Wheatley Group

Wheatley Group, established in 2012, stands as the UK's foremost social housing provider and the leading entity in housing, care, and property management in Scotland. Catering to over 210,000 individuals across 19 Scottish local authorities, it boasts a workforce of 2,700, with an additional 2,000 personnel via its partnership with City Building (Glasgow), one of Scotland's largest repairs and maintenance enterprises. Unified by a vision of excellence and a mission to enhance homes and lives, Wheatley Group has consistently been recognised as the UK's top builder of social rented homes for four consecutive years. This distinction is complemented by numerous accolades underscoring its commitment to quality and excellence in the public sector.

Introduction

Wheatley Group's partnership with Servent aimed to develop a robust five-year cloud strategy, focusing on leveraging the capabilities of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. The partnership began in July 2019, following a recommendation from Microsoft, which highlights our expertise in cloud adoption and our well-established Enterprise Cloud methodology.

This methodology, combined with the inherent benefits of Microsoft Azure, provides them with a comprehensive platform that supports its digital transformation goals. Learn how they addressed operational challenges, optimised efficiency, and supported sustainable long-term growth.

Bruce Paterson

Infrastructure Manager at Wheatley Group

"We were confident that Servent was the right partner to help us with our Azure journey, especially because Microsoft had strongly endorsed them. They have outstanding engagement and expertise, and they are a vital strategic partner for us"

Challenge

Datacenter Lease Expiry

Costly Hosting Contract

Continuity & Disaster Recovery

Azure Skills Gap

Wheatley Group faced several challenges that underscored the need for a strategic shift in their IT infrastructure. With the closure of their on-premises data centre lease, coupled with a desire for more flexibility, and a costly hosting contract, the organisation recognised the need to enhance their business continuity, and disaster recovery capabilities, and streamline the integration of acquisitions. This case study sets the stage for an insightful exploration into how they navigated their transition to Microsoft Azure, illustrating the strategic decisions, investments in skill development, and the adoption of cloud services that collectively facilitated their successful digital transformation.

Solution

In their strategic initiative towards the adoption of Microsoft Azure, they chose Servent as their preferred partner, recognising our position as a Microsoft Azure expert recommended by Microsoft. This recognition stems from our distinguished track record and extensive experience in facilitating cloud transitions for organisations akin to Wheatley Group. In collaboration with Servent, they embarked on a transformative journey, leveraging our Enterprise Cloud methodology, a testament to our proven approach.

  • Our initial step encompassed a thorough cloud assessment, employing advanced tooling techniques. This pivotal assessment enabled us to outline the financial implications of utilising cloud services, whilst also shedding light on critical considerations such as application interdependencies.

  • Drawing from the insights gained during the assessment, we formulated a robust, clear-cut business case, incorporating a forward-looking 5-year strategy. This strategy meticulously aligns with their overarching cloud ambitions.

  • We integrated projected carbon savings into the business case, directly supporting their sustainability objectives, and illustrating our commitment to environmental stewardship.

  • The design and construction of an Azure Landing Zone constituted the cornerstone of their migration to the Microsoft Azure platform. This foundational step ensures a scalable, secure, and compliant cloud environment.

  • Comprehensive migration strategies for all relevant workloads were developed, contributing to an overarching programme plan.

  • Enhancing their security framework, we integrated Microsoft Security solutions along with native Azure security services, significantly strengthening their security posture.

  • Our engagement extends beyond implementation, offering continual support for the Microsoft Azure platform, ensuring they maximise their investment.

Outcome

Working with Servent has marked the beginning of a new period of operational effectiveness, cost reduction, and environmental responsibility for Wheatley Group. The move to Microsoft Azure not only allowed the removal of a physical data centre but also gave them the ability to scale operations smoothly. Additionally, this digital change has placed them at the leading edge of innovation, prepared to face the future with assurance and adaptability.

  • Implemented robust cross-site networking with multiple ExpressRoute connections between their main site and disaster recovery site and Azure

  • Seamlessly migrated all in-scope workloads to Azure with no outages

  • Implemented a production Azure Virtual Desktop service for corporate and remote users

  • Bolstered their security position with Defender for Cloud and native Azure security services

  • Helped them adopt a DevOps approach to managing and configuring Azure

Key Wins

Seamless Migration

Cost Optimisation with Right-Sizing

Enhanced Security Posture

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Conclusion

With our managed service we continue to provide ongoing support of their Microsoft Azure environment. In doing so, we provide them with advisory services and hands on assistance wherever it’s required across the entire Microsoft Azure platform.

This case underscores the value of strategic partnerships and the power of cloud technology in driving business transformation. Their journey to Microsoft Azure is a compelling example of how organisations can harness digital solutions to not only meet current needs but also anticipate future challenges, setting a new benchmark for the housing industry and beyond.

In summary, Wheatley Group's cloud adoption journey exemplifies the transformative impact of combining strategic vision with the right technological expertise, showcasing a path toward more agile, secure, and sustainable business operations.

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Wheatley Group

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