Case Study: Impellam

Impellam Group is a leading global talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions provider that delivers bold promises to help build better businesses.

Clients across the world trust Impellam to deliver managed services and specialist staffing in the UK, North America, Australia and Europe. Working with them are over 2,500 Impellam people, bringing a wealth of expertise through its 13 market-leading brands across 76 locations.

  • Service Areas Managed Services (Azure), Professional Services (Azure), Cloud Migration
  • Industry Recruitment and Workforce Solutions
  • Organization Size 2,500 employees
  • Completion date June 2021

317

virtual machines successfully migrated to Microsoft Azure

50%

of migration project funding secured from Microsoft

2,500

users reached in initial deployment

Transforming IT to meet the needs of a global user base

Impellam’s experts provide organisations with a wide range of services, from a tech-led HR solution, that facilitates growth, to a global managed service solution that combines vendor management strategies, contingent workforce solutions, payroll systems, and much more.

Impellam was looking to pursue its technology strategy with Microsoft technologies and a modern, flexible, and reliable IT infrastructure to support its geographically dispersed workforce, keeping them connected, productive and able to work to the best of their abilities.

Challenge

Relying on a mixture of on-premises and hosted IT solutions to run its business-critical apps and technologies, Impellam faced a number of challenges in a rapidly changing business and technological landscape, including end-of-support for Windows operating systems and significant capacity constraints.

Ageing IT infrastructure meant the business was unable to provide its people with the most efficient technologies and devices to carry out their day-to-day tasks. It was also facing escalating time and cost investments to maintain and upgrade its legacy infrastructure.

Against a backdrop of ever-evolving cybercriminal tactics, the business also needed to ensure that its approach to cyber security, including guarding its assets and client data, was as diligent as possible.

With business apps, devices and IT capabilities advancing rapidly, Impellam identified the need to invest in newer technologies to continue to meet the needs of its users and clients going forward.

In response to these challenges, Impellam set targets to digitally transform its IT, which included a strict deadline for migrating many workloads from its datacentres.

We really appreciate the effort put in by the delivery team to own and resolve the challenges of the programme. The collaboration between Content+Cloud, Impellam and Microsoft’s FastTrack Team also proved integral to the successful outcome.Mark Dooley, Senior IT Director - IT and Technology Infrastructure, Impellam Group
Overall, it’s been a great experience working on this project from technical to commercial aspects. We are now looking forward to the next phase of our journey and working with Content+Cloud to support our ongoing transformation roadmap. Mark Dooley, Senior IT Director - IT and Technology Infrastructure, Impellam Group

Approach

As a Microsoft Advanced Specialisation Partner in both Windows and SQL server migration and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Content+Cloud was ideally placed to deliver a tailored solution to the business in Azure, providing depth of expertise and best practice, repeatable methodologies.

Our teams identified three main workflows to achieve the desired outcome by the business:

  1. A tools-based assessment of Impellam’s existing infrastructure
  2. Initial migration of virtual machines to Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  3. Design and deployment of an AVD and Citrix Virtual Application and Desktop Service environment.

Solution

To accomplish these steps, Content+Cloud established our proprietary Azure Landing Zone for the project. This secure and compliant design enabled Impellam to quickly pivot to Azure and leverage benefits including scalable capacity and high availability, and importantly offered hybrid operations with remaining on-premise assets.

The Landing Zone was a key component of the overall Content+Cloud solution to deliver a secure and compliant foundation for Azure adoption, meanwhile providing assurance over a scalable and future-proofed environment, able to adapt to Impellam’s growth aspirations or fluctuations in demand.

The Content+Cloud and Impellam teams collaborated and designed the Landing Zone in a matter of weeks. It was then deployed using Infrastructure-as-Code via Azure DevOps pipelines. This fundamental requirement here was to ensure that new acquisitions, departments, or geographies could be accommodated using a repeatable approach.

With the Landing Zone in place, and to keep the project to deadline, we began the remaining two workstreams concurrently: executing the datacentre migration process, which started with a full discovery phase to plan and agree timescales and categorise virtual machines into migration waves. The Impellam team were then in a position to adopt Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services for SQL, utilising Azure SQL Managed Instance.

Concurrently, we established Impellam’s AVD infrastructure to provide a Citrix Virtual Application and Desktop Service environment to deliver line of business applications to an initial wave of 2,500 users.

Operating systems we migrated to Azure during the project included Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, CentOS and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.

In addition, C+C leveraged our depth of relationship with Microsoft and the Azure FastTrack team to secure funding for the project and align to the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework, adhering to best practice throughout.

Outcomes

  • The business delivered on its ambition of having a single, secure, centrally managed but hybrid IT system. Its IT team is now able to operate independently in-house, and scale based on business demand.
  • Use of AVD reduced the dependency on legacy datacentre infrastructure, and addressed technical debt.
  • Moving more resources to a pay-as-you-consume model with Azure allowed the business to flexibly manage cost.
  • The datacentre migration deadline was achieved avoiding costly contract renewals and offering extended support for legacy operating systems.
  • Impellam was able to refactor existing SQL services using Azure SQL Managed Instance (PaaS) in the Landing Zone to improve availability, performance and scalability of SQL databases. The business is now leveraging the advanced native security of Azure, and the benefit of over 90+ compliance certifications.
  • With the support of Content+Cloud, Impellam secured financing from Microsoft to fund 50% of the migration project, reducing capital investment and allowing this to be repurposed for innovation projects.

Products and Services Taken