Mail 2 will also enable collaborative working with other NHS organizations that use NHS Mail, whilst achieving the secure email standard (ISB 1596).

Efficient collaborative working

Staff currently have to travel between sites for meetings, mainly Frimley Park, Heatherwood and Wexham. In addition to the mileage claimed by staff, the travel time between sites can take 1hr+. Introducing Skype for Business as the Trusts Video Conferencing solution will significantly reduce the need for travelling between sites and it is expected to reduce the amount of mileage expense claims the Trust receives.

Reduce administration Overhead

By consolidating to a single hosted email solution the trust will reduce the amount of administrative effort required to maintain and manage the system. Switching to a hosted solution will deliver on the Trusts ambitions to move more service offerings to the cloud & intrinsically reduce the on-site technical support resource requirements significantly.

The introduction of “Outlook Web Application” OWA will further reduce software licensing commitments the Trust currently has with MS Office 2010 (Which becomes EOL in 2020).

Project Deployment

Bates IT Engagement

  • To provide an on-site Bates resource manager.
  • To Project Manage all NHSMail2 deliverables assigned to individuals outlined within the final project plan.
  • To provide Third Line Engineering workforce to remediate applications with SMTP configurations; To provide Third Line Engineering workforce to investigate, change and re-mediate critical applications with dependencies for NHSMail2.
  • To create work off-plan for the remediation of legacy exchange SMTP settings and decommissioning of existing exchange services for (FHFT) BAU following migration to NHSMail2.
  • Project Manage internal (FHFT) communications, training documentation and assist with IG policy changes.
  • To support Accenture with the pilot and migration phases of exchange mailbox migration to NHSMail2; Project Manage policy and process changes as a result of
    the transformation to NHSMail2.
  • Project Manage the SMTP relay work and readiness of core applications as outlined in the project plan including the technical steps required and process changes to facilitate technical migration to NHSMail2.
  • Update Project plan and project documentation as required, providing highlight reports as agreed between (FHFT) and Bates IT Project Manager.
  • Present and/or disseminate any provided migration progress report from Accenture.
  • To create and provide standard operating procedures for 2nd & 3rd line engineering.
  • Assist with business process changes and re-mediation of the following core applications – “Planet FM”, “Policy Hub”, “Rightfax”, “RealTime”, “Datix”, “IPM”, and “Ask Andrew”.
  • To provide support and upgrade assistance with Mobile Device upgrades.
  • To provide 2nd line workforce to support users during migration to NHSMail2 (09:00 – 17:00).
  • To assist with business process change before migration.
  • To provide an incident logging mechanism, to circumnavigate the existing 1st Line service desk (minimizing any disruption to BAU).
  • To assist with Skype for Business integration with NHSMail2.
  • To ensure 95% of all user migrations complete within the 6 month period.
  • To create and provide a closure report and lessons learned report.

2nd Line Engineer Role

  • Manage requests for MSG Viewer and install where required.
  • Video Conferencing – Roll out Cameras required.
  • Provide drop and learn sessions for Skype for Business
    (Skype for Business).
  • Provide Outlook to key staff (Directors and PA’s) as requested by the Executive team. This will involve a review of working practices and the provision of laptops for approx. 400 users.
  • Clean up multiple NHSMail2 Accounts Duplications of Mailboxes & Re-mediation’s.
  • Resolve outstanding/additional tasks in RAID log;
  • Support BAU Service Desk with NHSMail2 Incidents.
  • Gather business process reviews.
  • Distributions List approximately (150) created and owners identified before the exchange can be shut down & decommissioned.

3rd Line Engineer Role

  • Manage the final mop-up accounts and ensure all accounts are fully migrated including manual migrations:
  • Corruption of mailboxes;
  • Final sync issues;
  • Oversized Mail Boxes;
  • Any remaining accounts.
  • Completed the Skype for Business (SfB)deployment.
  • Resolve outstanding/additional tasks in RAID log.
    • Applications post-migration activities – SMTP migrations/ reconfiguration and Critical systems.
  • Provide all users with the ability to print to PDF.
  • Preparation activities for the decommissioning activities.

