ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations. Together with their network, they inspire and support civil society leaders by providing connections, advocacy and skills. Their members include the leaders of small, community based groups, ambitious medium-sized organisations, and well known, well-loved national and international not-for-profits.
ACEVO approached Smartdesc through a tender process to design a new, future-proofed IT platform to better serve their staff’s evolving IT needs, while also reducing cost and maintenance overheads.
ACEVO were using a “Remote Desktop” system that was running out of date software and had become restrictive as it did not cater well to the modern workplace of agile, flexible working.
Offline working was not possible, and the servers were static. This meant staff did not receive regular updates and were running outdated software.
Smartdesc worked with ACEVO stakeholders to define requirements and develop a completely new IT operating model based around the Microsoft cloud platform.
The team placed Microsoft Teams front and centre to give staff a single place to go to access all their company data: shared files, chat, calendar, calls and video.
Smartdesc redesigned and migrated the old shared drive to Microsoft SharePoint behind the scenes. This enabled staff to use Microsoft Teams to get to files, and OneDrive to access resources, offline when travelling. The team deployed Microsoft Azure to centrally manage all staff credentials and permissions. They also implemented InTune on mobile devices to secure and encrypt laptops with AutoPilot without any user interaction.
Smartdesc retired all the old physical servers, leaving ACEVO with a laptop fleet and no other complicated hardware.
ACEVO are now 100% agile in how they can work. Staff can work from anywhere, at any time, simply using a laptop and the Microsoft 365 platform for all their business operations.
The platform is future proof by design. Microsoft continuously update it without the need for down time or manual intervention. Our partnership is now one of helping staff get the most out of the tools, keeping skills current, and optimising collaboration and sharing of data between teams.
Other benefits of the work include:
- 100% cloud based platform – no more physical servers to maintain, always up to date
- Minimal operating expense – a Microsoft charity license donation of 365 and Azure for a very low per-user per month figure that is scalable
- Complete agile working – staff work from anywhere with the full Office & Teams experience
- Access from personal computers is possible but can be controlled to prevent the risk of data leaks
- IT support shifted from break/fix “this doesn’t work” issues to “how do I do more of X, Y or Z” requests