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User and Device Migration Case Study


A Systems & Infrastructure Integration Programme was undertaking a major programme to integrate the infrastructure, applications and users of an acquired organisation into the parent company systems.

Zeroarena was charged with managing the migration of users across the UK and Europe within a defined timeframe and budget without disruption to the acquired organisation’s staff. The project was the “public face” of the complex and highly sensitive broader programme.

Approximately 2,000 users, their security accounts and devices were to be migrated to the parent organisation’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems and Active Directory. Devices were to be upgraded to a standardised Windows 10 desktop client. For technical reasons account and device changes were to be carried out at the same time and with minimal interruption to users’ work therefore migrations had to be completed overnight.

What We Did

A pilot migration had already been completed when we were assigned to the project; the first task, therefore, was to assess and learn the lessons from this pilot. The assessment identified several initial actions:

We established regular governance and information meetings with local site management and made sure that issues were raised directly with the project rather than being escalated. Changes to the hyper-care arrangements were implemented so that the site had confidence that issues would be fully and quickly addressed.

In order further to build confidence we dedicated a resource solely to manage the scheduling of migrations. The resource was to liaise with local line managers and users and ensure they had input to the schedule and therefore were committed to it.

Finally, we identified a further resource to develop the process and supporting materials for returning upgraded Windows 10 devices to users so that we could verify that the migration had been successful and users were able to work in the new environment.

Continuous Improvement

Once the changes were in place, migrations at the first site commenced. We were then able to focus on scheduling the other sites (there were five in all across the UK and Netherlands) and developing a site engagement process that drew on the lessons learned from the first site. We visited each site to brief local management, obtain their commitment to the project, establish governance processes and conduct preliminary technical surveys.

Throughout the migration period of roughly nine months, the project team met frequently to review progress, learn lessons and plan forward. The “plan, do, review” approach meant that the project delivered considerable improvements in customer satisfaction and delivery efficiency over its lifetime.

Key additional lessons learned and remediation implemented by the project included:


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Muli-Site User and Device Migration.pdf