Project Management

  • Create Project Plan and work packages based on client requirements.
  • Worked with the business to create and manage a process for rolling out Video Conferencing and cameras as required.
  • Worked with the business to develop a process for managing request for Outlook.
  • Assisted & Supported the creation of a new email policy in conjunction with IG.
  • Complete post-migration review and lessons learned documentation.
  • Ensure all project documentation is up to date and transferred to PMO directories.
  • Update Project Plan for tasks and actives highlighted in the “Statement of Works”.
  • Resource Management, Escalation point for Senior Managers & Resource Register Updater, Contract Management, Resource Financing and “day to day” operations;
  • Manage and resolve outstanding/additional tasks in RAID log.
  • Assisted & supported the development of procedures required as a result of new processes in IT.

Project Outcome

  • Isolated Service Desk (Outside of
    BAU channels).
  • Developed and Created Cloud Service Desk Portal.
  • “End to End” Testing of ServiceDesk Portal Functions and Process.
  • Complete Estate Wide testing of Service Desk Portal Accessibility.
  • Deployed Extensive Users Training Material to the Service Desk Portal.
  • Trained Internal Staff on Functions, Processes and User Training Materials.
  • Communications Service Desk Portal Offering.
  • Closed and Re-mediated 4,151 Incidents to the Service Desk Portal in one month.
  • Dedicated Service Desk Portal with Dynamically Updated Training Material, Documentation Guides and Videos.
  • Provided a dedicated support desk to lessen the impact on the BAU service desk. Provided training materials for end-users and BAU help-desk for common tasks 4,151 (Incidents within One Month).
  • Dedicated Service Desk Team re-mediating 4000 tickets within one month (doubled resourcing & reduced the duration by one month), Massively reducing the impact to BAU Service Desk.
  • Performed detailed Transition to BAU, Knowledge Sharing and live simulations of Known Issues.
  • Completely sanitised two legacy Exchange Environments of historically inaccurate information;
  • Migration of 15,000+ Mailboxes from two legacy Exchange Environments to Accenture’s Hosted Cloud.
  • Removed Access to local Outlook Clients & Provided (FHFT) with “OWA” Outlook Web Access” Mobility and Accessibility.
  • Provided secure email standard (ISB 1596) in line with NHS Digitals directive for all Organizations delivering public healthcare.
  • Amalgamated two separate email systems into one organization unit – Converging into a single Trust (FHFT).


  • Preparatory activities ensured a complete “house clean” of historically dead mailboxes, reducing the number of overall mailbox migrations and data transfer.
  • Established weekly “operational” conference calls and “Working Group” meetings with senior BAU teams to ensure issues were known & handled accordingly.
  • The project involved an initial pilot phase to test Migration Path &Processes.
  • Strong Communication Phase in the lead up to the Migration and During the Migration;
    Big Bang Approach concluded the migration and Switching of virtually all Mailboxes overnight (14,000+).
  • Provided the ability to all (FHFT) users for increased mobility and accessibility anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
  • Automated User-name and Password delegation scripting to the entire Trust Synchronized with Accenture Switching;
  • Provided Free (SfB) Skype for Business Instant Messaging, presence management and Audio Call Abilities to the entire Trust;
  • Provided a subscription-based service for Audio Visual Calls via (SfB) Skype for Business;
  • Support and Remediation of Issues, Incidents and Problems caused by the Migration to NHS Mail 2 – examples include – data transfer speed issues, TLS security and provisioning additional Domain Controllers to alleviate resource-hogging;
  • Resolved over 2400 email account duplication issues.
  • Provided extended support to resolve accounts which
    were not migrated using the standard process.
  • Migration completed with minimal Information Governance Breaches (Accenture Switching);
  • Achieved first large scale “Cloud” migration, by migrating 8TB of data to a hosted platform, in line with (FHFT) the vision of becoming a modern digital service provider.
  • Provided the ability for all users to securely reset password access, without the need to contact internal Service desks – reducing a significant number of annual support calls.
  • Achieved Secure email standard (ISB 1596) following migration.
  • Removed legacy Mobile device management software with intrinsic licensing costs to Microsoft free Mobile Outlook Applications.
  • Aligned global communication distribution lists, into a single organizational suffix.
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